Summer 2017

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64 SUMMER 2017 | NCGA.ORG June 19-24 | The Olympic Club I t was fitting that the championship came down to Olympic Club's most iconic hole. PJ Samiere, a 21-year-old senior at San Diego State, birdied the 18th hole on Olympic's Lake Course, the 36th hole of the match, to secure a 1-up victory over Noah Norton of Chico. "Patience and perseverance, that's what it took," said Samiere. Patience was indeed a virtue for Samiere, as the San Diego resident and No. 20 seed faced a five-hole deficit through the first 11 holes of the finale, held exclusively on the Lake Course. A birdie on No. 12 and two more birdies at Nos.17 and 18 trimmed Norton's lead to 2 up at the break. "I started feeling better about my driver towards the end of the first 18," said Samiere. "I knew if I waited for it to come around it would. I started making some putts and got things going." Things only got better for Samiere, who won the first two holes in the afternoon portion to square the match. From there, the match see- sawed – neither player took more than a 1-up lead – through 15 more holes. The stage at the 18th had been set. After both reached the green in regulation, Norton, an 18-year-old former member of the Junior Tour of Northern California, faced an 8-footer for birdie. When his putt missed by a hair, Samiere's 6-foot birdie putt sealed the victory. "I thought he (Norton) was going to make his, especially with how well he was playing," Samiere said. "When he missed, I just told myself it was time to be clutch. It was on a great line and I knew it was in about halfway there." When his ball dropped, Samiere pumped his fist. The Edward B. Tufts Trophy, and a place in history, was his. "It's a great feeling," Samiere said. 106th California Amateur Championship June 19-20 | Poppy Hills | Brett Johnson and Bill Seiden, Mare Island GC: 59-61–120 50th Four-Ball Net Championship June 19-20 | Poppy Hills GC and Quail Lodge Resort Chris Chong and Thomas Yee, Dragons GC: 64-64–128 26th Associate Club Four-Ball Net Championship T O U R N A M E N T C E N T R A L O ne of the most exciting new aspects of NCGA Membership in 2017 was the addition of NCGA PLAY!—a program from the NCGA that includes a quick group clinic, a short format round (4-9 holes) of golf and a free drink after the round—all for $30 or less. The program has been a success not just for players looking for a fun, fast and affordable way to play, but also for courses looking to reenergize their local golf communities. Poppy Hills Play! director Cole Handley is in charge of organizing the events at Poppy Hills, so we asked him some questions about the impact he has seen since starting NCGA PLAY! Q: So far, what has been your favorite part about leading NCGA PLAY! events? A: I love getting to talk to all the new people coming out. It's a goal for all golf courses to find people that are newer to the game or maybe the ex-golfer that hasn't been out to play in a long time, and NCGA PLAY! has helped us reach those groups. Q: Which parts of the program do you think help to bring out these golfers to the course? A: For a long time now, golf has been struggling to overcome a few different challenges – namely price, time commitment and the overall difficulty of the game. NCGA PLAY! makes each of the barriers a non-issue. Plus, we're trying to make the game fun for people, a thing that most people forget to do while they play in more traditional formats. Q: What do you tell people looking to come out to play in an event? A: It's a blast. Even before the event starts we like to have fun, get to know the other people that come out. There is absolutely no pressure. We hope you learn something about your game and can improve, but we guarantee you'll have a good time! NCGA PLAY! Feeling the Energy

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