Wood, Mitchell and Wagner Claim Division Wins at the 2020 Arizona Senior Stroke Play Championship
Cal Woods Wins Senior Division Title
Cal Wood won the Senior Division of the 2020 Arizona Senior Stroke Play Championship, finishing even par on The Champions Course at TPC Scottsdale. Wood shot +1 (72) in the first round, and followed it up with a one-under-par final round to hold off second place-finisher Robert Case (+1; 73-70).
“I drove the ball really well,” said Wood. “If you hit the ball in the desert here, you don’t have much of a chance.”
Brock Stevens finished in third (+3; 73-72).
Playing on an unforgiving course and in excessive heat, Wood credited his success to hitting fairways with his driver and staying out of the bunkers.
Holes 17 and 18 are particularly tough, but Wood was able to to lock up the victory on Tuesday by one shot.
“[Holes 17 and 18] played into the wind today,” said Wood. “17 is a long par 5 that’s very difficult and 18 is probably one of the most difficult holes in Phoenix.”
Despite the difficulty, Wood complimented the course set-upon the Champions course at TPC Scottsdale.
“The course played fantastic,” said Wood. “This is a great venue for holding this tournament and we all love coming to play here.”
The Arizona Senior Stroke Play Championship is Wood’s first win at the event, and is part of a busy month, as he plans on playing in the AGA’s Southern Amateur Divisional at Dove Mountain in Marana at the end of June.
Clutch Chip-In Gives Murph Mitchell Legends Division Title
The Legends Division had a tie for first place after 36 holes, creating a playoff between Jeff Zieky (+5; 71-76) and Murph Mitchell (+5, 78-69).
Mitchell quickly fell behind on the playoff hole, the Par-4 1st hole at TPC Scottsdale. He hit a tree on his second stroke and then hit over the green on his third. Meanwhile, Zieky was on the green in just two strokes.
However, this was simply Mitchell’s day. He would chip-in from a tough downhill lie to save par and Zieky missed a five-foot putt to tie.
“Ugliest par ever,” Mitchell joked afterwards. “The ball was probably going to go 10 or 15 feet past the hole. It hit the pin dead-center and dropped in.”
Mitchell’s final round was anything but ugly, as he shot a 69 (-2) with five birdies. When asked about his strong performance, Mitchell emphasized his play on the greens.
“I was able to make putts, and making putts is what it’s all about” said Mitchell. “The greens were in great condition, best part of the course.”
Mitchell will try to continue his stellar play next week in the AGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Talking Stick Golf Club.
A four-way tie for third place at +7 included Anthony Petronis, Sean Forey, Tim Blau, and Kent Potts.
Petronis was the Overall Net Champion at -3, with Mike Lara coming in second at even par.
Mike Wagner Shoots Final Round 65 to Win Masters Division
Mike “Wags” Wagner was a force to be reckoned with in the Master’s Division, shooting a final round 65 (-6) to win by two shots over Bryan Hoops.
Wagner went out in 29 with eight birdies on what was otherwise a tough setup at the TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course. When asked about the great run, Wagner was quick to compliment his playing partner, Bryan Hoops, who led after day one and finished alone in second place (-4; 70-68).
“[Bryan and I] made a bunch of birdies,” said Wagner. “It was like one of those really cool battles. He’s always inspiring. He’s a great guy.”
But it was Wagner’s play that set the bar in the Master’s Division. He emphasized the importance of hitting fairways off the tee for giving him a shot at the win.
“You have to keep it in play out here,” said Wagner.
A self-described “golf junkie,” Wagner will look to stay hot at this week’s AGA Mid-Amateur Championship, followed by the Falcon Amateur later this month.