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Elkington & McCarron Win Umpqua Bank Challenge
Steve Elkington and partner Scott McCarron fired a 36-hole total of 24-under 120 to win the inaugural Umpqua Bank Challenge in Portland, Ore. The reconstituted version of the former Fred Meyer Challenge, also known as "Peter's Party" in honor of his host, Peter Jacobsen, took place Monday and Tuesday at Portland Golf Club. The two split the $100,000 winners' share of the $532,000 purse.
The twosomes of Nick Price and Mark O'Meara and Jay Haas and John Cook shared second at 18-under 126 in the better-ball event. Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman placed fourth at 17-under after a closing 61, while Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw were at 7-under and 81-year-old Arnold Palmer and Jacobsen ended up at 4-under.
For Palmer, it was his first 36 holes played over two days in over a year. "I got a little bit excited (about my game)," he told reporters. Palmer was playing in his 18th Challenge, joining Jacobsen to play in all of them.
Elkington and McCarron, the youngest players in the field, said they hoped their win bodes well for them the rest of the year. "The only thing we've been winning is scratch-off tickets at the grocery store," Elkington cracked. "So we're going to take this little piece of momentum and see if we can parlay it on the Tour."
In addition to a nice payday, both of them won the "coveted" jean jackets that go to the Challenge winners.
McCarron, who won the last Fred Meyer Challenge with partner and Oregon native Brian Henninger when it was last played in 2002, got into this year's tournament after Beaverton, Ore., native Ben Crane had to withdraw after qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour.
The best part for McCarron was hanging out with Palmer, one of golf's all-time greats. "It's so special to be a part of anything that Arnold Palmer is involved in," McCarron told Portland Tribune reporter Steve Brandon.
"To be able to hear him speak last night, and to have breakfast with him this morning and talk with him . . . he is 'The King,' truly one of the greatest gentlemen ever to play the game."
For Brandon's full article, visit http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=131474378413952300.