Robert Funk of Canyon Lake turned back Greg Cesario of San Marcos with a four-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the 29th California Senior Amateur Championship at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
The 57-year-old Funk, who held at least a share of the lead after every round, recorded a score of 70-69-72—211, 2-under-par, but Cesario caught him with a total of 70-76-65—211 by carding seven birdies in the final round—including five in the first seven holes—while recording the low round of the tournament.
Cesario missed a 21-footer for birdie on the playoff hole.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Funk, who captured the Northern California Golf Association Senior Championship in another playoff at Poppy Hills in September and was low amateur at the 2017 U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass.
“It feels outstanding to win again. I’m very grateful and I’m also very excited. Playing in and winning (the NCGA Senior) certainly helped. (Poppy Hills) is in just great condition. It really fits my ball flight.”
Said Cesario: “I wouldn’t have done anything different out there. On the front nine, I was in the zone. My mentality to start the day was to just let things happen. I didn’t go out there trying to force anything.”
Mark Morgan of Shingle Springs, the 2017 champion, was third at 72-73-71—216, while defending champion Casey Boyns of Monterey, who also won the tournament in 2012, shot 74-75—69—218 to tie for fourth with 2018 champ Jeff Wilson of Fairfield, who finished at 74-74-70—218.
Craig Davis of Chula Vista posted a score of 71-77-72—220 to tie for sixth with Randy Haag of Orinda, who totaled 76-72-72—220, Greg Galasso of San Jose, who wound up at 73-71-76—220, and Scott Anderson of Danville, who finished at 75-70-75—220.
Don DuBois of Newport Beach carded a score of 75-75-71—221 to tie for 10th with Michael Staskus of Los Altos, who shot 75-74-72—221, and Jeff Duncan of Carson City, Nev., who wound up at 73-74-74—221.
Three-time champion Jeff Burda (2008-10) of La Quinta was 13th at 76-75-71—222.
In the annual North/South Challenge that is contested within the tournament on the first two days, the NCGA claimed the victory, 293-296.
Team NCGA was comprised of captain Bob Goldstein of Orinda, Boyns, Wilson and Morgan. On the Southern California Golf Association team were captain Bob Livingstone of Long Beach, Davis, DuBois and Burda.
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