2022 NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship
March 25, 2022 / by Jerry Stewart
March 30, 2022
The par-4 1st hole at Poppy Hills finally gave teammates Randy Haag and Robert Funk a break. And the timing couldn't have been better.
Haag rolled in a clutch 15-foot birdie putt on No.1 on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, helping him and partner Robert Funk capture the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship over Mike Rowley and Mark Morgan. Both teams finished regulation tied at 10-under par 203.
Ironically, in each of their three rounds during regulation, Funk and Haag had bogeyed the 1st hole.
"We found a way to win," said Haag, who joins Bob Berg, Rob Thompson and Mark Miller as three-time winners of the event. "After four months of not competing, It's just nice to get back out."
Haag, an NCGA Hall of Famer, had reconstruction surgery on his left ankle in November. Afterward, his doctor said he could possibly return to competition in June.
For Funk, meanwhile, who finished in second place in last year's NCGA Senior Player of the Year race, the win in a way meant going full circle.
About 20 years ago, still trying to believe in himself, Funk had played in an event at Poppy Hills. During the event, Haag commented to Funk that he had the game to win at a high level.
"When a player of Randy's caliber says something like that, anybody who is listening should be able to win," Funk said.
Rowley and Morgan, who were looking to go back-to-back, had made a charge with the low round of the day, a 4-under 67 in at times frigid conditions. In the playoff, Morgan also had a birdie putt, but his long try missed.
The team of Jeff Wilson and Todd Barsotti finished third at 204 after a final round 68. They too had a chance to get to 10-under but Wilson's eagle putt on the 18th skimmed by the cup.
Congrats to 2022 NCGA Senior Four-Ball champs Robert Funk and Randy Haag pic.twitter.com/oBqBnIb9Yc— NCGA (@ncga1901) March 30, 2022
In the Super Senior Championship (ages 65-over), the team of John Watson and Jim Williams posted a final-round 5-under 66 to come in at 9-under 204 for a three-shot win over the runner-up tandem of David Ujihara and Mel Collins.
It marked the first NCGA title for both Watson and Williams, who at 65 were both making their Super Senior debuts. The two Bay Area residents also shot 66 in Monday's opener.
"We both played well in difficult conditions," Watson said. "This is a ball-strikers course and we both hit the ball well."
Ujihara and Collins shot a final round 69 to come in at 207. Third place went to the team of Neil Duffy and Rich Morrison at 211.
Final Round Photo Gallery Here
March 29, 2022
Randy Haag and Robert Funk shrugged off a slow start to take control of this week's annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship at Poppy Hills.
Having entered the day in first place after an opening 7-under 64, Haag and Funk shot 1-over on their front-nine in Tuesday's second round to fall out of first place. On their back-nine, however, the two bounced back by going 3-under with four birdies to finish with a 69. The two will head into Wednesday's final round at 9-under 133, holding a three-shot lead over four teams.
With a win, Haag, an NCGA Hall of Famer, will join Bob Berg, Rob Thompson and Mark Miller as three-time winners of the event. Berg and Thompson won their titles playing together, while Miller has won with three different partners. Haag won the event in 2016 and 2017 playing with 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur winner Chip Lutz.
Funk finished second in last year's NCGA Senior Player of the Year race and in 2020 won both the NCGA Senior and California Senior Amateur at Poppy Hills.
The four other teams in the chase at 136 are: Daniel Young and Jeff Nelson, John Mack and Gary Havro, Jeff Wilson and Todd Barsotti and defending champs Mark Morgan and Mike Rowley. Morgan has been the NCGA's Senior Player of the Year each of the last two years.
The team of Todd Palmaer and Rich Petit had the round of the day, posting a 6-under 65 that moved them 25 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for sixth at 137 with three other teams.
In the Super Senior Championship, it's crowded at the top. Three teams--Jim Williams and John Watson, David Ujihara and Mel Collins and defending champs Rich Gleghorn and Frank Pieper--are all tied for first at 4-under 138. Gleghorn and Pieper, who are looking to be the first Super Seniors to repeat, made the biggest move with a 3-under 68.
Another six teams are within five shots of the leaders.
Second Round Photo Gallery
March 28, 2022
Randy Haag and Robert Funk got going in Monday's first round of the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship, but there's still two rounds to go.
Haag, an NCGA Hall of Famer, and Funk, the defending NCGA Senior Match Play champion, opened this week's event with a solid 7-under 64 at Poppy Hills that included eight birdies and an eagle on the closing 18th to offset three bogeys. An Olympic Club member, Haag had the hot hand, carding three birdies in a row from holes Nos. 8-10.
In second place, just a stroke behind is the tandem of Daniel Young and Jeff Nelson. The duo posted a bogey-free 65 with six birdies. The team of John Mack and Gary Havro is alone in third at 66.
Defending champions Mike Rowley and Mark Morgan are in fourth place at 67.
Following Tuesday's second round a cut will be made with the low 20 Senior teams advancing to Wednesday's final round.
In the Super Senior competition (ages 65-plus), the team of Jim Williams and John Watson leads with a score of 66. The low 10 teams and ties will make the cut in the Super Senior.
First Round Photo Gallery Here
First played in 1999, the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship is a two-person, better-ball scratch event for senior golfers. The tournament expanded from two rounds to three rounds in 2006. Joe Dudley and Bob Pipkin won the inaugural event, while the team of Robert Berg and Rob Thompson have the most titles, three, winning in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Mark Miller has won the event three different times with three different partners: Herb Jensen (2006), Casey Boyns (2012) and Gary Vanier (2013).
Miller and Jensen hold the record for lowest 54-hole score, 196, set in 2006. Miller and Vanier hold the 36-hole record with a score of 128 at Silverado Resort in 2013. 2014 winners Frank Pieper and Mike Staskus hold the record for lowest round, a 10-under 62 the pair shot at Saddle Creek. In 2018, Mark Hill and James Hay tied that mark with a 62 at Poppy Hills.
In 2015, a Super Senior Four-Ball Division was added to the event.