Cameron Barzekoff (Championship), James Corey (Senior) and Patrick Woerner (Silver) were crowned champions in the gross divisions of the 2019 Reflection Bay Amateur held June 8-9, 2019, at Reflection Bay Golf Club. George Yocum (Net), Bryan Link (Senior) and Al Kueker (Silver) earned net titles. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
For Cameron Barzekoff, it wasn’t a strong weekend of play despite picking up a victory.
But there, right alongside of Cameron, was his dad, Wayne, on the bag. Not a big deal, you say. Well, his dad has been undergoing chemo treatment for cancer since last July and simply having him alongside guiding him around the course made the weekend.
“Just having him here was a big deal,” Barzekoff said after winning his first SNGA crown. “He’s still working, he’s still playing golf. He doesn’t’ feel good, but he’s getting better and he’s fighting. He’s going to have a stem cell transplant in August so I know he’s going to get better. It’s great that he wants to come out and help me.”
Despite the distraction–and a windy weekend–Barzekoff walked away with a one-shot victory.
“I was just grinding,” he said. “It wasn’t my two best days of golf. The wind was bad and I wasn’t making any birdie putts. I was playing par golf and figured if I could just shoot a couple under or stay near par, I’d have a chance.”
The native Las Vegan, who will be a sophomore at Boise State this fall, said the victory will definitely help his confidence–later this fall in college (he posted three top 25 finishes as a freshman last year)–as well as during summer events he has scheduled.
“It does get frustrating after having five or six birdie putts in a row not go in,” he said. “But I just try to move forward and learn from what I’ve failed at.”
Cameron Barzekoff, 74-72—146
Daren Johnson, 75-72—147
Grant McKay, 75-72—147
George Yocum didn’t have to wait nearly as long between SNGA victories this time. Yocum won the 2018 Virgin Valley Amateur, his first victory in seven years. This time, it’s an 18-month gap between wins.
“I didn’t make many mistakes,” Yocum said. “I played really smart. When I was in trouble, I just figured out a way to make the best score I could. I’ll take a lot of positives away from this event.”
But, there were hiccups along the way, but even those had bright spots. “I four-putted my 9th hole (No. 18) on Saturday,” he said. “It got me upset but it also motivated me to try harder and I settled down.”
Then came his 9th hole on Sunday, the 9th hole on the course. “I wasn’t playing well but I made about a 60-foot bomb for par and from then on I played well,” he said. “Both of them were on my 9th hole and were two different outcomes but both got me motivated.”
George Yocum, 68-72—140
Jerry Algeo, 70-71—141
Todd Kirby, 66-76—142
James Corey posted his first gross victory in the SNGA, carding a two-under-par 70 on the second day in windy conditions.
“With the wind blowing, I feel a whole lot better about this round than I do about (Saturday),” he said of a seven-shot swing. “I hit my irons well and putted well and that made all the difference.”
That’s an understatement. He birdied the par-4 18th (his ninth hole of the round), then birdied No. 1. Then came a pair of pars before holing a wedge for an eagle on the par-4 4th hole. “I had about 85 yards and hit it well and it just rolled in,” he said.
Following the four-under-par run over five holes, his goal was simple. “After that I just cruised in with pars,” he said of his best round of the year. “I wanted to hit fairways, hit greens and just walk away.”
He added, with a laugh, “I didn’t need to beat myself.”
James Corey, 77-70—147
John Turk, 76-75—151
Rodrigo Quintero, 75-83—158
Bryan Link’s been out of action at SNGA for a couple of years but got back in the winner’s circle, posting a three-stroke victory.
“It’s been awhile,” he said of his return after taking time off as his wife battled medical problems. “But it’s great to play well.”
He said the key was simple: Hit fairways. “I stayed in the fairways for the most part and played the par 3s well,” he said. “And I made a lot of five-footers for pars. Getting up and down for pars really helped me.”
He added the par-5 14th was a critical hole for him. “I hit a drive into the hazard but was able to hit it out of there,” he said. “I got it up and down for par. It was one of those times where it could have really gone bad. It really turned the back nine around for me.”
Bryan Link, 69-67—136
Jack Kalmanson, 71-73—144
Patrick Carlin, 68-79—147
Patrick Woerner won for the second time in 2019, this time the Silver Net title. He won the gross title at the 2019 Nye County Amateur.
Patrick Woerner, 74-74—148
Kevin Parrish, 74-77—151
Steve Wilson, 78-75—153
Al Kueker picked up his second Silver Net title of the year and fourth overall for 2019–two gross and two net.
“I’m just playing better golf,” he said. “All the lessons and the practice I’ve been putting in have paid off.”
But, he added there is still work to be done. “I had 35 putts Saturday and 34 (Sunday) so I didn’t putt well,” he said. “But, I didn’t have any three-putts. I just missed a lot of 6-and-7 footers for pars and birdies.”
He said the overall weekend was solid. “I just kept my nose to the grindstone,” he said. “You can’t beat yourself up too badly. You’ll have a couple of rounds where everything goes in and then a couple of rounds where nothing goes in. This one, nothing went in…except at the end of the round where I made two in a row and that’s what wound up winning it for me.”
Al Kueker, 68-70—138
Mike K. Lee, 75-65—140
Ron Clabaugh, 67-75—142