Daniel Connolly of San Francisco has won several times in his career and he added the Northern California Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship in first attempt.
The 25-year-old Connolly (pictured left), who played college golf at Southern Methodist University, defeated Nick Randazzo (right) of Seaside with a par on the first playoff hole to win the 41st edition of the NCGA Mid-Am at Poppy Hills Golf Couse in Pebble Beach.
“This is awesome because any time you can win it’s amazing,” said Connolly, who claimed his third NCGA title. “I felt like I did a good job of just staying in the moment. I knew coming into the day that I would have to go out and win it.
“I finally asked my Dad (and caddie) on the 18th hole of regulation what the leaderboard looked like and he told me: ‘It would be a nice time for a birdie.’ I had been thinking a par would be enough. I was fortunate to get it done in the playoff.”
Connolly did have to settle for a par on the final hole of regulation, but finished at 69-66—135, seven-under-par, while Randazzo, who won the NCGA Mid-Amateur in 2021, wound up at 70-65—135.
In the playoff, Randazzo got a horrible break when his ball plugged in a fairway bunker. He punched out and nearly holed out his third shot for a birdie, but eventually had settle for a bogey. Connolly missed the green short, but managed to get up-and-down for a winning par.
“I’m pleased with how I played,” said the 41-year-old Randazzo, who claimed his 11th NCGA victory in the 56th NCGA Four-Ball Championship in May. “I’ve had my share of good breaks and also my share of bad breaks. I’ll just look to the positives. I’m happy for Daniel.”
Connolly added to his list of victories that includes the 2023 Alameda Commuters, the 2021 NCGA Stroke Play Championship, the 2017 NCGA Stroke Play Championship, the 2016 Amateur Golf.com Championship, the 2016 San Francisco City Championship and the 2013 Amateur Golf.com Christmas Championship.
Wes Payne of Menlo Park was third at 69-69—138, while 2015 NCGA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel totaled 70-69—139 to tie for fourth with Jack Barber of La Jolla, who shot 69-70—139.
Bobby Bucey of Concord, the 2017 winner of this tournament, was sixth at 70-70—140, while Scotland Schmidt of San Diego finished at 71-70—141 to tie for seventh with Jeremy Gearhart of Atascadero, who also wound up at 71-70—141.
Eli Poppers of San Diego was ninth at 76-66—142, while Michael Perchak of Alamo shot 70-73—143 to tie for 10th with Brett Viboch of Sacramento, who also wound up at 70-73—143, and Domingo Jojola of San Francisco, who came in a 69-74—143.
Defending champion Ian Dahl tied for 23rd at 72-76—148.
Other former winners of the NCGA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship include Gary Vandewege in the initial event in 1982, former Stanford and San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie, Tom Culligan, Bob Blomberg, Jeff Burda, Gary Vanier, Randy Haag, Casey Boyns, Bob Niger, Jim Knoll, Rick Reinsberg and Jason Anthony.