Andrew Yeh (Championship), John Ellsworth (Senior) and Frank Acker (Silver) won gross titles in the 2021 SNGA Tour Stableford event at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Coyote Springs. Jeffrey Tonneson (Net), Brian Freymueller (Senior) and Ernie Ortega (Silver) came away with net titles. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff
The event was held Sept. 24, 2021. The format was modified Stableford scoring and awarded points for double eagles (8 points), eagles (5 points), birdies (3 points) and pars (1 point). Bogeys gave players zero points while double bogeys or worse cost players two points.
Andrew Yeh put six birdies on the scorecard, worth 18 points, and wound up with 24 points in cruising to a seven-point victory.
Yeh, who had three birdies on each nine, picked up his first SNGA Tour championship.
“I haven’t played an SNGA event in a long time,” said Yeh who lives in Mesquite. “But this one was at Coyote Springs and I love that course.”
Yeh, who spends his time playing golf at the Oasis Golf Club, said the tournament was just a solid day of golf.
“I putted pretty well,” he said. “My irons were also pretty solid. I almost had a hole-in-one at 17 so it was just a good day. It was a no-stress round.”
He said playing Coyote Springs always brings out the best in his game.
“It’s a pretty tough course,” he said. “And I love tough courses because they make me concentrate more.”
Andrew Yeh, 24 points
Ryan Anderson, 17
David Llewellyn, 15
Jeffrey Tonnesen had two natural birdies and two net birdies in racing to an eight-point victory in the Net Division.
It was his first SNGA title.
“I just made everything within five feet and that really got my confidence going,” he said. “I had a couple of birdies and just tried to play steady.”
Overall, he said the 13th hole was the key.
“I hit a good drive and hit it onto the green and made about a 20-footer,” he said. “It was great to see it go in.”
He said he just tried to stay on an even keel coming down the stretch and it worked.
“I didn’t want to get too up or get too down,” he said. “I just tried to take it one stroke at a time.”
Jeffrey Tonnesen, 19 points
Joseph Noya, 11
Gary McCollum, 10
John Ellsworth birdied two of the final three holes to win an SNGA event for the first time in more than 30 years.
“I played way back in the 80s and won in ’85 or ’86 but it’s certainly been a long time between wins,” he said.
Ellsworth said the round didn’t start out the way he had hoped.
“I missed a one-foot putt on the first hole and then went on the defensive,” he said. “That certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to start.”
As the round went on, he changed tactics.
“I just told myself to get the ball to the hole,” he said. “And I did at the end of the round and that was key. I also hit wedges below the hole and left the ball below the hole so that really helped. You don’t want to be above the hole on this course.”
It was only his second SNGA event of the year, but he’s looking to play in more.
“I just need to get out more and test myself against these really good players,” he said.
John Ellsworth, 21 points
Robert Futrell, 19
Glenn Hogle, 16
Brian Freymueller made it back-to-back Senior Net titles in this event as he also won the 2020 tournament.
He had a net eagle on the last hole and added three net birdies and a natural birdie during his round.
Brian Freymueller, 18 points
Todd Roberts, 16
David Golder, 14
Frank Acker birdied the 18th hole for three points en route to winning the Silver Division title in a scorecard playoff over Phil Huseby.
Both players wound up with 19 points.
It was Acker’s second individual win in 2021 to go along with a team title. Both of his wins came in modified Stableford events.
“These are different types of events but I enjoy playing them,” Acker said. “It’s a different type of golf because you can be more aggressive.”
Acker said the difference for him was his putting.
“I putted the short putts really well,” he said. “And that’s not always easy here because the greens can be pretty severe and it can be tough to get them close.”
He didn’t have any trouble on the 18th getting it close.
“I hit it pretty close today but on 18 I made about a 40-foot bomb,” he said. “Those are always good to see go in because you’re certainly not expecting to make a lot of those.”
Frank Acker, 19 points
Phil Huseby, 19
Mark Griffin, 13
Ernie Ortega had three natural birdies on par 3s (one of them resulting in a net eagle) in cruising to a seven-point victory. It was his first SNGA Tour title after losing out in a scorecard playoff earlier this year.
He had 14 of his 25 points on the four par 3s.
“Oh, my gosh…the par 3s were unbelievable,” he said. “Normally they are tough for me but today they really saved me. On No. 17 I hit it to about five feet and it rolled back to about two inches.”
Ortega said his play was solid, even when it wasn’t.
“I just tried to stay focused,” he said. “I had double bogeys on No. 9 and No. 10 and said ‘Uh oh, here we go’ but I was able to hold it together. I told myself to just try to hit good shots and keep it in play.”
Ernie Ortega, 25 points
John Kelley, 18
Tony Troilo, 14