HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- Kirk Siddens found a bit of redemption in winning the UGA Senior Match Play championship Friday at Hill Air Force by a 3 and 1 margin over Mark Madsen.
For 15 years, every time Siddens has set foot on the Hubbard Golf Course at Hill Air Force Base, memories of the past have stalked him with the ghost of 'what could have been."
It was on this great golf course in 1999 that Siddens had the opportunity of a lifetime to win the Utah State Amateur. He reached the finals, but lost the match to Billy Harvey. Since then Siddens won the UGA Mid-Am at Hubbard, but the UGA Senior Match Play is a duplicate version of the Utah State Am for "the over the hill gang," and so this victory will help quiet the demons.
Siddens played solid golf in the championship match against Madsen and never trailed, winning by a 3 and 1 margin. Madsen played steady golf and made very few errors, but couldn't off set the five birdies Siddens threw at him. Siddens played at ease throughout the day, probably feeling that destiny was on his side after escaping with a 23-hole suspense filled semifinal victory over Dana Nelson.
In the Super Senior Division, Al Simkins won the title for the second straight year, this time by a 2 and 1 margin over Don Needham.
Needham, whose home club is Hill Air Force Base, felt he might have a little "course knowledge" edge, and perhaps he did in earlier matches, but for Simkins every course is a home course. He's played everywhere and often.
Like most seniors, Simkins' toughest opponent is his back, but "the last two matches I played pain free," he said, and it showed. Simkins hit only one "bad" shot in the final round, a smothered drive off the tee into the deep rough.
Simkins escaped his opening match against Doug Rosencrans, 2 and 1, and then in a rematch of last year's finals he re-defeated Dave Fischer, 5 and 4.
In the semifinals he played very well and edged 79-year-old Dick Peacock, 2 and 1.
Val Cahoon won the net division title with a 3-up win over Dan Riddle. To get to the finals, Cahoon defeated Terry Bonones, 3 and 2; Al Krahenbuhl, 2 and 1, and Kerry Coop, 2 and 1.