Alex Jordan (Championship), John Turk (Senior) and Steven Fink (Silver) won gross division titles at the 2019 SNGA Tour stop at Las Vegas Golf Club. Michael Godfrey (Net), Scott Gardner (Senior) and Mark Williams (Silver) won net division championships. The event was held at the historic Las Vegas Golf Club on Oct. 18, 2019. — by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider
For Alex Jordan, it’s nice to be back in the winner’s circle…and back on the golf course.
Jordan carded a 3-under-par 69 to win his fourth SNGA title by two strokes. It was his first SNGA win since July of 2018.
Jordan works at Siena and TPC Summerlin while honing his golf skills. His plans include the ultimate shot: Trying to make it as a professional golfer. He plans to turn pro in 2020 and take on Q-School.
“My last SNGA event was the state match play (at the end of August),” he said remembering a 3-and-2 loss to Craig Erickson in the finale. “It was good to get back into it today and play well.”
He said this round was a welcome return to golf after some time off.
“I actually just came off a three-week break,” he said. “I shot 70 in the Shriners qualifier and missed (qualifying for the tournament) by one shot and decided to take a little time off. But I came back today refreshed and posted a good score. I made a lot of 5-and-6 footers for birdie and par so that was a good feeling.”
But it wasn’t all rosy.
“I did miss a two-footer for par on 18 and that’s all I’m thinking about right now,” he said.
Now it’s back to the work at hand of preparing for Q-School and what his main goal will be.
“It’s my iron play,” he said. “My proximity to the hole has to be better to give me more legitimate birdie chances.”
Alex Jordan, 69
Daren Johnson, 71
Kenny Ebalo, 72
Michael Godfrey won an SNGA title for the third time, but the first in 2019.
He said the key was simple: “I stayed in the fairway with my drives and that was different,” he said with a laugh. “I tend to slice but today I hit it well.”
He added a few other parts of the game also showed signs of improvement.
“My short game and putting were also good,” he said. “My short game isn’t what it used to be but it’s been improving. Hopefully this will let me go on and be more competitive.”
And one final bright spot. “The sand is usually the worst part of my game,” he said. “But I was only in the bunkers twice and got out both times. Once that happened, I knew I had a chance.”
Michael Godfrey, 70
John Diclaro, 72
Jerry Algeo, 73
A run of three straight birdies on his final three holes helped John Turk win the Senior gross title. It was Turk’s fourth win of 2019 but first since May. He’s had four podium finishes in between victories.
“Those last three birdies really did help,” he said. “I just saw the lines and finally made some putts.”
Turk said his putting, when it’s good, is the result of advice from buddy Gary Carpendale.
“I’ve played a lot with Gary and he makes everything he looks at,” Turk said. “One day I asked him about it and he said ‘try this’. I did and it works. Of course I’m not going to tell anyone else what he said.”
John Turk, 70
David Koch, 72
Todd Roberts, 74
Scott Gardner knew it was coming down to the wire in the Senior Net.
“I just love the live scoring,” he said. “You can see where you’re at and see what you’ve got to do.”
What he did was win for the second time in SNGA play. He’s missed quite a few recent events as he’s been battling back issues but a recent procedure has him back on the course.
“It’s just fun to get back out here and play,” he said. “The back’s getting better but everybody out here is dealing with stuff. Whether it’s a back, neck, knees, shoulders, ankles or whatever, we all have our problems.”
But his win certainly eased the pain.
“I just killed the driver today,” he said. “And I made a few birdies early and hung on.”
Scott Gardner, 70
David Golder, 72
Frank Acker, 74
Steven Fink made it three SNGA victories in 2019, winning by a stroke in the Silver Division.
He had a four-birdie, three-bogey round.
“Today was challenging,” Fink said. “I grinded it out very nicely. I didn’t hit it that well but I kept my head in there except for one hole.”
That hole, the par-5 9th, saw him hit a bad drive way right and a bad second shot over the green. He didn’t get up and down for birdie but did escape with a par. “I didn’t hit the shots I wanted on those two shots and I kind of swore at myself a little after the tee shot,” he said with a laugh. “But I just told myself to let it go and I moved on nicely.”
He added it all came down to the final putt of the round. “John (Garrett) had about a 10-footer to tie me but he just missed it to the right,” Fink said.
Steven Fink, 71
John Garrett, 72
Phil Huseby, 75
Mark Williams admits there’s a first time for everything…even him winning an SNGA event.
“When I was younger…many, many moons ago…I used to play in the city amateurs,” he said. “But I haven’t played in them for many years. But I thought, what the heck, let’s give it a try.”
Williams is a retired casino dealer and is now finding more time for his golf.
“I retired four years ago,” he said. “When I was working I got to play about once a week. Now I’m playing a couple of days a week.”
And he’s playing well…at times. “I had five birdies and an eagle and shot even par,” he said. “I could have gone pretty low. But I had a double bogey and four bogeys to offset those good holes.”
It was his start that proved troublesome. “Maybe it was tournament jitters,” he said. “But I started off with a double bogey and a bogey. Then I had a par on 17 (his group started the shotgun event on No. 15) and then had four birdies in a row. I wound up shooting 33 on the front and 39 on the back.”
Mark Williams, 68
Al Kueker, 69
Terry Hamilton, 69