NCGA Golf

Winter 2019

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SHAGbag NCGA.ORG | WINTER 2019 11 DAY TRIP . . . . . . . 12 A little respect for the Sacramento golf scene Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Martin Trainer makes the leap to the PGA Tour ACCOLADES . . . . 16 NCGA Player of the Year Awards handed out Brigham Young University junior Peter Kuest fired a course record 10-under 61 in the first round of November's annual St. Mary's Invitational. The previous low men's mark was 63, shot by Champions Tour pro Scott McCarron at the 2017 PGA Tour Champions PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee and later matched by USC's Kaito Onishi at that year's St. Mary's Invite. Kuest, who grew up in Fresno and honed his game on the Junior Tour of Northern California, had eight birdies and an eagle. "I was just knocking it really tight all day," Kuest said. "Everything was pretty good. It was easy." Setting a New Bar Remembering Shelley Hamlin, Jim Wiechers and Forrest Fezler The Northern California golf community lost three of its greats with the October passing of Shelley Hamlin and Jim Wiechers and December passing of Forrest Fezler . Hamlin, a native of San Mateo who died at the age of 69, won the 1971 AIAW National Collegiate Championship (preceding the NCAA Championship) while at Stanford after qualifying for the event as an individual. She was later inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. A 25-year LPGA Tour member, Hamlin was a three-time winner. She tied for second at the 1973 U.S. Women's Open, and in 1995 was awarded the LPGA's Heather Farr Perseverance Award. She later helped co-found the Legends Tour, where she posted six top-10 finishes. She also won the California Women's Amateur Championship four times and was a member of two winning U.S. Curtis Cup squads. Wiechers, who died in Napa at the age of 73, won the 1962 U.S. Junior Amateur, and soon after, while earning All-American honors at Santa Clara University, captured the 1964 Western Junior and the 1966 Western Amateur. He competed on the PGA Tour from 1966 to 1979, finishing in the top 60 on the money list five times. His best season was 1973, when he finished 33rd. He played in the 1976 Masters, four U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships and three PLAYERS Championships. In the 1990's, Wiechers shifted to coaching, first at McCaffrey's Golf School in San Francisco, then as a teaching pro at Chardonnay Golf Club for 19 years, and finally at Eagle Vines Golf Club. He also coached the men's and women's golf teams at Napa Valley College. A Hayward native, Fezler's breakthrough came in 1969, when he captured the California Amateur, Santa Clara County and California State Community College championships. He played as a professional on the PGA Tour from 1972-1983, recording 30 top-10 finishes with highlights including Rookie of the Year honors (1973), a win at the Southern Open (1974) and a runner-up finish to Hale Irwin at the 1974 U.S. Open. At the 1983 U.S. Open, he'd become a sensation when, against USGA guidelines, he put on a pair of shorts before playing the last hole of the final round. A wrist injury eventually forced Fezler to change his swing, and in 1984 he left the tour to become head pro at Blackhawk CC in Danville. Fezler changed careers again in 1994 when he got into the golf course design and construction business as a partner with Mike Strantz, the acclaimed late designer. Among the duo's collaborations is a renovation of the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula CC, which today is one of the host courses of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Fezler was 69 years old. USGA

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