LAS VEGAS, NV (May 9, 2021)—Jackson Parrish (Championship), Rick Sepp (Senior) and Frank Ellenburg (Silver) won gross division titles at the 2021 Boulder City Amateur Championship played May 8-9, 2021, at Boulder Creek Golf Club and Boulder City Golf Course. Jesus Medina (Net), Jim LiCausi (Senior) and Jack Schwartz (Silver) were net champions.–by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Jackson Parrish has stepped up in class in the recent months, going from an SNJGA champion to an SNGA champion.
Parrish, a senior at Coral Academy of Science, will be heading to play college golf at the Colorado School of Mines this fall. But first, he claimed his first SNGA title. This comes on the heels of winning last fall’s SNJGA’s Las Vegas City Junior Amateur in the boys’ 15-18 division.
Parrish birdied two of his first four holes on Sunday as he posted a two-stroke victory.
“This is the first amateur event I’ve played since last fall so it was nice to go up and get it done,” he said.
He said the first day set the pace.
“Day 1 I had a lot of putts and Day 2, once I got the lead, I sort of hit just enough good shots to hold on and get to the last hole with a two-shot lead.”
He added the victory has helped his confidence.
“It’s a huge confidence boost,” he said. “I’ve made a couple of swing changes and my misses are still in play. It’s helped me get my game to the point of where I don’t have to make every 30-footer for birdie to break par.”
He said taking his game up a level in competition also helps.
“I’ve got a U.S. Open qualifier in about a week so to come out and play this well against all these great players is a big boost,” he said. “It was good to test the waters against the UNLV guys and gives me a little perspective about how it will be in college.”
Jackson Parrish, 66-70—136
Tanner Johnson, 66-72—138
Jody Paulsen, 67-73—140
Jesus Medina picked up his first SNGA victory, birdieing three of his final four holes en route to a five-stroke victory.
Medina’s previous best finish was a second at the 2020 Las Vegas City Amateur where he lost the net title in a playoff.
For the final round, Medina had six net birdies and a net eagle.
“I really kept my focus on the back nine,” Medina said. “My goal was to make everything par or better coming in and I felt that would help me win.”
It worked to perfection.
“I told myself to just take it one shot at a time,” he said. “If I hit a bad shot, I just had to work to get it up and down.”
Now with his first win, he’s looking for more.
“I’ve always wanted to win an SNGA event,” he said. “And I finally got over the hump. I finally pulled it off.”
Jesus Medina, 72-68—140
John Diclaro, 73-72—145
Donald Blanton, 79-67—146
Rick Sepp beat Todd Roberts on the second playoff hole to win the Senior Division title, his first SNGA crown. It was also the first SNGA event for the newly-retired Sepp who moved to Boulder City from the Bay area.
“I just tried to stay positive all day,” he said. “The bogey to start off with (in the final round) was a little frustrating but I came back with a quick birdie so that helped.”
He added it wasn’t all fun and games.
“I did have a couple of shaky holes,” he said. “But I was able to save par on a couple of them. I made a couple of long putts I didn’t plan on making but there were also a couple of short putts I was expecting to make that I didn’t.”
He said now’s the time he’s going to work on his game.
“With Covid we were able to work from home,” he said. “Then I retired to start enjoying life and giving myself more time to work on my golf game.”
Rick Sepp, 76-69—145
Todd Roberts, 74-71—145
Glenn Hogle, 76-70—146
Jim LiCausi, the 2019 SNGA Senior Net Player of the Year, got back in the winner’s circle with a second-round surge.
LiCausi, who won the 2019 Nevada State Senior Net title, had a net eagle and five net birdies in rallying for the victory.
“I’ve been working on the game and fine-tuning it,” he said. “It’s pretty exhausting. There are a lot of ups and downs.”
He credited one of his playing partners with his final round success.
“I played with Frank Acker (Saturday),” he said. “It’s amazing what he can do with the golf ball. Just watching him and learning I picked up some tips and tried them out and they worked.”
Overall, he said it’s nice to win again. But, he’s also put everything into perspective.
“It’s golf,” he said. “We don’t do it for a living so we’ve got to go out and enjoy it. The guys I played with the last two days were all business but they still enjoyed themselves. It was nice to see.”
Jim LiCausi, 72-67—139
Brian Freymueller, 74-69—143
Frank Acker, 76-70—146
Frank Ellenburg is now the answer to a trivia question: Who stopped Steven Fink’s run of six straight SNGA titles (one Senior and five Silver) in 2021?
Ellenburg beat Fink on the third playoff hole to win the Silver crown, snapping Fink’s 2021 victory string. It was Ellenburg’s second SNGA win as he was the champ of the 2019 Las Vegas Senior City Amateur.
Ellenburg admitted it wasn’t easy. Especially after he bogeyed the final hole on Sunday that left him tied and heading for the playoff.
“My drive was a little right but it was in the fairway and I only had 110 yards in,” he said. “But I hit a bad wedge. If I was thinking more clearly I certainly would have hit a better shot. I missed the green left. I had a one-shot lead and should have played a smarter shot.”
But in the end, he came away with the second SNGA win of his career.
“I’ve only played in about six or seven events but they are always great events,” the Arizona resident said. “In Arizona, for us guys 65 and over, there are about four events a year so there’s not much for us to play in.”
Hence the trips to Vegas for a few SNGA events.
“I love coming here,” he said. “Ann, Tim, Grant and Renee are all wonderful people and put on great events. It’s just a pleasure to play in them.”
And then there’s the Fink streak that he ended.
“It’s nice to say I beat him,” Ellenburg said. “As well as he plays he’s going to win many, many more tournaments.”
Frank Ellenburg, 74-72—146
Steven Fink, 76-70—146
Bruce Chamberlain, 75-76—151
Jack Schwartz put seven net birdies on the card on Sunday and came from five strokes off the lead to win the Silver Net title by one stroke.
It was the third SNGA title for Schwartz.
“This was a good one,” he said. “I struggled yesterday with the wind and shot 90. It was certainly nothing spectacular.”
But, he battled back.
“Today I kept it in the fairway and only had one three-putt,” he said. “I set myself a goal of shooting 85 and I shot 84 so I hit my goal.”
And that included an impressive final hole.
“The 18th on the course we played today (at Boulder Creek) is the toughest hole out there,” he said. “I hit my drive into the sand and had to lay up short of the ditch. But then I hit a miracle shot to eight inches and made a par. That hole is usually a guaranteed bogey or double bogey for me.”
Jack Schwartz, 75-66—141
Tommy Pavlo, 70-72—142
Walter Sabati, 80-63—143