The CGA Senior Stroke Play Championship, which seldom features a tight finish, got one and then some on Friday.
The event not only produced its first sudden-death playoff in the new millennium, but it was of the three-man variety. David Delich of the Broadmoor Golf Club made a 4-foot birdie on the third extra hole at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs to overcome Tom Musselman of Cornerstone Club for the title.
Harry Johnson of Eagle Ranch Golf Course was also in the playoff, but dropped out with a bogey on the first extra hole. Johnson likewise placed second in last year’s CGA Mid-Amateur Championship.
Since 2000, only three previous Senior Stroke Plays have been decided by fewer than three strokes — and only one by a single shot. The average margin of victory in the event from 2000 to 2011 was 4.5 strokes.
But Friday was anything but a runaway, with the top three players finishing at 2-over-par 218.
Both Delich and Musselman parred each of the first two playoff holes before Delich nestled a wedge shot from 125 yards close to the pin on No. 3. After Musselman missed a 30-foot birdie attempt, Delich drained his short birdie putt for the victory.
For Delich, it was his second straight week in contention at a major Colorado senior tournament. Last Friday, the 55-year-old finished second in the HealthOne Colorado Senior Open, the highest showing by an amateur in that event since 1999.
Friday’s victory marked the fourth CGA championship for Delich, who’s also captured two CGA Senior Match Play titles and the 1997 CGA Mid-Amateur, in addition to the 2012 Southern California Senior Amateur.
“This feels pretty good,” Delich said while driving home Friday. “It’s been a long time since I won a stroke-play event in Colorado — since the (1997) Mid-Am. It’s a different style of golf. That felt really good. The Southern Cal (win) was also stroke play, though, so I knew I had it in me.”
Delich (pictured at left) missed an 8-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole that could have won it in regulation, but both he and Musselman birdied the par-5 to earn a spot in the playoff. In fact, after making a double bogey on No. 12, Delich played his final six holes in 3 under par to post a 71. For Musselman, it was his third consecutive day of carding a birdie on No. 18, this time leaving him with a 73. Johnson shot the same score after playing his final 12 holes of regulation in 2 under par.
Delich, a former Colorado College hockey standout, made five birdies in his final 10 holes of regulation, then the tournament winner in the playoff. That gives him state senior titles in both California and Colorado in the last two-plus months, in addition to low-amateur honors in last week’s Colorado Senior Open.
“This was a long, hard-fought week, especially on heels on last week.” said Delich, who works in commercial real estate. “But I can’t complain about the summer I’ve had.”
Robin Bradbury of the Heritage at Westmoor almost made it into the playoff at Haymaker as he tied the low round of the tournament with a bogey-free 4-under-par 68. That left him at 219, one shot behind Delich, Johnson and Musselman.
The next-best finisher was Kelly Crone of Highlands Ranch Golf Club, who posted a 223 total after a final-round 77.
Second-round leader Guy Mertz of The Fox Hill Club, who went bogey-free on Thursday, struggled on Friday, shooting an 81 and dropping back to share sixth place at 224.
