LA QUINTA, Calif. – Warren Ferber picked the right day to shoot the round of his life.
Ferber, from Minneapolis, Minn., shot a career-best 80 in Monday’s final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West to run away with the Senior Jones flight (for handicaps of 16.0-19.9) at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship. His four-day, 72-hole total of 343 was 15 shots clear of runner-up Donald Bebout of Lakeway, Texas.
He birdied three of the first four holes to get momentum rolling. He said his three-shot lead going into the final round gave him confidence. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I thought everybody has to catch me. I was really calm over the ball,” he said.
That feeling was foreign to Ferber this spring when he struggled to break triple digits. It was a grind to get his game ready for nationals.
“Every swing was different,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on the range and filming myself. I started (practicing) with half-swings and three-quarter swings and finally full swings. Sometimes I would not play for a week to get the bad swing thoughts out of my mind.”
He said his friends on the Golf Channel Am Tour back in Minnesota are already calling him a sandbagger. “They already said they are going to give me so much grief,” Ferber said. “We have a lot of fun. We have a tight group. They already told me they aren’t going to let me live it down. I’m okay with that.”
KOZLOWSKI SURVIVES HOGAN PLAYOFF
Tim Kozlowski figured shooting four rounds in the 70s would win the Senior Hogan flight (for handicaps 8.0-11.9). The strength of his early rounds – 77, 77 and 76 – followed the script, providing a comfortable five-shot lead heading into Monday’s final round on the Norman course at PGA West.
The final round didn’t follow the plan, however. Putting woes led to an 87 and a playoff. His bogey on the first playoff hole was good enough to fend off Rick Boling of Hopkinsville, Ky., for Kozlowski’s first tournament victory after three years on the Golf Channel Am Tour.
“It was a battle of who was going to play worse,” Kozlowski said. “The last three or four holes, we just survived. It was not very glamorous. It was an ugly win, but I’ll take it.”