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Polk Claims Fourth CGA Title

Parker resident edges Mertz for Senior Match Play crown


by Gary Baines - 5/15/2009


Robert Polk earned the CGA Senior Player of the Year honor each of the last two years, and it appears he has designs on making it three in a row. 

The 53-year-old from Parker, who plays out of Colorado Golf Club, claimed his fourth CGA title on Friday, winning two of the last three holes to score a 1-up victory over Longmont’s Guy Mertz in the finals of the Senior Match Play Championship at The Ranch Country Club.

The title was Polk’s first in the CGA Senior Match Play, but he’s also won two Senior Stroke Plays (2005 and 2007) and a Mid-Amateur (2007). Polk becomes the ninth player in history to win both the Senior Match and Senior Stroke.

“You always want to do more,” he said. “I haven’t done anything compared to John Olive (a winner of four CGA Senior Match titles and five Senior Stroke championships). But hopefully I have a long way to go.”

Polk denied Mertz, a member at Fox Hill Country Club, his first major CGA title since he claimed the 1988 Public Links Championship. Mertz just turned 50 and was playing in his first major CGA senior event, though he did recently win senior titles at Fox Hill and Ute Creek. Mertz defeated multiple-time CGA senior champions Kelly Crone and Steve Murphy to reach the finals.

“I knew playing with Robert I was going to have to play my best,” said Mertz, a dentist. “We halved (11) holes. No one was giving an inch. But I’ll be back.“

Polk, who owns a corporate travel agency, rallied from being 1-down with four holes left, overtaking Mertz with four straight pars. Mertz’s downfall were bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18, where he got in trouble with tee shots sprayed to the right. On No. 16, Mertz missed a 12-foot par putt. On 18, Mertz’s tee shot improbably landed in the brake mechanism of a cart that was parked in the right rough. After a free drop, he played a punch shot under branches of a nearby tree and ended up just short of the green. But after a chip, he lipped out a 5-footer for par and the match was over.

Despite those bogeys, both players pointed to a par putt by Polk on No. 15 as the turning point of the match. Polk needed to make a 6-footer to avoid going 2-down with three to play, and he converted.

“That was the big key,” he said. “If I miss that, I’m dead. That was the best putt I hit the whole tournament.”

With windy conditions and fast, sloping greens at The Ranch, each player managed just one birdie during the final match. Polk was 2-up after his 12-foot birdie on No. 3, while Mertz took the lead in the match for the first time with a similar-length birdie putt on No. 14. Polk finished with a stroke-play total of 2-over 73. Mertz, who missed four putts of 10 feet or less, posted a 74.

Since Polk had never advanced past the quarterfinals in the Senior Match Play before this year, he was long pointing to this event to make up for his past shortcomings.

“Back in the dead of winter when I was hitting off mats at Colorado Golf Club, this is the tournament I was getting ready for,” he said. “I said, ‘this year was going to be different.’”

Meanwhile, in the super senior division, Roger Gunderson of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club was successful in his title defense, defeating The Ranch’s David Farabaugh 1 up in Friday’s final.

Round of 64
Lonnie Miller, Bookcliff CC (64) def. Ken Sady, Eagle Ranch GC (1), 1 up
Kenneth Tai, Perry Park CC (32) def. Steve Jantzer, Tiara Rado GC (33), 3 and 1
David Brown, Flatirons GC (49) def. Rob Clark, Lake Valley GC (16), 5 and 4
Laird Middleton, Coal Creek GC (48) def. Ted Warner, Greeley CC (17), 4 and 3
Terry Lorenz, Pinehurst CC (57) def. David Delich, Broadmoor GC (8), 1 up
Robert Mintz, Green Gables CC (40) def. Bill Boyd, Highland Hills GC (25), 3 and 2
Hal Marshall, Bear Creek GC (9) def. Rick Richardson, Black Bear GC (56), 5 and 3
Richard Gorbell, Springs Ranch GC (41) def. Gary Fox, Castle Pines CC (24), 6 and 4
Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (4) def. Doug Vincent, Sunset GC (61), 7 and 6
Rick George, Castle Pines GC (36) def. James Pullin, Loveland The Olde Course at (29), 2 up
Mike Portelance, Collindale GC (13) def. Steve Szekula, Red Rocks CC (52), 1 up
Bruce Hogg, Colorado Springs CC (20) def. Brady Hendren, Cherry Creek CC (45), 1 up
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Scott Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (60), 3 and 2
Bruce Hayes, Lake Valley GC (37) def. Gary Albrecht, CommonGround GC (28), 1 up
Ron Perry, Willis Case GC (53) def. Thomas Roos, Plum Creek CC (12), 19 holes
Robert Cloud, Bear Creek GC (44) def. Dennis Fields, West Woods GC (21), 21 holes
Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC (2) def. Charlie Post, Colorado GC (63), 4 and 3
Paul Steinway, Harmony Club (31) def. Jerry Kaylor, The Ranch CC (34), 20 holes
Sean Forey, Bear Creek GC (15) def. Patrick Wethington, Indian Tree GC (50), 6 and 4
Larry Netherton, Highlands Ranch GC (18) def. Kronin Kelley, The Heritage at Westmoor (47), 3 and 2
Robin Bradbury, Omni Interlocken Resort (7) def. John Balnis, Green Valley Ranch GC (58), 2 and 1
Jim Lemar, The Meadows G C (26) def. James Marsico, Cherry Creek CC (39), 3 and 2
Carl Juengst, Meridian GC (10) def. Danny Wyrick, Fox Hollow GC (55), 6 and 4
Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC (23) def. Pat Bowe, The Course at Hyland Hills (42), 3 and 2
Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (3) def. Scott Burroughs, Pinehurst CC (62), 7 and 6
Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC (35) def. Bill Bye, Saddle Rock GC (30), 2 and 1
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14) def. John Leamon, Littleton GC (51), 4 and 2
Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (19) def. Jim Bantley, Overland GC (46), 7 and 5
Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC (6) def. Robert Espinoza, Riverdale GC (59), 5 and 3
Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC (27) def. Doug Jones, Tiara Rado GC (38), 6 and 4
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (11) def. Tom Lawrence, Lakewood CC (54), 3 and 1
Rich Trout, Rolling Hills CC (43) def. Richard Barg, Aurora Hills GC (22), 2 up

