Golf StoriesBoulder City Am Champs: Trent, Turk, Griffin, Grant, Koch, Kueker

Boulder City–Jack Trent (Championship), John Turk (Senior) and Mark Griffin (Silver) posted victories in the gross divisions in the Boulder City Amateur played May 4-5, 2019. Allen Grant (Net), Frank Acker (Senior) and Al Kueker (Silver) came away with net titles. The event was held at Boulder Creek GC and Boulder City GC allowing players to experience both quality Boulder City courses. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.

Championship

This one was a rematch of a showdown for the 2018 SNGA Championship. In that event, Jack Trent, a sophomore at UNLV, beat Ed Fryatt by four strokes. This time, Trent led by a stroke after the first round and began the second round with an eagle on his first hole en route to the two-stroke victory.

“I just played very steady,” Trent said. “I shot a bogey-free 65 the first day and I hadn’t picked up a club in five days because I’ve had so much school work.”

Heading into the second day, his first hole set the tone.

“I hit a drive about 360 and hit a gap wedge to about three feet for eagle,” he said. “It was definitely a good start. I made my first bogey of the tournament on No. 9 when I three-putted. I wasn’t making a lot of mid-range putts but my short putting was very good and that’s what held me up. I just tried to be patient and take advantage when putts did fall.”

Championship

Jack Trent, 66-70—136

Ed Fryatt, 67-71—138

Kenny Ebalo, 67-74—141

Net

Welcome back to the winner’s circle, Allen Grant. Grant won in his return to SNGA action in 2017 but has taken part in just a handful of events since that victory.

Grant trailed by two strokes heading into the final round but a two-under-par 70 helped him to a three-stroke victory.

He said this win was special.

“I’m trying to play a bigger schedule this year,” he said. “I haven’t been playing a lot because life got in the way with work and family health issues. This year I’m looking to play a set schedule.”

He said this win was a test. “You had two different courses and how quickly you adjusted to the courses was huge,” he said. “And (Saturday) was calm and (Sunday) was windy so it was a good test of your overall game.”

And there was one more factor. “I went back to a blade putter and it took me awhile to get the stroke back,” he said. “This weekend it felt like everything had a chance to go in.”

Net

Allen Grant, 68-70—138

Dennis Moore, 66-75—141

James Tippett, 70-73—143

Senior

John Turk’s strong second round propelled him to a seven-stroke victory in the Senior Division, his second win of 2019 as he also won the season-opening Tournament of Champions.

Turk started the second round with a one-stroke lead after an opening one-under-par 71 roller coaster round (six birdies and five bogeys). A two-under-par 70 in the second round (four birdies and two bogeys) saw him open the gap to seven strokes.

“This was a fun format,” Turk said of the play on two courses for the two-day event. “They are entirely different courses. One is tree-lined and one is wide open.”

He said his play the first day was interesting…to say the least. “I hit it all over the place,” he said. “I hit it out of the weeds twice and hit it too far on 18 into the water. That’s three strokes right there. I also had four three-putts.”

The second day he changed his focus. “We were playing the same tees as the young guys so I was trying to shoot something close to what they were going to shoot,” he said. “I used that as a motivation to see how I measured up.”

Senior

John Turk, 71-70—141

Darrell Lutey, 72-76—148

Sean Mulvenon, 77-77—154

Senior Net

Frank Acker won an SNGA title for the second straight event and for the third time in 2019, winning the Senior Net crown.

He has two gross victories this season to go along with this week’s Net title.

“It’s not what I was aiming at, that’s for sure,” he said. “But you take what you can get and move on. It was just a sluggish day.”

But to his credit, he had a reason to not play his best. Working nights, he gets through at 4:30 in the morning. He goes and plays the tournament, takes a nap and then heads back to work.

“These two-day events are tough on me,” he said. “I’ve done it since I’ve lived here but it’s not as easy when you get a little older.”

But he’s not using it as an excuse. “I can’t take anything away from John,” Acker said. “He played well both days and we didn’t give him much of a game.”

Senior Net

Frank Acker, 71-75-146

David Koch, 71-77—148

William Thompson, 73-76—149

Silver

Mark Griffin, playing on his home course (Boulder Creek), won his first SNGA title. Prior to this victory, Griffin’s best finish was a second back in 2017 at the SNGA Tour Championship.

“I really played well (Saturday),” Griffin said. “I know the course (Boulder Creek) very well. I birdied No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No. 9. Overall I had six birdies. I missed a couple of short putts so I had a couple of bogeys but overall I played real good golf.”

Then came Sunday…and a struggle. “I shot 41-39,” he said. “I had two double bogeys. Then I focused a little and got back on track and played well coming in. The guys were trying to catch up but I held on.”

He said his short game is one of the reasons he’s not been on the podium more often.

“I have been playing really bad,” he said. “I played bad at Mountain Falls and then went out and worked on my chipping and putting. And it helped. I missed a bunch of greens today and got up and down seven or eight times.”

Silver

Mark Griffin, 71-80—151

Patrick Woerner, 78-78—156

Kevin Parrish, 79-78—157

Silver Net

Al Kueker, after winning five times in 2018 (three gross and two net titles) picked up his first victory of 2019, winning the Net crown.

“I’m striking the ball a lot better now,” Kueker said. “I went through some tough times last fall. I went to Golf Tec and we’re changing my whole swing. By going there, I know exactly how far I carry each club now. And believe me, it’s not as far as you think.”

Now, he’s got his sights set on his putting.

“I just can’t seem to get the ball to go in the hole,” he said. “I only made one birdie all weekend and that was from a chip-in. I came close on so many long putts…I’d hit an edge or just come up short. But the real frustrating part is missing 7-footers for par.”

But he’s glad to be winning again.

“I’m real happy with how I’m starting to play again and it’s definitely nice to win,” he said.

Silver Net

Al Kueker, 70-73—143

Bill Currie, 69-79—148

Gerald Nixon, 70-78—148

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Brian Hurlburt

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