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44th Annual OCWA Golf Tournament
at Strawberry Farms Golf Club

Have We Returned to Normal?

By Michael J. Sinacori

The 44th Annual Golf Tournament was held on Monday, June 5th, at Strawberry Farms Golf Club (SFGC) in Irvine. This was my 30th event as Golf Committee Chairman and the sixth time we’ve held the event at SFGC. I still miss Newport Beach Country Club just a bit but SFGC continues to be a wonderful venue for our annual event.

As I said at the event, on behalf of the OCWA Board and the Golf Committee we wish to thank all the participants who trusted us to run this event. We were one of the few association-type tournaments that has taken place for this length of time and that is all made possible by the generous support of our Sponsors over the years. This year’s numbers were full, back to pre-pandemic levels, with 124 golfers signed up to play and a small waiting list for those hoping to get in.

We have already secured our day for next year: Monday, June 3rd, 2024. Please mark your calendars as we have already submitted our deposit! I would also encourage early sign ups as we expect the same strong turnout next year. And, as I mentioned, the golfer and sponsor rates will be going up slightly. The golfer rate, which has been the same since 2007, will now be $175 per player. The sponsorship rate, which hasn’t been increased since 2004 (almost 20 years ago!), will be $300. Inflation has finally caught up to us.

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Now, on to the fun stuff: The awards ceremony began at about 2:30, held in The Big Red Barn, where players coming off the course were greeted with spring roll appetizers. A magnificent fiesta taco plate lunch was served to all, and boy was that good (even ice cold when I ate it after the event). The two Las Vegas holes this year, along with the putting contest, gave everyone a chance to win some of the $6,000 worth of prizes. We gave away rounds of golf, numerous individual clubs, and a complete set of irons. Not to mention all the other great opportunity prizes! Each par 3 had a closest to the pin contest and there were two long drive contests.

Prizes were awarded to the top three low gross players and the top three in two separate flights for net players. Always fun as an engineer to show the statistics of the participants: There were only six players who scored in the 70s this year even though conditions were perfect for low scores. Calm winds and overcast skies graced us for most of the round. The average score was right around 94, which is very typical for our event. The highest posted score was 144 out of the 160-maximum allowed. It was a wonderful day yet again and we are already looking forward to next year’s tournament!

No matter what your index is, we always strive to do better than the last time and there is always the shot, or two, or ten that we want back. I want to replay four holes and get rid of those bogies and double bogies.

I truly believe the OCWA Golf event is one of the most enjoyable in the industry. I know it is for me, though my score is always higher thanI expect it will be.

As noted, next year is booked for Monday, June 5th, 2024. Mark your calendars and sign up early!

Event Winners (Scores)

1st Low Gross (70)
Andy Komor
PACE Engineering

2nd Low Gross (74)
Steve Ewart
OC Winwater Works

3rd Low Gross (75)
Kevin Cullen
West Basin Municipal Water District

1st Low Net Flight “A” (77/70)
Jim Anderson
Ramona Municipal Water District

2nd Low Net Flight “A” (77/70)
Cuco Zermeno
Rincon del Diablo Water District

3rd Low Net Flight “A” (89/71)
Derek Kurtti
Black & Veatch

1st Low Net Flight “B” (91/75)
Kolby Campbell
Ford Meter Box

2nd Low Net Flight “B” (125/75)
Tom Monk
Walnut Valley Water District

3rd Low Net Flight “B” (95/75)
Alex Cali

Putting Contest (5 putts)
Mike Jack
Butier Engineering

Closest to the Pin No. 3 (5'-7")
Gilbert Verduzco
City of Anaheim

Closest to the Pin No. 7 (1'-3")
Ben Halbach

Closest to the Pin No. 11 (2'-0")
Dennis Cafferty
El Toro Water District

Closest to the Pin No. 15 (15'-3")
Curtis Gauthier

Closest to the Pin No. 17 (2'-1")
Jeffrey Martinez
City of Anaheim

A big part of the day’s success was due to the help provided by the many volunteers. We’re indebted to Claudia Toro and Margaret Novak from Michael Baker International, Megan Hernandez from Leighton, and Chelsea Roy from PACE Advanced Water Engineering for their tireless assistance to ensure the event’s success. Special thanks to Allison Tomko, and the entire staff at Strawberry Farms Golf Club, for their generous hospitality and the extraordinary effort they provided to help make our Tournament such a resounding success.

A special thanks is owed as well to the Golf Committee Members. These unsung golf heroes make the event what it is. Please give any one of the committee members a call if you have suggestions on how to make this event even better next year.

The OCWA Board and Golf Committee would like to thank all of the 42 Sponsors that made the event possible. Without their contribution, the fiesta awards ceremony and prizes would not be possible. All our Sponsors are listed here in the 2023 Golf Tournament Sponsorship tab. Please take a moment to look through the list. In addition, all of their addresses and phone numbers are in the OCWA Directory.

And with that, thanks for playing and see you next year!

Golf Committee:

Mike Sinacori – Chairman – (949) 644-3342

Malcolm Cortez – Tee Signs and Putting Contest – (949) 453-5551

Jeff Hull – Prizes and Las Vegas Hole Logistics – (714) 904-3819

Chuck Borkman – Prizes and Putting Contest – (949) 933-8905

Dennis Cafferty – Scoring & General Oversite – (949) 837-7050, Ext 223

Derek Kurtti – OCWA Board Liaison & Prizes – (805) 550-9656

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