Jeff Burda is on the brink of CGA history. After 36 holes of the 21st Annual CGA Senior Amateur Championship at Del Rio GCC, the 59-year-old is 18 holes away from winning an unprecedented fourth title. Burda (pictured) currently sits at even-par 144, one shot ahead of Michael Turner of Sherman Oaks at 145 and two shots ahead of Santa Barbara’s Matthew Free at 146. The three will comprise tomorrow’s final group, teeing off at 10:30 a.m.
Following a steady 72 on Monday, Burda matched his score Tuesday to take a one-shot lead after starting the day alone in third place. Despite an identical score in the second round, Burda felt this round to be different.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as yesterday, but I made some real good putts,” said Burda.
One difference was the amount of birdies and bogeys as he had three of each on Tuesday compared to two of each on Monday. Another was that he played the Oak nine over par and the Bluff nine under par, doing the exact opposite on Monday.
Going into Wednesday, Burda knows he will likely need to shoot even-par or better to come away with his fourth title in five years. If he were able to do so it would be extra special to be able to do it on his home course around family and friends.
“I’m thrilled I’ve won this event three times,” said Burda. “To win a fourth would be beyond any expectations I ever had when I started playing senior golf.”
Jumping up the leaderboard to claim the space right below Burda’s name is Turner, who followed his 75 on Monday with a 70 on Tuesday. Turner’s two-under par round was the low of the day and Burda got to witness it all, playing alongside him. His round was bolstered by his play on the front nine (Oak) where he made birdies on Nos. 2, 7 and 9 to go out in 33.
Rounding out tomorrow’s final group is Free, who started the day in a tie for fourth. After a first round of 73, Free put together another round of the 73. His round on Tuesday consisted of two birdies and three bogeys.
Still within striking distance is NCGA and SCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, who sits alone in fourth at three-over par 147. In a four-way tie for fifth place are Casey Boyns, Terry Foreman, Gerry Simoni and SCGS Senior Amateur Champion David Delich at four-over par 148. Foreman, who held the first round lead after a two-under par 70, faded on Tuesday to a six-over par 78.
Tomorrow’s final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the remaining players all teeing off the No. 1 tee of the Oak nine. Tuesday’s cut came at 11-over par 155, with 37 players surviving.
The NCGA captured the CGA Senior Cup for the fifth straight year beating the SCGA team (pictured) 434 to 444. Going into the day with a 13-stroke lead, the NCGA was bettered by the SCGA on Tuesday 214 to 217. The SCGA squad was strengthened by the exceptional second round play Turner (70), Delich (72) and Simoni (74). However, the NCGA team which consists of Burda, Knoll, Boyns and Foreman, was hard to compete with as all four players are in the top-10 going into tomorrow’s final round. With the win the NCGA now leads the all-time series 12 to 5.