NCGA Junior Championship
Contra Costa CC
July 10-11, 2017
July 11, 2017
Kingsburg resident Brian Stark came through in the clutch.
Stark, a junior at Central Valley Christian High in Visalia, fired a final round 4-under 68 to hold off Ryan Grauman and a number of other players and win the annual NCGA Junior Championship Tuesday at par-72 Contra Costa Country Club. Stark joins an illustrious list of champions of the event including Johnny Miller (1963), Bobby Clampett (1976) and Matt Bettencourt (1991).
Having entered the final round holding just a one-shot lead over Grauman, Stark opened with a sizzling 4-under 32 on the front-nine thanks to four birdies. On the back-nine, he was steady, posting a birdie and bogey for a 36. He’d finish the 54-hole event with a total score of 8-under 208.
Grauman, who hails from Alamo, did his best to keep up, carding a front-nine 33 to stay within two of the leader.
After making the turn, Grauman tied Stark following a birdie on the par-3 12th. But Stark went on to regain a one-stroke lead following a birdie on the 15th. Grauman lost another stroke following a bogey on the par-4 16th. The pair would both play the final two holes at even-par, leaving Grauman with a 69 and three-round score of 210.
Finishing in a tie for third at 213 were San Ramon’s Ashkaan Hakim and Max Holm of Walnut Creek following matching final rounds of 71.
Fifth place went to San Jose’s Sebastian Iqbal at even-par 214 following a final round 72. Iqbal, the younger brother of three-time defending JTNC Girls’ Player of the Year Sabrina Iqbal.was competing in the Boys’ 14-15 division, where he was crowned champion. Finishing as runner-up in the Boys’ 14-15 division was Lincoln’s Sam Sommerhauser, who came in a stroke behind at 215 following a 71. Sommerhauser and Iqbal had been tied but Sommerhauser was stung by a bogey on the par-5 17th.
In the Boys’ 10-13 division, San Jose’s Gregory Lee had a final round 74 to finish at 152 and claim a three shot victory of Marina’s Curtis Dasilva.
Noh, a junior at Carondelet High, posted a final round 73 to come in at even-par 144 and claim a five-shot victory. A day after opening with a 1-under 71, Noh started slowly, posting a front-nine 38. She’d close the door or her pursuers, however, by bouncing back with a 1-under 35 on the back-nine thanks to back-to-back birdies on holes No.16 and No.17.
Among those trying to catch Noh was two-time defending champion Sabrina Iqbal of San Jose. Iqabl had a 73 to come in at 149, tying for second with Quynn Duong of San Jose and Caris Kim of Los Altos. Iqbal, a senior at Pioneer High, looked like she was going to make a charge by opening with birdies on holes No.2 and No.3. She’d slip backwards though by playing her next four holes at 3-over.
Duong also birdied No.2 but went on to play her next five holes at 3-over. Kim, who was coming off an opening round 77, shaved five strokes with a 72 but could not get any closer.
Fifth place went to Beah Cruz of Rancho Murieta at 152 following a 75.