NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Having played golf for more than 20 years, Jon Levitt understands the critical thinking aspect of the game.
He recently wrote a book titled, "The Process: Mental Training and the Principles of Limitless Golfing Success," which examines the mental and psychological facets of the sport. Fortunately for Levitt, he managed to remember his own advice and kept his composure during the championship flight of the inaugural Glendale City Golf Championship on Monday at Oakmont Country Club.
With just enough daylight to spare, Levitt made an 18-foot birdie on the par-three 16th hole to defeat Kris Hons in the fourth hole of a playoff.
Levitt, a Covina resident who participated in the United States Open in 2000 and won the Burbank City Championship in 2011, had an opportunity to win the event in regulation. However, he bogeyed the par-five 18th hole, which Hons, a Glendale resident, parred.
"It's about how you are able to handle yourself in different situations," said Levitt, who shot a one-under-par 70 and a two-day of total of 130. "It's about being able to stay sharp mentally.
"Kris made everything and pushed me the whole time. I had to stay focused and I made some shots. I had hit some bad shots throughout the whole tournament, and I also hit some good putts that didn't fall. So, I just had to stay at it."
The duo went to the 18th hole for the first playoff hole with each recording a par. They then each parred the par-five first hole and then the 18th hole to set up the fourth playoff hole.
On the final hole, Hons, who entered the final round tied for the lead after shooting a one-under-par 59 during the qualifying round Wednesday at Scholl Canyon Golf Course, hit a tee shot into the left bunker. Levitt's tee shot landed on the greens.
Hons temporarily got out of trouble by driving a bunker shot about 25 feet from the hole, but Levitt, who finished third in the Pasadena City Championship this year, calmly drained his putt to end the round that lasted more than six hours.
Hons, a former assistant professional at Oakmont from 2002-07, took the defeat in stride.
"I went first [on the last playoff hole] and I needed to hit the greens to have an opportunity to win," Hons said. "Jon hit his shot to about 20 feet [from the pin].
"Even earlier in the round, I had a couple of chances for birdies and I didn't make them."
Jerry Butt took the Deukmejian flight, besting Allen Black by two strokes.
Butt, a Glendale resident, fired a one-over-par 73 and finished with a two-round total of 133.
"It's a more difficult course here compared to Scholl," Butt said. "I had to keep the ball in play and I made some big putts for birdie on seven and nine. I left some shots below the hole, and that worked out well."
James Hansen defeated Carlos Casanova, a Glendale resident, by a stroke to win the Verdugo flight. Hansen held a three-stroke lead over Casanova entering the final round. Hansen shot a 76 on Monday before holding off Casanova's late charge.
In the Brand flight, Robert Barshe defeated Robert Burns by three strokes. Barshe shot a two-under-par 70 to finish his two-round score at 131.
Arica Rodriguez of Whittier captured the women's division flight title by 20 strokes with a five-over-par 65 on Wednesday at Scholl.
All proceeds benefited the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.
The event was sponsored by Trusted Choice.