CGA Senior Stroke Play Championship
At Par-72 Haymaker GC in Steamboat Springs
x-indicates won playoff on third hole
x-David Delich, Broadmoor GC, 75-72-71–218
Tom Musselman, Cornerstone Club, 74-71-73–218
Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC, 72-73-73–218
Robin Bradbury, Heritage at Westmoor, 77-74-68–219
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC, 74-72-77–223
Guy Mertz, The Fox Hill Club, 72-71-81–224
Pat Bucci, West Woods GC, 77-68-79–224
Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC, 78-70-76–224
Thomas Roos, Spring Valley GC, 73-75-77–225
Scott Sullivan, Bookcliff CC, 78-77-70–225
Mike Larson, Boulder CC, 72-74-79–225
John Vanderbloemen, Haymaker GC, 77-77-72–226
Tony Goodman, Silver Spruce GC, 78-72-76–226
Grant Porter, CommonGround GC, 73-78-76–227
Todd Novak, Vail GC, 77-78-72–227
Pat Bowe, CommonGround GC, 78-72-78–228
Dave Comeau, Kennedy GC, 78-72-78–228
Mick Maillot, The Club at Rolling Hills, 78-72-78–228
Bill Bolgar, Ridge at Castle Pines North, 75-74-79–228
Rick George, Castle Pines GC, 76-77-76–229
Bruce Hogg, Patty Jewett GC, 76-75-78–229
Tad Willenbrock, Glenmoor CC, 76-74-79–229
Joe Distefano, Telluride GC, 76-77-76–229
Art Cudworth, Raccoon Creek GC, 80-76-74–230
Lonnie Miller, Lincoln Park GC, 79-73-78–230
Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC, 76-76-78–230
Butch Boucher, Haymaker GC, 74-77-80–231
Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC, 73-79-79–231
Robert Burke, Twin Peaks GC, 77-77-78–232
Robert Polk, Colorado GC, 77-76-79–232
Ted Warner, Greeley CC, 76-76-80–232
Patrick Horvath, Murphy Creek GC, 79-77-77–233
Jim LeMar, Meadows GC, 78-78-77–233
Mike Lohse, West Woods GC, 79-77-77–233
John Sostmann, Columbine CC, 76-78-79–233
Frank Wilkinson, Lincoln Park GC, 78-73-83–234
Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC, 75-80-81–236
Jeff Sweet, Saddle Rock GC, 78-76-82–236
Steve Kass, CommonGround GC, 80-76-80–236
Thomas McGeary, Highlands Ranch GC, 71-80-85–236
David Merritt, Meridian GC, 79-73-85–237
Pete Perry, South Suburban GC, 76-80-82–238
Rod Walters, Indian Tree GC, 79-77-83–239
Charlie Ogren, Collindale GC, 80-75-85–240
Art Pitman, Denver Amateur Golf Tour, 74-81-88–243
Gary Fox, The CC at Castle Pines, 75-81-WD
FAILED TO QUALIFY
Jerry Kidney, Overland Park GC, 81-76–157
John Perry, Highland Meadows GC, 76-81–157
Robert Bulthaup, Valley CC, 79-79–158
Doug Jones, Tiara Rado GC, 85-73–158
Rick Tarasiewicz, Eisenhower GC, 80-78–158
Sean Forey, Rolling Hills CC, 78-82–160
Steve Dodson, Haymaker GC, 81-79–160
Mark Barkley, Canongate at Blackstone, 79-81–160
John Ingram, Hiwan GC, 80-80–160
Mark Runyan, Blackstone CC, 76-84–160
Bo Powell, West Woods GC, 83-78–161
Jeff Wyatt, Meadow Hills GC, 81-80–161
Chuck Delich, Eisenhower GC, 85-77–162
Jerry Kaylor, Broadlands GC, 84-78–162
James Pullin, The Olde Course at Loveland, 80-82–162
Dennis Fields, Commonground Golf Course, 82-80–162
Scott Crone, Pinehurst CC, 84-79–163
Jeffrey English, AvidGolfer Passport Club, 82-82–164
Steven Coyer, Eagle Springs GC, 84-80–164
Greg Symons, Valley CC, 80-84–164
Joe Morrill, Eagle Ranch GC, 81-84–165
Jeff Salter, Ranch CC, 85-81–166
Richard Griggs, Desert Hawk GC, 85-82–167
Danny Wyrick, AvidGolfer Passport Club, 84-83–167
Steve Summers, Broadmoor GC, 81-86–167
Todd Binns, Commonground Golf Course, 82-85–167
Scott Schoelzel, Cherry Hills CC, 82-86–168
Marc Sims, Eisenhower GC, 83-85–168
Vince Laurita, Legacy Ridge GC, 85-84–169
John Leamon, Littleton Golf and Tennis Club, 88-82–170
Gary Custer, Patty Jewett GC, 81-91–172
Ken Bailey, Telluride GC, 89-89–178
Gregg Mueller, Adobe Creek National Golf Club, 96-82–178
Robert Laro, Tiara Rado GC, 102-88–190
Dave Bell, Hiwan GC, 83-WD
Bob Perry, Eisenhower GC, 81-NC