The best stroke at the 15th annual Santa Barbara City College Golf Classic was saved for last Monday as Rabobank regional president Jeff DeVine cashed in the Chumash Casino Resort $50,000 putt at La Cumbre Country Club.
The SBCC Golf Classic is the athletic department’s biggest fund raiser and this year’s event drew 132 players. The day ended with a drawing for a playoff to putt for $50,000. DeVine had the closest putt to the hole in the five-player putt-off, giving him the opportunity to go for the big prize.
With the sun setting over the beautiful course, anticipation mounted as the 51-foot putt stayed straight.
“I thought to myself at least I didn’t embarrass myself,” DeVine said. “I liked the roll and speed of the putt, but I didn’t think until the last second that it might go in.”
The ball fell and DeVine limply dropped his putter in disbelief. The gallery went nuts and people rushed out of the clubhouse to see what the fuss was about.
“I couldn’t believe it,” DeVine said. “I felt like I won the Masters with everyone running up to me, high-fiving me, wanting to shake my hand. I think I’m still in shock.”
The tourney traditionally raises around $25,000 for SBCC’s 400 athletes and cheerleaders. There were three divisions in the four-person scramble and the gross title went to Joel Maloney, Preston Maloney, Scott Helton and Al Harris with a gross net of 15-under 56.
The Men’s Net champions were Dave Gross Sr., Dave Gross Jr., Pe’a Hill and Lee Harris at 53.85, while the Mixed crown went to Jacquie Misho, Diane Gulotti, Ruston Imming and Sanah Chung at 54.5.
Misho won the women’s long drive contest while Imming captured the men’s big blast. Closest to the Pin awards went to Butch Breeden (No. 7) and Marc Recordan (No. 17) while Israel Flores turned in the most accurate drive.
DeVine beat out this year’s tournament honoree’s son, Steve Puailoa, in the putt-off. Puailoa’s father, Satini “Sut” Puailoa, was being honored in memoriam as a well-known presence in the local community for his commitment to teaching and coaching at San Marcos High as well as his dedication to scoring local golf tournaments like the SBCC Golf Classic.
Matt Crowell is a Santa Barbara City College sports information intern.