LAS VEGAS, NV (March 22, 2021)–Josh Goldstein (Championship), Mark Dudenake (Senior) and Mike Campbell (Silver) claimed gross crowns at the 2021 SNGA Tour stop at Painted Desert Golf Club on March 22, 2021. Jerry Algeo (Net), Jeff Coppens (Senior) and Jack Schwartz (Silver) won net titles. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Josh Goldstein put up a two-birdie, two-bogey round and posted a two-stroke victory in the Championship Division.
It was Goldstein’s first SNGA victory in almost three years, the last coming at the 2018 Southern Nevada Championship.
Goldstein said it was nice getting back in the winner’s circle.
“It’s certainly been a little while,” he said. “I tried a stint as a professional golfer for a year or so and then COVID happened and it got to be a little too expensive so I got my amateur status back and I’m starting to play again.”
He said his time trying to go pro opened his eyes….wide.
“I kind of threw the kitchen sink at it,” he said of his venture. “I tried Korn Ferry qualifying…I Monday qualified for a Mackenzie Tour event…anything that was local to California, Arizona and maybe Texas every once in awhile, I gave it a shot.”
He added the game was starting to click…until the shutdown.
“I felt like I was getting there but then COVID hit,” he said. “And unless you’re winning out there every week it’s tough to make a living out there. It’s expensive and there’s a lot of talent.”
Now he’s back home and the professional cellist couldn’t be happier.
“I’m trying to build a studio here and I’ve got a few students I’m teaching,” he said. “With most of the shows shut down it’s kind of tough but I can teach virtually so we’ll see how it all plays out.”
He said it was nice to get back into tournament action.
“I didn’t miss a drive all day and these fairways are kind of tight,” he said. “I didn’t hit anything close except a 90-yard wedge on No. 7 that I almost jarred. Everything else was 25-30 feet and two-putt pars. But, that’s what you want…consistency and making your life easy on the greens.”
Josh Goldstein, 72
Marcus Mullins, 74
Kamden Ganir, 75
Jerry Algeo is back in the winner’s circle after a two-year absence.
Algeo opened and closed his round with net birdies as he posted a one-over-par 73 and a one-stroke victory. His previous SNGA win came at the 2019 Primm Valley Amateur.
“I’ve been close but it sure feels good to finally win again,” he said. “It just seems that sometimes the wheels come off and I can’t get them back on.”
While he said he was happy with his round, it was the one that got away that gnawed at him.
“I thought I was going to birdie No. 17 (a par-5),” he said. “I was just off the edge in two but my chip was short and my birdie putt was short. I really wanted that one.”
Jerry Algeo, 73
Tyler Pawl, 74
David Haddock, 75
Mark Dudenake became a first-time winner in SNGA play, posting a one-stroke victory in the Senior Division.
“I retired last year so I figured now is a good time to get into competitive golf,” he said.
He said he was as surprised as anyone with the win.
“Unfortunately on the back nine I hit the wrong ball and it cost me a two-stroke penalty,” he said. “We were both hitting TaylorMade 5s and I didn’t check close enough. It almost cost me. I certainly won’t make that mistake again.”
After the miscue, he said he put thoughts of winning out of his mind.
“After the penalty I figured I was probably out of it with all of the really good players in the field,” he said. “I never really thought I was in contention. If any one of those guys had played an average round, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
He said the main highlight was his putting.
“It seems like it always comes down to putting and I didn’t have a three-putt so that’s always a good thing for me,” he said.
Overall, the first victory is one he will always remember…at least until tomorrow.
“It feels like all the hard work you put in on weekends finally pays off,” he said. “Well, at least for this one brief moment in time.”
Mark Dudenake, 75
Brian Freymueller, 76
Frank Acker, 76
Jeff Coppens made it two straight SNGA victories as he won the Senior Net Division by a stroke.
Coppens also won the recent 2021 SNGA Championship in the Senior Net Division.
Jeff Coppens, 74
David Golder, 75
Gordon Schiring, 76
Mike Campbell was six-under-par through his first six holes and breezed to a seven-shot victory in the Silver Division.
Campbell had an eagle, four birdies and a double-bogey in that stretch including birdies on the first three holes.
It was Campbell’s first SNGA victory.
“I chipped in for birdie on the first hole and that kind of jump-started everything,” Campbell said. “And then I made a 20-foot putt on No. 2 for birdie that I probably had no business making so it went pretty well right from the start.”
Campbell wasn’t sure what to expect from his round, especially after the first-hole chip-in.
“I told the guys in the group that that would probably be the only birdie I make all day,” he said with a laugh.
He added good breaks also helped.
“I hit a provisional off the tee on No. 6,” he said. “I thought the ball was lost. But we found it in the desert and I hit a 5-iron that I was just hoping to get somewhere near the green. I got it onto the green to about 20-feet. Then somehow the putt went in for an eagle. But, if it wouldn’t have hit the hole it might still be rolling.”
Mike Campbell, 68
Darwin Rogers, 75
Jim Cail, 77
Jack Schwartz had five net birdies in a six-hole stretch en route to winning the Silver Net title by a stroke.
Schwartz ended a two-year victory drought that saw him with four podium finishes during that time.
“I got into a groove and was putting the ball where I could make putts,” Schwartz said.
But, with the good, sometimes comes the bad.
“I did bogey the last three holes,” he said. “They aren’t easy holes, but I certainly could have putted better on those. The greens were pretty tough and the more people walked on them the tougher they got.”
Overall, his game plan was simple.
“I finally figured it out,” he said with laugh. “After 39 years of playing I’m hitting the ball straighter. I don’t hit it long, but I hit it straight.”
Jack Schwartz, 71
Dave Haddock, 72
William Day, 77