Bucey Beats McDowell, 5 and 4, to Claim 120th NCGA Match Play Championship

Bobby Bucey of Concord got a second chance and came through.

The 34-year-old Bucey, who lost in the final last year, beat Davis McDowell of San Rafael, 5 and 4, in the 36-hole final to win in the 120th Northern California Amateur Match Play Championship at Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

“I finally climbed the mountain,” Bucey, a member at Oakhurst County Club in Clayton said with tears in his eyes. “I knew I was ready for this moment. It means so much to me to have my name up there with those guys.

“Growing up, I remember playing in the Amateur at Spyglass with guys like Casey Boyns, Randy Haag and Scott Hoyt. I was starstruck playing with them. I believed that one day I would be as good as them. That belief became one win, and then it just kept growing.”

Bucey became the oldest winner of the tournament since Darryl Donovan in 1999, and claimed his seven NCGA title, His other victories were two Mid-Amateur Four-Ball titles, one Stroke Play Title, one Mid-Amateur Championship, one Four-Ball title and one California Amateur Championship.

Only Bucey, Boyns, Haag, Nick Randazzo, Tal Smith and Scott Hardy have claimed seven or more NCGA titles.

Bucey built a three-up lead through the morning 18 and upped his lead the 4-up when McDowell made a bogey on the 20th hole, but McDowell rallied by winning the 25th and 27th holes with birdies before Bucey won the next hole with a birdie and was 4-up again after McDowell hit into a fairway bunker on the 29th hole.

When McDowell hit into the water on the 32nd hole, it was over.

“I still probably had the best golf week of my life,” said McDowell, redshirt junior at UC San Diego. “Playing with these guys, and playing Spyglass, which is a perfect match play course. I’ve got a lot of good things to build off of as I head into the college season.”

In the semifinals, Bucey defeated Colin Huang of Newport Beach, 4 and 3, while McDowell got past Max Ting of Atherton on the 19th hole.

Previous winners of the NCGA Match Play Championship include Haag, Boyns, Hardy, Roger Maltbie, Kevin Sutherland, Gary Vanier, John Brodie, Bob Rosburg, Maverick McNealy, Spencer Levin, Ron Cerrudo, John Lotz, Lawson Little Jr., John Catlin, Patrick Nagle, Matt Bettencourt, Vic Loustalot, Verne Callison, George Von Elm, Charlie Seaver, Michael Allen, Tal Smith, Shintaro Ban, John Neville, Bob Silverstri, Frank Newton, Isaiah Salinda and A. Guthrie Harvey, who claimed the first two titles.

For complete results, visit: https://ncga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/ncga23/event/ncga2334/contest/9/leaderboard.htm

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