With each December comes not only the winter weather, frost delays, and shorter days, but a chance to reflect on the past year and recognize the accomplishments of many of the leaders in our industry. The SCPGA’s President’s Dinner and Annual Meeting gives us that opportunity. This year, in an effort to encourage apprentice participation at the Annual Meeting, the AAA division ran its inaugural Annual Meeting/AAA Kickoff event.
With 2017 POY points up for grabs, the inaugural event was a roaring success! A total 35 apprentices attended that meeting, the largest attendance to date by far, and 26 of them participated in the kickoff tournament at The Country Club of Rancho Bernardo. In total, 31 assistants and apprentices teed it up looking to jump start their year in hopes of making the AAA North/South Cup team.
The course was in terrific condition, playing a modest 6,391 yards on the scorecard, but the small and fast greens would be sure to demand precise iron play! A third of the field shot even par or better with some familiar faces in red figures including 2016 North/South Cup participants Chris Lungo (-1), Michael Mendoza (-1), Tyler Pritkin (-2), Bobby Nickell (-3), and Lyon Lazare (-4).
Lyon’s four-under par 67 got him into a playoff with Mike Fergin, PGA, and it was a thrilling one! Both players birdied the first playoff hole, the par 5 18th, as Fergin with his back against the wall rolled in a 15 footer to keep his hopes alive. They each parred the next two holes, and again Lyon put the pressure back on Fergin by nearly holing his greenside bunker shot for eagle on the short par 4 11th (4th playoff hole). But again Fergin seemed to thrive on the pressure and rolled an 18 foot birdie putt into the hole to extend the playoff. With darkness looming, there would be time for only one more hole. After Mike narrowly missed a 40 footer up the hill, the stage was set for Lyon to slam the door shut. He lined up a 15 foot birdie putt, gave it a confident stroke, and with about 3 ½ feet to go, Lyon walked it right into the hole! Congratulations to Lyon and Mike on a great round of golf and thrilling playoff!
Thank you to Jim Nicolaisen, PGA Head Golf Professional, and his staff at The Country Club of Rancho Bernardo for hosting our AAA members. Thank you to Maui Jim for their continued support as the Presenting Partner of the SCPGA’s AAA division. Lastly, thank you to all the AAA participants for participating in this year’s Annual Meeting/AAA Kickoff! We look forward to seeing you in 2017!