Kamden Ganir (Championship), Chris Whatley (Senior) and Patrick Woerner (Silver) won gross division titles at the SNGA Tour Stableford event held Sept. 18, 2020, at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Coyote Springs. Mike Calczynski (Net), Brian Freymueller (Senior) and Rod Stanger (Silver) posted net division victories. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
The event used a modified Stableford scoring format and players earned points for double eagles (8 points), eagles (5 points), birdies (3 points) and pars (1 point). Players received zero points for a bogey while double bogeys or worse cost players two points.
Kamden Ganir holed out for an eagle on his first hole good for five points as he posted his first SNGA Tour victory.
“I was just trying to make birdies,” he said. “It was pretty tough out there. I just tried to play solid and finish strong.”
He added his hole-out with a wedge for an eagle on the first hole set the tone.
“I hit a 58-degree wedge from 68 yards,” he said. “I was shocked to see it go in. It was kind of a lucky shot.”
That gave him a quick five points and he made it hold up.
“I still wanted to be aggressive,” he said. “I didn’t want to try and protect a score or try not to make double bogeys because that can get you in trouble.”
He said the weather was also on his side.
“At the end it got a little windy and that made it tougher,” he said. “But getting off to such a good start really helped me out.”
Among Ganir’s golf accomplishments are that he qualified for the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Kamden Ganir, 15 points
Chad Cody, 10
Marcus Mullins, 8
Mike Calczynski got off to a red-hot start with 17 points in his first nine holes (including a net eagle worth five points) and held on for a one-point victory. It was Calczynski’s first SNGA Tour win.
“It was my first event and my first win,” he said. “It was great.”
He said his front nine definitely paved the way for the victory.
“The front nine my ball-striking was really good,” he said. “The back nine was a little rough. But I had a great time.”
He said he didn’t know where he stood as far as scoring went.
“I knew I had a decent front nine,” he said. “The guys I play with tell me to take it one shot at a time. Don’t add it up, just go out and play and then figure it out at the end.”
He said he was impressed with the SNGA’s effort.
“It was a great event with great people,” he said. “I can’t wait for the next one.”
Mike Calczynski, 19 points
Michael Haas, 18
Jay Ship, 18
Chris Whatley opened the back nine with back-to-back three-point birdies en route to a four-point victory. It was Whatley’s second SNGA victory as he won a senior net title in 2017.
“I’ve been playing well the last couple of months and it all came together today,” he said. “I made a couple of birdies and didn’t get in any trouble and that helped.”
The two straight birdies to open the back nine were confidence builders.
“One of them was on a par-5 that I got on the green in two,” he said. “I just missed the eagle putt and had a tap-in for birdie. Those are always good.”
He said his recent retirement added to his success.
“I’ve got a little more time on my hands,” he said with a laugh.
He added the competition makes a victory that much sweeter.
“I have a lot of seconds and thirds,” he said. “It just seems that if I play well one of the other guys has a better day. It’s hard to get by all of them so when you finally do, you’re happy about it.”
Chris Whatley, 18 points
Todd Roberts, 14
David Koch, 12
Brian Freymueller picked up six three-point birdies (four net and two natural) and raced to a five-point victory. It was Freymueller’s second senior net victory in 2020 and third win overall.
Brian Freymueller, 22 points
David Golder, 17
Colin McTernan, 13
Patrick Woerner put up three birdies on his front nine and made it hold up for a victory in the Silver Division. It was Woerner’s first victory in 2020 after three victories in 2019.
“I had gone up to Bend, Ore., and played with friends,” he said. “We played 12 or 13 rounds in 11 days so I got a lot of practice in.”
He brought that same game back to Las Vegas and it held up.
“It’s fun to hit the ball really solid,” he said. “The flags were in some tough positions but I hit the driver well and my putter was also working. It’s just great when you have all parts of your game working well on the same day.”
He also added he did have a little luck in winning.
“John Turk was in front of me and took a double bogey on the last hole,” he said. “That wound up being the difference.”
But he did add his score could have been better as well.
“I missed a birdie putt on 17 and lipped out a birdie putt on 18 so I certainly had chances to put more points up.”
Patrick Woerner, 19 points
John Turk, 17
Kevin Parrish, 12
Rod Stanger, who lives in Beaver Dam and plays in the Mesquite Men’s Golf Association, won the Silver Net title for his first SNGA victory.
To say he was shocked would be an understatement.
“I really didn’t expect to win,” he said as he left the event before the results were finalized. “I did play pretty solid except for the easier holes. I mis-clubbed a couple of times and that cost me a couple of double bogeys. I also had a couple of three putts but I did strike the driver well all day.”
He said his attitude on the golf course has changed through the years and he shrugs off the bad holes a lot easier than in his younger days.
“I usually play pretty loose now,” he said. “I don’t get too serious. At 65 years old, I’ve learned I’m going to hit good shots and I’m going to hit bad shots. They all seem to even out in the end.”
Rod Stanger, 12 points
Bruce Chamberlain, 10
Bruce Swanson, 8