Goldstein, McManaman, Buckholz, Pliska Claim Cascata Winter Classic Crowns
Josh Goldstein (Championship) and Sean McManaman (Senior) won gross titles in 2021 Winter Classic. Jason Buckholz (Net) and Jim Pliska (Senior) came away with net titles at the event held Dec. 11-12, 2021, at Cascata.–by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
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.
Josh Goldstein birdied three of his last four holes in the final round and won the Championship Division title by five points. It was Goldstein’s third SNGA title of the year to go along with winning the Nevada State Amateur and the Nevada State Mid-Amateur crowns in 2021.
To say it’s been a successful year for Goldstein would be an understatement.
“It’s been just a great year,” Goldstein said. “Honestly, once I got my amateur status back I wanted to go out and be able to compete and have fun and just enjoy golf.”
Goldstein said his group was keeping track of the live scoring so he knew where he stood.
“I knew I needed to have a couple of good holes coming in,” he said of his three straight birdies. “I played those holes very well.”
Even a closing double bogey didn’t dampen Goldstein’s day.
“On 18 I made a stupid play,” he said. “I had a bad lie and hit it in the water. If I hadn’t had the lead, I would have hit that second shot short of the water and not try to go for it.”
Goldstein looked at the weekend as a getaway from work.
“It’s been a stressful week,” the cello instructor said. “I spent the past week, and even between rounds, moving to a new house. Golf was a nice way to de-stress and have a little fun on the weekend.”
Josh Goldstein, 20-18—38
Marcus Mullins, 13-20—33
Michael Fortuna, 16-16—32
Jason Buckholz put together a string of 10 straight holes with points to start his final round and rode the early play to win by six points in the Net Division. It was the first SNGA title for Buckholz but he has state crowns.
During the early final-round stretch, Buckholz had three birdies and seven pars for a total of 16 points.
“I just struggled,” Buckholz said. “I was just scrambling to get on the green and two-putt and trying to keep double bogeys off the scorecard. It was a mental battle.”
Overall, Buckholz said he tried to simplify the game-plan.
“I tried to play steady,” he said. “I wanted to keep it on the grass. Cascata is a great course for the tournament. The greens rolled perfect.”
Jason Buckholz, 24-20—44
Thomas Auld, 18-20—38
AJ Throgmorton, 17-20—37
Sean McManaman put eight points on the scorecard in his first eight holes of the final round and posted his second SNGA win. He won the Las Vegas City Amateur in late October.
McMamaman was coming off a playoff loss in the 2021 Clark County Senior Amateur last month and said it was nice to bounce back.
“I played solid this week,” he said. “You know how it works…you play well and try to get momentum going and hang on.”
He said Cascata was quite the challenge.
“I had never played the course before so I just tried to pick good lines and go,” he said. “I tried to hit it down the middle, find greens and make some putts.”
He said where he struggled the most was that part: Making putts.
“I three putted six times…six,” he said. “I didn’t hit it that well today and I’m not happy with my score but I got it around.”
In the end, he said he hung in for the win.
“I had a lead but then I started to hit a couple of shots that weren’t my best,” he said. “There was a little pressure and I had to make a par on the last hole to win. But, that’s golf.”
Sean McManaman, 24-17—41
James Corey, 19-20—39
Glenn Hogle, 18-14—32
Jim Pliska rallied after losing two points on his opening hole in the final round to win his second SNGA title after winning at Primm earlier this season.
Pliska had six birdies in a nine-hole stretch after his slow start to seal the victory.
“I got off to a real bad start and didn’t play well the first part of the round,” he said. “I hit it to about 12 feet on the first hole and then three-putted for a double. Then I had two more bogeys so it wasn’t going well.”
His solution to turn things around was easy: “I just told myself to keep grinding,” he said. “After that I played pretty solid. I hit three or four iron shots to within about four feet and finally made some putts.”
In the end, he said his play is typical of most golfers.
“You try to make birdies and not make double bogeys,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a challenge. But it’s golf…you can’t give up.”
Jim Pliska, 19-24—43
Jeff Coppens, 18-18—36
Jack Kalmanson, 19-17—36
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