Eskelin wins Kenai Open at Kenai Golf Course

Todd Eskelin is back.

Eskelin won the two-day Kenai Open on Sunday at Kenai Golf Course with a two-day total of 162 at the par-72 course. Doug Jung and Ken Liedes both tied for second at 163.

In February, Eskelin had knee surgery in order to replace his anterior cruciate ligament and do some meniscus repair.

"I'm just starting to get some of my distance back," he said. "I've been getting closer and closer each tournament."

Sunday, Eskelin closed with a round of 79 to prove he is ready to put the surgery behind him.

The tournament began on a windy Saturday in which none of the players broke 80. Rene Alvarez and Ken Liedes both had rounds of 80 to share the lead at the tournament after the first day.

Eskelin opened with an 83.

"(Saturday) was challenging," Eskelin said. "I don't hit it quite as far as some of the longer hitters, so I didn't get into as much trouble."

Starting a gorgeous autumn Sunday 3 strokes off the lead, Eskelin said he figured he had to shoot a 76 or 77 to get a shot at the title.

He came out on a pace to do better than that, finishing the first 11 holes just 1 over par. He then faltered, with six bogeys over the last seven holes.

Eskelin said he didn't know where the rest of the field was scoring, but he assumed his string of bogeys took him out of the tournament.

As it turned out, 79 tied for the second-lowest round of the tournament. Jung fired a 77 on Sunday, but that was not quite enough to make up for Saturday's 86. Mark Azzara joined Eskelin with a 79 on Sunday, but he had a 91 on Saturday.

Liedes followed Saturday's 80 with an 83, while Alvarez had an 84 on Sunday.

"It's great that I was able to get to this point with my knee by the end of the year," Eskelin said.

John Dahlgren won low net in the first division with a 149, while Liedes was second at 149, Azzara was third at 152, Alvarez was fourth at 152 and Jung was fifth at 155.

In the second division, Kirk Hyman won low net at 146. Jim Bradford was second at 150, Dusty Steinbeck was third at 150, Mike Houghton was fourth at 153 and Shane Zimmerman was fifth at 156.

Kenai Open
Saturday, Sunday
at Kenai Golf Course
Par 72
First Division
Sat Sun Gross Net
Todd Eskelin 83 79 162 146
Doug Jung 86 77 163 155
Ken Liedes 80 83 163 149
Rene Alvarez 80 84 164 152
Beau Forrest 84 80 164 164
John Dahlgren 84 81 165 149
Gordon Griffin 86 80 166 156
Chris Morin 86 82 168 158
Mark Azzara 91 79 170 152
Mark Griffin 85 87 172 156
Jesse Wade 86 88 174 158
Rich Edwards 85 89 174 160
Charlie Kahakauwila 90 90 180 160
Chris Murray 82 99 181 171
Second Division (Net scores)
Sat Sun Ttl
Kirk Hyman 72 74 146
Jim Bradford 76 74 150
Dusty Steinbeck 74 76 150
Mike Houghton 77 76 153
Shane Zimmerman 80 76 156
Noel Widmayer 79 77 156
Jerry Norris 76 82 158
Chuck Rupenthal 80 79 159
Joe Deveaux 84 81 165
John Glidden 88 79 167
Andy Anderson 84 85 169
Mike Kebschull 83 90 173
Keith Stacik 85 90 175
Bill Bushnell 92 85 177



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