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Defending Champions Repeat at 26th Washington State Senior Men's and 5th Super Senior Men's Amateur Championships
Defending champion Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. capped an outstanding championship season with a final round 3-under-par 69 at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. to win the 26th Washington State Senior Men's Amateur Championship.
In the 5th Washington State Super Senior Men's Amateur Championship, defending champion Ron Petersen of Coquitlam, B.C. made a final round charge with a 2-over-par 74 to outlast Travis Gamble of Gig Harbor, Wash. and repeat as champion. Both championships are conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
Entering the final round with a two shot lead over Gudmund Lindbjerg of Port Moody, B.C., Brandes quickly pulled away from the field on the front nine with a spotless 5-under-par 31 that included birdies on holes one, three, four, seven and nine. He made the turn at 7-under-par for the championship and six shots clear of Lindbjerg. "I wanted to go low today," he said. "The first two days, I hit it about the same but today I knew it was out there, I knew a low score could be had, especially as good as the greens were."
Bogeys at 12 and 13 dropped him back a few strokes, but the rest of the field simply could not muster enough fire power to make a run. "I wavered a little bit on the back nine but I wanted to get something in the 60s." He did just that, finishing with a final round 69 for a championship total of 5-under-par 211, good enough for a six shot cushion over Lindbjerg.
After a final round of 1-over-par 73 that included one birdie and two bogeys, Lindbjerg finished alone in second place with a three day total of 1-over-par 217. Keith Crimp of Ellensburg, Wash. and John Gallacher of Burnaby, B.C. finished eight shots off the pace at 3-over-par 219 for the championship.
The win caps an impressive year for Brandes, who won the Washington State Senior Men's Champion of Champions, the Washington State Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, the Pacific Northwest Senior Men's Amateur Championship, and the Pacific Northwest Men's Mid-Amateur Championship earlier this year. Also, last week he was one of three players to represent Washington at the USGA Men's State Team Championship that was held at Galloway (N.J.) National Golf Club.
"A lot of it has to do with tournament experience, having played on the big stage in a couple of U.S. Senior Opens," Brandes said about his year. "You may not excel at that level, but when it's over, you learn how to handle pressure. I've learned how to stay focused. That's been a big difference." (Watch Brandes' Interview Here).
For Petersen, it took a bit more work to defend his title, as he entered the final round trailing second round leader Travis Gamble of Gig Harbor, Wash. by three strokes. The Super Senior Men's Amateur field teed off on the back nine, but Petersen made his move on the front nine with back-to-back birdies on holes seven and eight en route to a 1-under-par 35 that allowed him to slip past Gamble and into the lead. His championship total of 7-over-par 223 was good enough for a three shot victory over Gamble. With the win, Petersen becomes the second two-time winner in the championship's history along with Bruce Richards of Seattle, Wash.
Gamble struggled early, posting seven bogeys on his front nine en route to a 7-over-par 43. He recovered nicely on the back nine with a 1-over-par 37 but it was simply too little, too late. He finished alone in second place with a three day total of 10-over-par 226.
Shelton Washburn of Chimacum, Wash. posted a final round 3-over-par 75 to finish in third place with a three-day total of 11-over-par 227.
For more information about the championship, including final round results, go to www.thewsga.org.
Cooperatively owned and operated by the Washington State Golf Association and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, The Home Course was designed by Mike Asmundson and opened in 2007. In only a few short years, The Home Course has built up quite the reputation with its unique challenges, layout, and vistas. Despite its early success, The Home Course has continued to evolve and flourish. "The greens are much faster than normal," said Director of Golf, Ron Hagen. "A change in fertilizing philosophy has made a huge difference." Affectionately dubbed "The Home of Golf in the Northwest," The Home Course provides an affordable, quality golf experience for players of all ages and skills. "The true niche of this course is that it is the home of golf," said Hagen. "It's predicated on the members of the PNGA and the WSGA." That said, its national prestige continues to grow, as it served as the assisting course in the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship and was recently selected as the site for the 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. For more information about The Home Course, go to www.thehomecourse.com.