Noah MacFawn (Championship), John Turk (Senior) and Al Kueker (Silver) won titles in the gross divisions of the SNGA Tour-Chimera event held May 23, 2019, at Chimera Golf Club. John Diclaro (Net), Gary Drinkhorn (Senior) and Ron Clabaugh (Silver) were the champions in the net divisions. —By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
This SNGA Tour event was also the final qualifier for the 2019 Nevada State Amateur, which will be held at Somersett Country Club in Reno on July 7-10. The qualifiers from this tournament included Joseph Dotta, Jason Cordon and Kyle Meade.
Noah MacFawn, a recent graduate of Foothill High School who will play golf at Holy Names University this fall, picked up his first SNGA Tour event win.
MacFawn carded six birdies and an eagle in a five-under-par 67 round that saw him win by a stroke.
Despite the win, he knows there is still work to do. “It was an all-around pretty good day,” he said. “I’ll obviously let the win sink in but then I’ll look back at a couple of bogeys I shouldn’t have made. But overall I’ll take a lot of positives away from this win.”
He said he didn’t know what to expect with the tournament.
“I went in just looking to have a good time,” he said. “I started the round with a bogey but then I birdied my second hole. When I got it to five-under I wanted to see how low I could go.”
He added this round sets a new milestone. “It was my lowest tournament round by a stroke,” he said. “So that’s a nice way to end the tournament.”
Noah MacFawn, 67
Greg Horodesky, 68
Joseph Dotta, 71
John Diclaro put up nine net birdies and overcame two triple bogeys to win his first SNGA Tour title. Diclaro’s previous best finishes were a second and a third earlier in 2019.
He held off Allen Grant who had two net eagles in his round.
For Diclaro, it was all about fighting nerves.
“This is the first year I’ve played in these events,” he said. “I focus better when I play in these tournaments. But I did get a little nervous over the last few holes.”
He added his putting was the difference. “I made about a 25-footer for par on No. 10 for a net birdie and that really got me going,” he said.
John Diclaro, 67
Allen Grant, 69
Robert Kinard, 70
John Turk proved the old adage about driving for show and putting for dough just might be wrong.
“I drove the ball really well today,” he said. “It always sets up your game if you drive it well and today I hit a lot of fairways.”
Despite the win and the good drives, he said he’s still not completely happy with his game. “I wish my 50-yard short game was working a little better,” he said. “I would have been a lot better off.”
It was Turk’s third win of 2019 and his second in a row. “It’s always a lot of fun when you win,” he said. “And playing well always gives you a chance.”
John Turk, 70
Gordon Schiring, 72
Frank Acker, 73
Gary Drinkhorn’s second SNGA Tour win of 2019 was even sweeter than his first.
“This was my lowest round in the last year…at least,” he said of his two-over-par 74 that wound up being a net 65. “And it was my putting that carried me. I made a lot of four-footers today and I usually miss a ton of four-footers.”
He said overall, the key was simple. “I made all those putts and I played the same ball all day,” he said. “Those two things always help.”
Now he’s ready for more. “Winning like this just has me anxious to play the next one,” he said.
Gary Drinkhorn, 65
Stephan Gordon, 66
William Thompson, 66
Al Kueker won for the second time in 2019 (his first gross title after an earlier net crown), firing a one-under-par 71.
“Today was a pretty good day,” he said. “I haven’t shot an under-par round in a long time so that feels good.”
He said all parts of his game were solid. “Everything was working today but I also putted well for a change,” he said. “I had 29 putts and four birdies.”
The win is his second of 2019, but his first gross victory. “We’re all out here playing for gross wins,” he said. “And this is a nice one because it was a big deal with 24 players in the field.”
Al Kueker, 71
Bruce Swanson, 75
Patrick Woerner, 76
Ron Clabaugh has noticed the improvement. And that improvement showed as he won his first SNGA Tour event.
“I’ve been playing a lot better over the last month and this is a course I like,” he said. “So things really went my way.”
He said his driver helped his cause today…finally. “My driver and I haven’t been on speaking terms for awhile but today I hit it a few times and it worked out well,” he said. “Driving was definitely the difference.”
But, he wasn’t blaming his driver for not having more success. “It was definitely operator error,” he said with a laugh.
He added the round worked out perfectly. “My goal was to break 80 and I shot 80,” he said. “I’m happy with that. I had a lot of pars today and that’s good for me.”
Ron Clabaugh, 66
Jim Cail, 67
Michael Manthey, 69