Ryan Bolton (Championship), Todd Roberts (Senior) and Kevin Parrish (Silver) posted gross division victories at the 2019 SNGA Tour Coyote Springs event. Robert Taylor (Net), Jim O’Hare (Senior) and Stephen Sitar (Silver) won net division titles. The event was an interesting change from regular-scoring events as it utilized Stableford scoring and was also played at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Coyote Springs. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider.
The tournament, the 9th of 11 events for the year on the SNGA Tour, featured the scoring system that included: 8 points for a double eagle, 5 points for an eagle, 3 points for a birdie, 1 point for a par, 0 points for a bogey and -2 points for a double bogey or worse.
Ryan Bolton arrived in the SNGA winner’s circle for the first time, winning the Championship Division over Andrew Yeh in a scorecard playoff. Both players ended up at +16 for the day.
Bolton birdied the 18th hole while Yeh bogeyed the hole to force the scorecard playoff.
“I played just horrible on the par 3s,” said Bolton, a mortgage lender for the past 20 years in St. George, Utah. “I had two doubles and a bogey so I think I was minus-1 on the par 3s. I just knew I had to do something special on the 18th. I had to give myself a chance. I hit a good drive and had 77 yards in. I hit my 60 degree wedge to about eight feet and canned it.”
But, it wasn’t over yet.
“Andrew had about the same distance in but hit it a little long,” Bolton said. “His first putt came up short and then he had a wicked lipout with his second putt. It hit all of the cup but the bottom.”
Bolton was only in the event because he’s playing a second event at Coyote Springs over the weekend.
“I love Coyote Springs and with this other event (Saturday) the stars aligned and I got a chance to play the course and check it out again,” he said. “Now I’ve got more confidence going forward.”
He’s planning on taking in more two-day SNGA events. “They do such a great job,” he said. “I’m trying to get more of the St. George guys to come down. It’s great to watch the association grow.”
Ryan Bolton, 16
Andrew Yeh, 16
Carl Digennaro, 15
Robert Taylor made it two straight Net Division victories. Taylor recorded an eagle at the par-5 7th hole and backing up his win at Cascata in mid-August.
Taylor started out red-hot, picking up 18 points on the front nine (an eagle, three birdies and three pars) before adding 7 points on the back (including a net eagle on the final hole) for a four-stroke victory.
“I played really well early,” said Taylor, an ophthalmologist at Shepherd Eye Center. “I usually don’t play in the one-day events and I planned to be at work today but I drove out and played.”
It turned out to be a good decision. “My front nine was great,” he said. “I birdied the first two holes and wound up shooting one-under 35 gross on the front nine. But then I came back to earth on the back nine and had three bogeys and a triple. But I hit a lot of fairways and greens and still played pretty solid.”
He’s looking to add to his victory numbers. “I definitely plan on playing all the two-day events,” he said. “And if there are Tour events on some Fridays and I can sneak out of work, I’ll try to play those as well.”
Robert Taylor, 25
Bryan Carlton, 21
Mark Cox, 20
Todd Roberts made it three victories in a row, posting a three-stroke victory over John Turk in the Senior Division. Roberts had four birdies on the day, including birdies on the closing hole of each nine.
“Like I said last time, starting with the state senior am I’ve started working on some stuff and my game keeps coming around little by little,” Roberts said.
He’s had a little help. “Butch Harmon had me spend a couple of days with Chris Como (formerly Tiger Woods’ coach) and he helped me out quite a bit,” Roberts said. “When you get a little older, how your body works has a lot to do with your swing and Chris unlocked a couple of doors for me.”
The round at Coyote Springs was uneventful…for awhile. “I drove it really well,” Roberts said. “All of the birdies were inside six feet and the one on 18 was from a foot. It was really stress-free.”
That is except for the 15th hole.
“I had a wedge in my hands into the green,” Roberts said. “It was over water and I mis-hit it just a little and the wind came up just a little and it went in the water. I dropped a ball and then hit a beautiful shot but the wind died down and it went over the green and into a bunker. I lost two strokes there but I came right back with a birdie on 16 and then the birdie on 18.”
Todd Roberts, 20
John Turk, 17
Richard Dominguez, 9
Jim O’Hare has finally found his way into the SNGA winner’s circle. O’Hare had a previous best of second (three times) but now has a title to his name.
“It’s really good to get that first win,” he said. “I finished with the same ball I started with and that’s always good for me.”
O’Hare said consistency was the key. “I had 10 pars and only one bogey,” he said. “Two-putts were good for me. That’s pretty much my game so this format is really good for me.”
He only missed one fairway on the day and that was at the first. “I pretty much had to just chip out backwards and then I hit a 9-iron to about 15 feet and made the par,” he said. “It definitely put me in a good frame of mind.”
Jim O’Hare, 18
David Golder, 15
John Bobroski, 12
Kevin Parrish has won an SNGA title for the third time in 2019, matching his number of victories in 2018.
Parrish birdied four of his first five holes on the back nine, including three in a row, as he breezed to a six-stroke victory with +26 points. He bogeyed the first hole but bounced right back with an eagle on No. 2 to put five points on the board and he was off and running.
Kevin Parrish, 26
Frank Abbott, 20
Mark Dopheide, 19
Stephen Sitar made it three SNGA victories in 2019, posting a two-stroke victory in the Silver Net division.
Sitar is spacing his victories out as he won in February, in June and now in September.
Sitar bogeyed the opening hole but bounced back with a net eagle on the second hole for five points. He added three net birdies on the front nine for a total of +18 points on that nine.
“I retired in December (as a systems engineer) and that’s given me much more time to practice,” Sitar said. “I took a couple of lessons from Tony Lawson at WildHorse. He really knows how to make older guys play a little better.”
And that practice has paid off.
“I’ve just gotten more consistent,” he said. “Especially with my approach shots. Now I’m getting on the greens in regulation or at least getting closer and that’s made all the difference.”
Stephen Sitar, 29
Darwin Rogers, 27
Al Kueker, 23