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Siddens Repeats as UGA Match Play Champion, Fischer Wins Super Senior Title, Tanner Wins Net
Kirk Siddens birdied the first hole and never trailed enroute to repeating as UGA Senior Match Play champion Friday at Talons Cove Golf Course. He defeated former UGA Senior Amateur champion Patrick Murphy, 2 and 1. It was the second time for Murphy as bridesmaid in the match play championship.
Eighty year old Dick Peacock finally ran out of gas in the late stages of the Super Senior Championship and he succumbed to David Fischer, 2 and 1. The match was all square after the 15th hole, but Fischer won the 16th and 17th holes to earn the title. Fischer was runner up two years ago and so this was a special win.
The UGA Senior Match Play Championship is a grueling test, especially for seniors. After an 18-hole qualifying round there are two 18-hole matches two days in a row and then the 18-hole championship match.
Siddens has always been in very good health and conditioning and since this is only his second year as a senior he is ‘happy to be one of the young ones again.”
He won the championship last year over Mark Madsen and after repeating this year he has now won ten straight matches since turning senior.
His toughest match this year was in the quarterfinals against Rob Bachman. Siddens was two down with two to play, but he squared the match and forced it to extra holes. On the third extra hole he chipped in from about 25 feet to win.
All of his other wins concluded on the 17th hole with 2 and 1 margins. He beat Kent Gressman in the first round, Kurt Jamision in the second round, and Craig Wilson in the semifinals.
In the championship match the fire never did get burning for either player.
“We were neither one very sharp with our short games,” Siddens said, and Murphy concurred.
After Siddens’ opening hole birdie the tweet-tweets were rare. “ We mostly won holes when the other one made a mistake,” Siddens observed.
Murphy’s biggest mistake came on the ninth hole when he hit his drive into out of bounds left and that led to Siddens holding a 3-up lead going onto the back side. Murphy won the 11th and 16th holes to cut the lead to two each time, but that was as close as he got.
In the Super Senior division, for those 65 and over, the focus centered on the remarkable play and endurance of eighty year old Dick Peacock who advanced to the finals. Endurance is a big part of the four-day tournament that required two matches per day for two consecutive days and that an eighty-year-old could reach the finals was attention getting.
Sixty-seven-year-old Dave Fischer broke through a deadlocked match by winning the 16th and 17th holes to claim the title and one would naturally think that age was a determining factor, but not so according to Peacock.
“No! It was not a factor. I did not get tired—my driver did,” he said. “It let me down all day. I might as well have been playing in the Sahara Desert.”
Peacock led much of the day. He won the first hole with a par and went up two with a birdie on the third hole. They both birdied the par three fourth hole. Peacock won the fifth and sixth hole to go three up, the biggest lead of the day for either of them.
Fischer won seven and nine and finally squared the match with a par on 13. The match was determined when Peacock failed to get up and down out of the sand on 16 and 17 and Fischer hit the greens and made pars.
“I got it up and down and putted really good,” Peacock said, “but once Dave got the honors he put a lot of pressure on my driver because he hit his driver really good, long and straight. That made me press. It had nothing to do with age,” he said. “I putted really good, but it didn’t get me anywhere because my driver had me in a hole.”
Fischer, a pastor of the Redeemer Lutheran Church, was pleased to get his first major senior championship. He lost in the finals in 2012 to Allen Simkins.
“Dick describes it right,” Fischer said. “He got up and down many times. His putter was really terrific.”
Jason Tanner who plays out of Glendale GC defeated Steve Kirk in the final match in the Net Division 3&1. Tanner led throughout the majority of the match and won holes 16 and 17 to capture the victory.
Results of Championship Matches
Kirk Siddens def. Patrick Murphy, 2 and 1
Super Senior Division
Dave Fischer def. Dick Peacock, 2 and 1
Jason Tanner def. Steve Kirk, 3 and 1
For complete tournament results see this link: http://ghintpp.com/uga/TPPOnlineScoring/MatchTree.aspx?id=177