Spring 2017

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Largest Golf Expo in the U.S. (April 28–30): Check out all the latest equipment, gear and more from over 185 vendors at the 42nd annual Haggin Oaks Golf Expo in Sacramento. Challenges, celebrity appearances and more! 60 SPRING 2017 | WWW.NCGA.ORG What's Happening T O U R N A M E N T C E N T R A L Poplar Creek GC | March 25-26 S an Jose resident Jim Ono described it like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. O no, who'll turn a spry 81 in July, took it to his younger senior brethren at the San Mateo County Senior Championship. Playing his home course, he'd card rounds of 73-68 to win with a two-day score of 141, defeating 51-year-old runner-up Tony Ralph – and a number of NCGA senior studs including Jim Williams and Jim Knoll – to take the title. "It's the old blind squirrel finding an acorn thing. That and an old man having flashbacks," Ono said with a laugh. Now the oldest player to ever win the San Mateo County Senior and an NCGA points event, Ono even added some theatrics. The longtime attorney, who only played because it was his home course, would come back from a four-stroke deficit. "At the time, I wasn't thinking of winning," said Ono, who had no idea he'd won as he walked off the 18th green. "I'd have been scared to death. I just wanted to finish in the Top Five to win some cash. I thought that'd make me happy as hell." For Ono, it was his first victory since 2015, when he captured the Grand Master Division title at a Society of Seniors outing (Indian Summer Classic). As for what keeps the competitive juices flowing, Ono pointed to staying fit – and his mother. "You have to keep in good shape, and have good genes. I got some good ones from my mother," Ono said. "But you still have to work at it." San Mateo County Senior Championship Bayonet GC | April 3-5 R andy Haag and Chip Lutz left no doubt this time around. A year after surviving a five-hole sudden death playoff to win, Haag and Lutz put an exclamation point on the 2017 championship. The duo, who first met at the Coleman Invitational at Seminole GC around 15 years ago, fired back-to-back rounds of 65 to roll to a six-shot victory over run- ner-ups Scott Anderson and Gary Vanier. Haag and Lutz' 54-hole total of 16-under 200 was just four off the championship record of 196, set by Mark Miller and Herb Jensen in 2006 on the original Poppy Hills. They'd become the first repeat champions since Robert Berg and Rob Thompson in 2007-2008. "We love the game. We're amateurs, and this is an important event for us," said Haag, who notched his 18th career NCGA title. A day after a second round 32 on the back- nine, Haag and Lutz went deeper with a closing nine-hole score of 30. In the final round, Haag, an Olympic Club member, and Lutz, an Ama- member, were so hot they'd both hit every green in regulation except for the 17th. "We played great together from the tee to the green for three days," said Lutz, winner of the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur. Anderson and Vanier, who began the day four strokes behind the leaders, did their best to keep up by posting a mistake-free 67 to finish at 206. But Haag and Lutz never took it off full throttle. Third place went to the tandem of 2016 NCGA Senior Valley Amateur champ Mark Morgan and Todd Palmaer at 210. In the Super Senior Championship, Chuck Richesin and Bob Thomason shot a final round 2-under 70 to come in at even-par 216 and defeat runner-ups Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff by three shots. The win was the second straight for Richesin, who captured last year's NCGA Super Senior Championship. Thomason, meanwhile, got his first NCGA victory. 19th Senior Four- Ball Championship Play 9 Events at Poppy Hills and Poppy Ridge: Come Play 9 as part of the USGA's Play 9 program on the 9th day of each month from May–October. Visit for more info. Celebrate Women's Golf Day (June 6): Now in its second year, bring your friends to Poppy Hills or Poppy Ridge to enjoy activities designed just for women golfers. Visit for more info. Blues in the Forest (June 18): Celebrate Father's Day at the annual Father's Day 'Blues Festival in the Forest' at Poppy Hills. Enjoy multiple bands, gourmet food trucks and a beer garden. ($30 adults in advance, $10 ages 12–18, Free 12-under) Pay Your Age: Golfers at Poppy Ridge ages 18–30 pay a greens fee ($18–$30) matching their age. Offer available Monday through Thursday any time after 1:30 p.m. R andy Haag and Chip Lutz

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