Bauman, Hurlburt, Steele, Diclaro Win Stallion Mountain Tour Titles
Eric Bauman (Championship), Brian Hurlburt (Senior), John Steele (Silver) and John Diclaro (Net) won titles in the SNGA Tour’s stop at Stallion Mountain Golf Club and played under challenging conditions. The event was held February 9, 2023 and was the first event of the season. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider
For the second straight year, Eric Bauman has won early in the calendar year.
In 2022, Bauman won another SNGA Tour stop at Legacy in March. This year it’s a February victory.
“It seems like the one-day events are my only real opportunity to win,” Bauman said with a laugh.
Bauman said putting made the difference.
“I think if you talk to everybody, the fast greens caught a lot of people offguard,” he said. “We saw quite a few three putts. I didn’t have any three putts but that just means I got lucky.”
He added the weather and the course helped his game.
“I hit the ball pretty well and the course played pretty firm and fast and that helped,” he said. “I normally struggle a lot in the wind but I played pretty solid golf today.”
In the end, Bauman came back to the putting being key.
“The first few holes I was fortunate enough to hit it close enough where a three-putt wasn’t going to happen,” he said. “That gave me confidence even. I just tried to stay the course and crossed my fingers.”
Eric Bauman, 76
Matt Mitchell, 78
Conor Morley, 78
Brian Hurlburt won his first SNGA Tour title, posting a three-stroke victory in the Senior Division. Hurlburt is a golf writer and author who works with the SNGA and is the founder of LasVegasGolfInsider.com.
Hurlburt said his initial victory was nice; it just didn’t come about the way he envisioned it might.
“I’ll take a lot of positives away from this,” he said. “But there was certainly good, bad and ugly. It’s not the way I drew up my first victory but I will take it.”
The ugly came on his ninth hole. When the smoke cleared, Hurlburt put a nine on the card.
“It was a weird rules situation,” he said. “I hit a drive to the right over the water. There was no splash and it didn’t seem like it hit the rocks and everyone thought it crossed. We found everyone else’s ball but didn’t find mine. Talking with everyone, they thought it crossed, so I took the drop from where we thought it crossed.”
Hurlburt added there was more to his drama on the hole.
“I guess I was feeling a little worried about the drop and proceeded to also put my next shot in the water,” he said with a laugh.
A solid second nine wound up holding up for the win.
“I had a good game plan going in and was playing well,” he said. “It was just a weird situation. I didn’t let the nine bog me down and I will learn from it.”
Hurlburt added it’s nice to get that first win.
“It’s cool to win an SNGA tournament after covering the tournaments for two and a half decades and then playing in them for the last year and a half,” he said. “I certainly don’t take it for granted.”
Brian Hurlburt, 80
JC Cramer, 83
Gordon Schiring, 86
John Steele picked up his second victory in the SNGA, posting a one-shot win in the Silver Division.
Steele said this win was a great way to start 2023.
“I’m really happy with today,” he said. “I’m dealing with tendinitis and took six pain relievers, three before the round and three halfway though the round, just to get through. I do think I had a good ball-striking day for having pain in my right arm.”
He said the weather was the biggest factor.
“We were all basically grinding out there,” he said. “I don’t think I hit more than nine or 10 greens so I just had to grind it out on the chips and putts. And the greens were beautiful…and fast.”
He added even when he thought he hit a good shot, it didn’t always work out well.
“There was a par-4 where I thought I hit a great approach shot,” he said. “But when it landed it bounced 30 yards to the right. We think it must have hit a sprinkler head. I wound up with a bogey but I sure thought I would have had a shot at a birdie.”
John Steele, 77
David Foggia, 78
John Kelley, 78
John Diclaro had three net birdies over his final four holes and posted a one-stroke win in the Net Division.
It was Diclaro’s first win in two years.
“I won the short game at Eagle Crest,” he said. “And the funny thing is that was the first time I had played that course and today was the first time I played this course.”
He said putting helped him make up strokes.
“Those greens were hard and fast,” he said. “If you didn’t putt well you weren’t playing well.”
He added the final net birdie barrage wasn’t easy.
“The putts were all six-to-10 feet so they were decent length putts,” he said. “My putting is usually my strong suit and today I drove it well which is where I’m usually lacking.”
He said he hopes this win is a sign of things to come.
“I’m hoping my driver stays strong,” he said. “My putting is usually where I make up strokes so if that stays strong and my driver helps me out, it could be a good year.”
John Diclaro, 75
Leon Calkins, 76
Stephen Sitar, 76
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