Round of 32
Kenneth Tai, Perry Park CC (32) def. Lonnie Miller, Bookcliff CC (64), 2 and 1
David Brown, Flatirons GC (49) def. Laird Middleton, Coal Creek GC (48), 6 and 5
Robert Mintz, Green Gables CC (40) def. Terry Lorenz, Pinehurst CC (57), 2 and 1
Richard Gorbell, Springs Ranch GC (41) def. Hal Marshall, Bear Creek GC (9), 3 and 1
Rick George, Castle Pines GC (36) def. Mark Franz, Saddle Rock GC (4), 2 and 1
Bruce Hogg, Colorado Springs CC (20) def. Mike Portelance, Collindale GC (13), 2 and 1
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Bruce Hayes, Lake Valley GC (37), 19 holes
Ron Perry, Willis Case GC (53) def. Robert Cloud, Bear Creek GC (44), 1 up
Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC (2) def. Paul Steinway, Harmony Club (31), 19 holes
Larry Netherton, Highlands Ranch GC (18) def. Sean Forey, Bear Creek GC (15), 19 holes
Jim Lemar, The Meadows G C (26) def. Robin Bradbury, Omni Interlocken Resort and Golf Club (7), 4 and 3
Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC (23) def. Carl Juengst, Meridian GC (10), 3 and 1
Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC (35) def. Kary Kaltenbacher, Glenmoor CC (3), 19 holes
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14) def. Harry Johnson, Eagle Ranch GC (19), 4 and 3
Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC (6) def. Chuck Fisher, Riverdale GC (27), 1 up
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (11) def. Rich Trout, Rolling Hills CC (43), 21 holes


Super-Senior Match Play Championship
Round of 16

Kenneth Tai, Perry Park CC (32) def. David Brown, Flatirons GC (49), 19 holes
Richard Gorbell, Springs Ranch GC (41) def. Robert Mintz, Green Gables CC (40), 5 and 4
Rick George, Castle Pines GC (36) def. Bruce Hogg, Colorado Springs CC (20), 6 and 5
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Ron Perry, Willis Case GC (53), 5 and 3
Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC (2) def. Larry Netherton, Highlands Ranch GC (18), 19 holes
Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC (23) def. Jim Lemar, The Meadows G C (26), 1 up
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14) def. Bob Chandler, CommonGround GC (35), 1 up
Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (11) def. Kent Moore, Cherry Hills CC (6), 1 up

Quarterfinals
Richard Gorbell, Springs Ranch GC (41) def. Kenneth Tai, Perry Park CC (32), 4 and 3
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Rick George, Castle Pines GC (36), 5 and 3
Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC (2) def. Jerry Beren, Coal Creek GC (23), 7 and 6
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14) def. Kelly Crone, Highlands Ranch GC (11), 2 up

Semifinals
Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14) def. Steve Murphy, Black Bear GC (2), 20 holes
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Richard Gorbell, Springs Ranch GC (41), 2 and 1

Final Match
Robert Polk, Colorado GC (5) def. Guy Mertz, Fox Hill CC (14), 1 up

Super Senior Round of 16
Roger Gunderson, Green Valley Ranch GC (1) def. Kirk Miller, Estes Park GC (16), 5 and 3
Robert Walker, Boulder CC (9) def. Aaron Babl, Twin Peaks GC (8), 1 up
Fred Steffers, Springs Ranch GC (4) def. Peter Perry, South Suburban GC (13), 4 and 2
Greg Mokler, Harmony Club (12) def. Lenard Ashford, CommonGround GC (5), 6 and 5
David Farabaugh, The Ranch CC (2) def. Thomas Breunich, Salida GC (15), 6 and 5
Gary Guilford, Bear Creek GC (7) def. Dan Grigsby, Riverdale GC (10), 4 and 3
Jim Collins, Castle Pines CC (3) def. David Gross, Flatirons GC (14), 2 and 1
Tom Kundinger, Denver CC (11) def. John Boyles, The Pinery CC (6), 3 and 2

Super Senior Quarterfinals
Roger Gunderson, Green Valley Ranch GC (1) def. Robert Walker, Boulder CC (9), 6 and 4
Greg Mokler, Harmony Club (12) def. Fred Steffers, Springs Ranch GC (4), 1 up
David Farabaugh, The Ranch CC (2) def. Gary Guilford, Bear Creek GC (7), 3 and 2
Jim Collins, Castle Pines CC (3) def. Tom Kundinger, Denver CC (11), 4 and 3

Super Senior Semifinals
Roger Gunderson, Green Valley Ranch GC (1) def. Greg Mokler, Harmony Club (12), 1 up
David Farabaugh, The Ranch CC (2) def. Jim Collins, Castle Pines CC (3), 1 up

Super Senior Final Match
Roger Gunderson, Green Valley Ranch GC (1) def.David Farabaugh, The Ranch CC (2), 1 up 

VIEW SLIDE SHOW

CLICK FOR SENIOR MATCH PLAY TREE
CLICK FOR SUPER SENIOR MATCH PLAY TREE




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