On a day when many of the contenders for the GCSAA National Championship experienced the highs and lows of tournament golf, the superintendent at Spring Creek G&CC in Ripon, Calif., kept his cool and persevered, winning his second tournament title with a second-round 1-over-par 73 which wrapped up a two-day total of 2-over-par 146. That was good for a two-shot cushion over runner-up Tim Scott, CGCS, from Stony Creek GC in Oak Lawn, Ill.
Stieler, who previously won the GCSAA National Championship in 2012, stared the second day of the event three shots off the pace set by three-time winner Seth Strickland from Miami (Fla.) Shores CC. And at the turn, Stieler was still two shots back, with several other competitors pushing for that top spot, including 2015 champion Matt Cowan from the Fazio Canyons Course at Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, and David Noto from Mossy Creek GC in Cleveland, Ga.
But while Strickland, Cowan and Noto all ran into trouble on the back nine, Stieler was en route to what was a steady even-par 36 on the back side. He did encounter his fair share of drama down the stretch, but a few par saves and a few near-miss birdies that ended up as tap-in pars proved more than enough to earn Stieler the title.
In the chapter team competition, the Lone Star GCSA earned the overall title in the gross division, while the Mississippi Valley GCSA came home in the top spot in the net division.
The Toro Co., the event's sponsor for the past 23 years, also gave away a new Workman GTX in a raffle for all 460 participants who took part in some aspect of this year's GCSAA National Championship and Golf Classic. The winner was Greg Brooking, CGCS, the general manager and superintendent at Duncan Park GC in Natchez, Miss.
For complete tournament results from every flight and level of competition, visit the official tournament web site.