Steve Gilley goes wire-to-wire to claim GCSAA National Championship

The superintendent from Panorama Golf Club in Conroe, Texas, survived difficult playing conditions to win his first tournament title by four shots.


Steve Gilley golf
Steve Gilley, a seven-year GCSAA member who played golf professionally for 13 years, prevailed in the final round of the GCSAA National Championship Feb. 4. Photos by Darren Carroll

Steve Gilley made his first GCSAA National Championship one to remember.

The superintendent at Panorama Golf Club in Conroe, Texas, fired a two-day total of 2-over-par 176 and went wire-to-wire on Monday to win the 2019 event, played out on the Champions Course at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. Gilley captured the title by four shots over a pair of multiple GCSAA National Championship winners: Michael Stieler, CGCS, and Seth Strickland.

Leading by two shots entering the final round, Gilley battled not only the field but Mother Nature to earn his first GCSAA title. Gusty winds and occasional rain made the going tough for all 72 competitors in the National Championship field on Monday, but it was Gilley who best navigated those conditions.

Although he didn't record a birdie during the final round, he did play the steadiest round among the top contenders, with 15 pars and just three bogeys en route to his final-round 75.

Steve Gilley golfer

Golf Steve Gilley
Listen to Gilley’s post-victory interview on SiriusXM’s “Katrek and Maginnes on Tap.”

Stieler, on the other hand, birdied four holes, but the superintendent at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, Calif., also bogeyed seven holes and double-bogeyed another on his way to a final round 77. For his part, Strickland, from Miami Shores Country Club in Florida, finished round two at 4-over-par 76, with two birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys on his card.

Two players finished tied for fourth at 9-over-par 153: Bryce Koch, CGCS, from Cypress Lake Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla., and Keith Stein from Rose Hall Development Jamaica. Five others finished at 10-over-par 156 for the tournament: James Beebe from Priddis Green Golf and Country Club in Priddis, Alberta; Shawn Westacott from Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas; Tanner Chrastecky from The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Hockley, Texas; Anthony McFadyean from Nedlands Golf Club in Australia; and Michael Goldsberry from Wing Point Golf & Country Club in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

In the chapter team competitions, the Lone Star GCSA No. 1 team took the gross division title while the Rocky Mountain GCSA took the net division crown.

For a full rundown of all the results from the 2019 GCSAA Golf Championships, which were presented in partnership with The Toro Co. for the 25th consecutive year, see the GCSAA Golf Championships on Golf Genius.

Scott Hollister is GCM’s editor-in-chief.