Brandon Bauman (Championship), Frank Acker (Senior) and Kevin Parrish (Silver) posted victories in the 2019 SNGA Championship at Golf Summerlin. The two-day event, held March 9-10, 2019, was played at Highland Falls and Palm Valley golf clubs. Todd Kirby (Net), Darrell Lutey (Senior) and Dave Haddock (Silver) were net division winners. It was the year’s first major championship. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Brandon Bauman is making the most of his comeback. After missing out on SNGA events for about four years, Bauman has now won two straight events after beating Ed Fryatt in a playoff on Sunday with an eagle on the first playoff hole. Fryatt was also putting for eagle from just inside of Bauman but missed his attempt.
The victory was a test of perseverance for Bauman. He had an even-par round on Saturday (two birdies, two bogeys, an eagle and a double). Sunday, he carded a four-under-par front nine and added two birdies on the back. A double bogey on 13 and a bogey on the 18th let Fryatt, who birdied the 18th hole, catch him to force the playoff.
“This one was a little lucky,” Bauman said. “(Saturday) I just could not get control on the greens with my iron shots. I flagged it all day and the closest I got was about 15 feet so it was a struggle.”
That set up Sunday and an up-and-down round.
“Being behind I knew I probably had to throw something low up,” he said.
He did just that with four birdies on the front nine as well as two more on 16 and 17. But a bogey on the 18th opened the door.
“I took an aggressive line on 18 (off the tee) and hit what I thought was a good shot,” he said. “The officials said it was just short (of clearing the water) so I took a drop and hit a good 3-iron close to the green. I chipped it fairly close but lipped out the par putt. I thought I had to make that par on 18 to get into the playoff. I didn’t think that bogey was going to be enough.”
Bauman, who graduated from Palo Verde in 2014 after playing on the golf team, moved on to the golf team at UC Santa Barbara where he recently graduated.
During his college career for the Gauchos, he was twice named first team All Big West and was the conference’s Player of the Year in 2015-2016. That 2015-2016 season was stellar for Bauman as he won the conference championship title along with two other individual titles. He also set a school record for scoring with an average of 71.54.
Now, it’s on to bigger goals.
“I’m going to go to the Canada Q-School at the end of March and hopefully qualify for that Tour and see how that works out,” he said.
Brandon Bauman, 72-69—141
Ed Fryatt, 69-72—141
Kamden Ganir, 74-68—142
For Todd Kirby, the long wait is over. Kirby got back in the winner’s circle for the first time in three years with a three-stroke win in the Net Division.
“It’s been awhile, that’s for sure,” Kirby said. “I won in 2016 so it’s certainly nice to win again.”
He said his two days of play were solid. “It’s the best I’ve played in six months and it came at the right time,” he said. “I just tried to stay consistent and stay away from big numbers.”
He added he did have two triple bogeys, but he kept a positive attitude. “I didn’t let them get into my head,” he said. “I recovered with pars both times so I was able to put them behind me and move on.”
He also kept the golf ball in play both days. “I didn’t have any penalties either day and that’s probably a record for me,” he said.
Todd Kirby, 70-72—142
Andrew Buonincontro, 74-71—145
John Diclaro, 72-75—147
Frank Acker snapped a string of thee straight runnerup finishes in SNGA events (as well as a third-place finish prior to that) with a victory in the Senior Division.
“This was a good one,” Acker said. “It was a tough day. I just tried to grind it out.”
It all came down to news on the SNGA website and a 10-foot birdie putt.
“We were on the 18th and I had about a 10-footer for birdie,” Acker said. “Scott (Gardner, a playing partner) was looking at the scores on the website and said I had to make the putt to win. When he told me, I had planned on trying to make it anyway and then it went right in the middle. It was a real good feeling.”
Acker said he came into the event not knowing what to expect.
“I honestly haven’t touched a club in two weeks,” he said. “I had very low expectations. I had a triple bogey on No. 9 and then just tried to play the best I could on the back. I played a couple under on the back and it worked out all right.”
Frank Acker, 70-74—144
Todd Roberts, 77-73—150
Sean Mulvenon, 72-80—152
Darrell Lutey made it two straight Senior Division victories–one gross and this one net–in 2019 SNGA action.
“It’s nice to win but it’s disappointing that I had a bunch of three-putts,” he said. “I gave away a lot of strokes (Saturday) with three doubles.”
But, then came the silver lining to his weekend.
“I putted pretty well today…for the first seven holes,” he said with a laugh. “Then I went ahead and three putted No. 8 and No. 9. But I did birdie 10 and 11 so that was exciting.”
He added the 18th hole was one to remember. “I didn’t know where I stood,” he said. “I was a little nervous and almost skulled a sand wedge over the green. I had a great up and down for a par but then Frank (Acker) birdied the 18th to win the gross and I had to settle for the net.”
Darrell Lutey, 75-70—145
Anthony Becker, 74-72—146
Jim Licausi, 72-74—146
Kevin Parrish kept up his hot play, winning for the second straight event. He posted an impressive 11-stroke victory after leading by four strokes after the first round.
Parrish won three times in 2018 and has now won twice this season.
Kevin Parrish, 73-72—145
Larry Keever, 77-79—156
John Garrett, 77-79—156
Dave Haddock is getting used to winning. Haddock, who won one SNGA event in 2018, added in another with a 6-stroke victory in the Silver Net division.
Haddock returned to SNGA action in 2018 after a decade-long layoff and found his way back into the winner’s circle.
“The difference for me was my putting,” he said. “I usually average about five three-putts per round and in this two-day tournament I only had two three-putts total.”
He said his improvement is easy to figure out. “I don’t hit it far enough to get in trouble off the tee so I really worked on improving my short game,” he said. “I went to a split-handed grip on putting and it seems to work better and got me much closer on longer putts.”
He added playing two Golf Summerlin courses helped as well. “These are my home courses so I’ve probably got some local knowledge on how the putts break,” he said.
Dave Haddock, 67-70—136
Glenn Dehaven, 66-76—142
Jim Cail, 74-71—145