Fosburg flies like an eagle to win amateur | NevadaAppeal.com

Fosburg flies like an eagle to win amateur

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Chad Fosburg reacts after making an eagle on a chip on the 18th green while Matt Kinsinger watches on Wednesday at the Nevada State Amateur Golf Championship at Dayton Valley Country Club.
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DAYTON – Chad Fosburg readily admitted it was the biggest golf shot of his young career.

The 22-year-old Las Vegas resident chipped in from five yards off the green for eagle on the 54th hole to shoot an even-par 72 and win the 2005 Nevada State Amateur Golf Championship in dramatic fashion Wednesday afternoon at Dayton Valley Golf Club.

“It’s definitely a shot I’ll always remember,” said Fosburg, who plans on turning pro later in the year. “It’s a major for us. To win this is a pretty awesome feeling.”

Fosburg finished with a 54-hole total of 6-under par 210, edging Galena grad Matt Kinsinger, who shot a final-round 70 to finish a stroke behind at 211. Steven Fink was alone in third at even-par 216, and there was a three-way tie for fourth between Carson High golf coach Rod Butler, Dean Menante and Ryan Plummer, all of whom finished at 3-over-par 219.

For the second straight day, only four golfers broke par, as the wind was a big factor in the late afternoon. Kinsinger, Tom Prendergast and Joe Sawaia all shot 2-under-par 70s, and Butler shot a 1-under-par 71.

It was a redeeming effort for Fosburg, who lost in a sudden-death playoff last year in Las Vegas.

Fosburg and Kinsinger were tied going into the final hole, as Kinsinger carded a three-putt bogey on the 234-yard 16th and followed that up by missing a 6-foot birdie putt on the 478-yard 17th.

Kinsinger and Fosburg pounded drives over 300 yards on the 537-yard 18th, and both hit their approach shots over the green on one bounce. Their shots finished in almost identical places just off the fringe.

Fosburg pulled out his sand wedge and rolled it into the cup. As the ball settled into the hole, Fosburg pumped his first and Kinsinger hung his head. It wasn’t quite as impressive as a Tiger Woods first-pump, but give him a few more years.

“I’m glad it was exciting,” said Kinsinger, trying to mask his disappointment. “He made that chip. I thought it was going to be short. He hit one earlier that stopped just short.”

Kinsinger, who began the day three shots off the lead, pulled to within one shot when he birdied the 529-yard par-5 8th. Fosburg sliced his shot out of bounds and took a six.

“I was indecisive,” Fosburg said. “I got too aggressive. I should have hit a 3-iron instead of a wood.”

The lead stayed at one, as the combatants matched pars for five straight holes.

Kinsinger pulled even at No. 14. He left his approach shot from 150 yards just a few yards short. Fosburg missed a golden chance to put some pressure on Kinsinger when he sailed his approach shot well over the green into some heavy grass. Kinsinger made a nice chip up the hill, finishing 3 feet short. Fosburg’s chip had too much steam and rolled over the green. After Kinsinger tapped in for his par, Fosburg got up and down to save bogey.

“I knew it was quick,” Fosburg said. “I tried to play a flop shot, but I hit it a little firm.”

Kinsinger took a one-stroke lead on the 422-yard 15th when he knocked an approach shot 4 feet under the hole and dropped in the putt. Fosburg earlier put his shot 7 feet past the hole, but missed the birdie putt.

Kinsinger continued to put the pressure on at the 16th, the difficult par-3 over water. Kinsinger’s tee shot landed 25 feet to the left of the flag, and Fosburg came up short of the green.

Fosburg chipped up to 12 feet, but barely missed the birdie putt on the left side. He came away unscathed, however, as Kinsinger three-putted, missing his par putt from 3 feet.

“I misread it (the second putt) a little bit,” Kinsinger said.”I hit that first putt short. I was right where I wanted to be after the tee shot.”

That was huge because a par would have given Kinsinger a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

Fosburg evened the match up on 17 when he hit his gap wedge from 180 yards out, landing the ball 4 feet from the pin. Kinsinger also hit a nice approach shot, landing about 7 feet from the pin.

“I was pumped up,” Fosburg said. “I usually only hit that club about 140 yards.”

Fosburg drained his putt for a birdie, and Kinsinger was unable to match him.

“I watched him hit it close, and I was able to hit it close,” Kinsinger said. ” I misread the birdie putt. I tried to play a little break. The putts were straighter than they looked out here today.”

That set the stage for the dramatic finish on the final hole.

Fosburg and Kinsinger were never threatened. It took Fink, a Southern Nevada golfer, to save par on the final three holes to take third place.

Butler finished one stroke under his goal of a 220. He shot 3-under par over the final two rounds in making a big charge up the leaderboard after a first-round 78.

“I hit it great today,” Butler said, “My only downfall was my four-putt on the 16th hole. I lost my focus for a few moments. It could have been worse. It could have been a five-putt. The fourth putt just lipped in. Other than that I played perfect golf.”

Butler opened with six straight pars before sinking an 8-foot birdie putt on the 425-yard 7th hole, and followed that up with a tap-in birdie on the relatively easy par-5 529-yard 8th. Butler recorded another birdie on the par-5 11th to go 3-under, but gave all those shots back with a bogey on the 219-yard 13th and the double-bogey on the aforementioned 16th, a 234-yard par-3.

Steven Zyla won the net championship with a 54-hole score of 208, five shots ahead of Jimmy Bradley. Fritz Siegenthaler, Paudie O’Connor and Terry Ream tied for third at 214. Bruce Jackson (215), George Yocum (217), Chris Fourgis (218), Joey Barnson (219), John Shank (220), Keith Redmann (220) and Willie Leek (220) rounded out the top 10.

Darrell Moody can be reached at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281