Golf Course Management

APR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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64 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 During the final round, the conditions turned especially mean, with winds gusting to 25 mph. ose winds helped competitors on some holes and hindered them on others, but Gilley felt they gave him an advantage as the tournament entered the final nine holes. "Looking back, I'm almost glad the con - ditions were tough, because I've dealt with a lot of that from my playing days," Gilley says. "It almost made me feel more comfortable out there. Granted, it was plenty tough, but from my point of view, I wanted it to be as difficult as it could be. I was ready for it." at was clear on what would be the most pivotal stretch of holes of the tournament — the 13th, 14th and 15th, all par 4s. Stieler had just birdied the 13th hole to draw even with Gilley when he proceeded to blow his drive left and into a fairway bunker. He ultimately bogeyed the hole. Meanwhile, Gilley hit "the two best shots I hit all week," a center-cut drive and a 3-wood to the center of the green, that earned him a par and put him back on top by a shot. Stieler's struggles continued on 15 as he hit his drive way right, sent his approach over the green and then three-putted for a dou - ble-bogey 6. Another par from Gilley quickly increased his lead to three shots and all but sealed his first tournament triumph. He ley's victory in the National Championship spurred the Lone Star GCSA No. 1 team to a win in the gross division. Joining him on the team were Westacott; Kyle Embry from Gen - tle Creek Country Club in Prosper, Texas; and Tanner Chrastecky from the Campus Course at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. e Chapter Team Net crown went to the Rocky Mountain GCSA foursome of Dennis Vogt from Glenmoor Country Club in Engle - wood, Colo.; David Brown from Lafayette, Colo.; Jason Aerni from Simplot Partners in Greeley, Colo.; and Neil Tretter from the Son - nenalp Club in Edwards, Colo. Gilley's win wasn't the only cause for celebration in San Diego. e Toro Co.'s long-standing role as the presenting part - ner for the GCSAA Golf Championships — which reached the quarter-century mark in 2019 — was among a host of noteworthy achievements from the three days of activi - ties, achievements that included not one, but two holes-in-one (see "Aces were wild in San Diego," Page 60). is year's event attracted 465 participants who played in at least some part of the event. e National Championship field featured 72 players, while the flighted play in the Golf Classic drew 214 competitors. e popular Four-Ball Competition that started tourna - ment play had 336 players, while the Scramble tournament attracted a full field once again with 144 players. Four of San Diego's most-respected golf facilities served as host to the GCSAA Golf Championships, including both the Cham - pions and Legends courses at La Costa. e North Course at Torrey Pines, Aviara Golf Club and Encinitas Ranch Golf Course were also on the event's rotation. In addition to Toro's investment in the event, a host of other industry partners stepped up as hole sponsors — AgStone, IVI-Golf, Nufarm, PBI-Gordon, TCF Equip- ment Financing, the Environmental Institute for Golf, GCSAA TV and GCM. e tourna - ment's scoring software was provided by Golf Genius. e 2020 GCSAA Golf Championships will be contested Jan. 25-27 in Orlando. Scott Hollister (shollister@gcsaa.org) is GCM 's editor- in-chief. Steve Gilley shows off the hardware that will bear his name after he won the 2019 GCSAA National Championship with rounds of 71-75—146. Michael Stieler, CGCS, (top right) from Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, Calif., and Seth Strickland, (bottom right) from Miami Shores Country Club in Miami, combined to win five previous GCSAA Na - tional Championships, but settled for a tie as runners-up in 2019. Stieler won in 2012 and 2017, while Strickland hoisted the cup in 2005, 2008 and 2009. would par out over the last three holes for a final-round 75. "I hadn't been in the thick of it for a long time. It brought out a fire that I hadn't expe - rienced in a while," Gilley says. "at's what you play for. It just made me reminisce about all the times I really grinded it out in tour - naments, trying to make a check. It was defi- nitely very positive from that aspect of it." Stieler finished the tournament at 6-over- par 150, which left him tied for second with another multiple past champion, Seth Strick - land from Miami Shores Country Club in Miami, who won the event in 2005, 2008 and 2009. Triumph for Texas In the Chapter Team Competition, Gil-

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