Skyler Ngo (Championship) and Teklit Gebrai (Net) posted impressive victories in the 2019 Las Vegas City Amateur played Oct. 26-27, 2019, at Las Vegas Golf Club. It was the first SNGA win for both golfers. And another golfer–Steven Fink–was inspired by longtime SNGA member Robert Orgill, who recently passed away. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider Staff.
Skyler Ngo recorded an eagle and four birdies over the final six holes of his first round to finish off a 9-under-par 63. He then held on Sunday and wound up with a two-stroke victory over late-charging Steven Fink.
Ngo said he played two extremely solid rounds of golf starting with that six-hole stretch.
“I stuck it to about five-feet from behind a tree on a par-5 (the 13th) and made the eagle,” said Ngo, a senior at Bishop Gorman High School who is committed to San Diego State. “That set off a couple of birdies and really got me going. It was a nice little stretch of holes.”
But, despite his solid play, Ngo’s win wasn’t a cakewalk as Fink birdied four of his final eight holes to keep up the pressure. And Ngo admitted he knew Fink was lurking.
“I knew where he was on the back nine and started keeping track a little,” said Ngo. “But I couldn’t control what he did…I can just do what I do and hope for the best.”
He said his main plan of attack worked with the two eagles the first day.
“I always try to attack the par 5s,” he said. “If you can steal two strokes instead of one, it gives you a lot of confidence over the rest of the holes.”
Now he’s setting his sights higher.
“My game is coming along,” he said. “I’m putting in the time and grinding away. This weekend everything just fell into place and I showed what I can actually do.”
Skyler Ngo, 63-69—132
Steven Fink, 66-68—134
Alex Jordan, 66-69—135
Teklit Gebrai posted three net eagles during the tournament’s opening round and cruised to a four-shot victory in the Net Division.
It didn’t start out on a positive note for Gebrai. He was four over after the first three holes.
But then, it all turned around. Over the remaining 15 holes, he put four net eagles and five net birdies on the scorecard to finish the day with a four-shot lead.
“I was frustrated with my start and the way I was playing, that’s for sure,” said Gebrai who has been a bellman at Aria since it opened. “But then something clicked. I’d hit one good shot and then another and all of a sudden everything was working.”
This was just his third SNGA event he’s played. But one advantage he had is Las Vegas Golf Club is his home track.
“I play there just about every weekend,” he said. “I definitely know the course well.”
Now, he’s hoping it’s on to gross events.
“This does a lot for my confidence,” he said. “I’ll work on my game even harder and try to get to the point of where I can win on the gross level. This win gives me hope.”
He knows where he needs to work. “I still need to improve my irons and my putting,” he said. “I was putting pretty good, but it’s not always that way. And for me, when my putting goes away, it seems like everything else goes away as well.”
Teklit Gebrai, 64-73—137
Talyr Woodin, 73-68—141
Brian Marks, 68-73—141
It wound up being quite a four-day run for Fink.
He not only wound up second in the Championship portion of the Las Vegas City Amateur, he was also second in the Silver Division of the 2019 Las Vegas Senior City Amateur earlier in the week.
“Being honest, I was disappointed I shot 73-72 (Thursday and Friday),” he said. “I didn’t play as well as I could have. I felt like I left a ton of shots out there.”
He also had a put-life-in-perspective moment. Robert Orgill, a longtime SNGA volunteer, passed away last week. Fink, along with many other SNGA members and family members, attended the service on Saturday after the tournament’s first round.
“I didn’t plan on going because it was right after the round,” Fink said. “I saw Ann (Sunstrum, SNGA executive director) and Sue May (tournament rules official) and they said they were going. I said I’d like to go, but I’d need to go home, shower and change. But they said Bob would love to have me come to the service dressed just the way I was.”
He grabbed one of the memorial service cards with Bob’s picture on it and put it in his pocket.
“I had his picture on my cart Sunday,” he said. “I talked to him. I had a much different attitude than normal. I really feel like I won. I know that sounds strange, but that’s the way I feel.”