Greg Horodesky (Championship), Scott Gardner (Senior) and Frank Abbott (Silver) won gross division titles at the SNGA Tour’s stop at Bear’s Best on July 11, 2019. Jason Berton (Net), Todd Roberts (Senior) and Duane Hagen (Silver) were the net champions. The event was played at the Jack Nicklaus course known for its replicas of some of Nicklaus’ favorite holes in the Western United States and Mexico. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Greg Horodesky is a longtime SNGA champion, but his four-shot victory was his first win in 2019 after a pair of runner up finishes. He was unavailable for comment following the win. In November, he won the prestigious Clark County Amateur.
Greg Horodesky, 74
Kamden Ganir, 78
Westney White, 81
Jason Berton won his third SNGA Net title, his first one in 2019, but this one was a battle even before the round started.
Berton played in two soccer matches the night before the golf tournament, the second one finishing about 11:30 p.m.
“It’s a night season,” he said of the soccer matches. “I didn’t get much sleep last night. Part of me didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, but I love Bear’s Best so much I just had to play.”
He said his play off the tee sparked his round. “I was consistent,” he said. “When I did get in trouble I made smarter choices and didn’t go for the hero shot. I limited any damage.”
He added he’s working with a new coach and a new swing and that’s been a challenge. “I’m committed to it and when I do it right, it works,” he said. “It’s not intuitive yet so it’s definitely a work in progress. I’ve really got to focus.”
Jason Berton, 71
Ryan Purdy, 72
Donald Blanton, 74
Scott Gardner eagled his final hole of the day, the par-5 17th, and won his second SNGA Tour title.
“The eagle was cool,” Gardner said. “It’s definitely a first for me to finish that way. In fact, that’s my first under-par round in an SNGA round so that’s kind of special.”
He said he kept an eye on the scoring on-line and knew exactly where he stood.
“I figured if I made a birdie on the last hole I’d tie Todd (Roberts) because I figured he would birdie (he did),” Gardner said.
His putting turned out to be the key. “I found a little thing in my putting in the middle of the back nine and I started making 10-15 foot putts,” he said.
And then there was the final-hole eagle.
“I only had 208 yards in for my second shot,” he said. “The pin was back right and I knew if you hit it a little bit right of the green, it feeds down to the hole. It left me with about a three-foot putt for the eagle.”
Scott Gardner, 69
David Koch, 74
Frank Acker, 77
Todd Roberts won an SNGA event for the third time in 2019, but this one was a net title. He was coming off two Senior gross titles.
“I didn’t miss a shot today,” Roberts said. “But I couldn’t make any putts early. I missed three five-footers right out of the box and that wears you out.”
Roberts did get the putter going on the back, making three birdies in a row and four over a five-hole stretch.
“I played equally well on the front and on the back, but I just didn’t get any birdie putts to fall on the front,” he said.
He added his game is right where he wants it…if the putting improves a little.
“I’m playing really well,” he said. “I hit it close a lot. Those three birdies in a row were nice and it was great to see some positive results with the putter.”
Todd Roberts, 70
Tim Quinn, 75
Hugh Manning, 77
Frank Abbott is the first to admit his third SNGA victory in 2019 was anything but a work of art.
But, he had a good excuse. Abbott had a pacemaker installed back in April and was just cleared to play golf again.
“I haven’t played in three months,” he said. “I’ve been out of golf and this was the maiden voyage.”
He said his game passed with flying colors…with a couple of hiccups along the way.
He returned to action with a birdie on the par-5 17th, his first hole of the day.
Then came trouble. He followed that up with a quadruple bogey on the par-4 18th. “I hit a good drive and hit my next shot into the bunker,” he said. “Then I hit it in the water…then I hit it in the water again and I eventually lipped out a putt for a seven and settled for an eight.”
He wasn’t discouraged.
“I had three bogeys on the front, but I played solid my last nine holes,” he said.
He said he wants friends and family to relax as he’s recovering from the surgery nicely. “My heart was fine, it was just a slow heart rate,” he said. “They had to speed it up. I went in for a regular checkup and had an EKG and the doctor said we’re calling you an ambulance to go to the emergency room. I told them I was supposed to play golf in the afternoon, but that got changed.”
Now, he’s adapting. “When I take the club back I can feel the device against my shoulder blade,” he said. “I flinch sometimes and I flinched the first few holes. But I’m adjusting. And it could be a whole lot worse.”
Frank Abbott, 77
Phil Huseby, 79
Jim Cail, 79
Duane Hagen won his first SNGA Tour title, winning a scorecard playoff over Scott Walker to win the Silver Net crown.
It was a victory he thought he had given away.
“I had a par-5 with about three or four holes to go and I stuck the ball to within about five feet and just babied the birdie putt and left it short,” he said. “I was thinking ‘let’s protect par.’ I figured that might cost me the tournament.”
He also had a short birdie putt on a par-3 that he missed. “I kicked myself for not making those putts,” he said. “Both were dead easy. I thought I’d given the tournament away.”
He credited his short-game play with the win. “I hit some really good drives but some really bad wedges,” he said. “But I got them up and down. My nickname, even in poker, is ‘Grinder’ and that’s what I did…just kept grinding. I just stick to it.”
Duane Hagen, 69
Scott Walker, 69
Michael Manthey, 71