It wasn't about the way Doug Jung started. It was about the way he finished.
Jung won the two-day Kenai Open on Sunday at Kenai Golf Course by finishing with a two-day total of 14-over-par 158. Todd Eskelin was second at 163.
Jung said he had not won a two-day tournament since he won the amateur division of the Kenai Open in the middle of the 2000s. Back then, the Kenai Open also had a pro division.
After his first nine holes Saturday, Jung did not look like he would be breaking that drought. He opened the tourney with bogeys on his first two holes, then threw in a double bogey on the par-3 fifth and a triple-bogey on the par-3 ninth. He made the turn at 7-over-par 43, but fired a 2-over-par 38 on the back to stay in the tournament with an 81.
The problem was Gilbert Arellano, who earlier this season won Kenai Golf Course's club championship, had a 77 on Saturday.
"Gilbert is a great player," Jung said. "I figured I was pretty much playing for second place today. I just kept the ball in play and scored when I could."
Jung and Arellano played in the same group Sunday. After a 39 on the front nine, Jung was able to pull within one stroke after Arellano double-bogeyed No. 11. But Jung followed with his only double of the day on No. 12 to again fall three strokes back.
"I was just trying to keep the ball in play, hit greens and make putts," Jung said. "The one hole where I got into trouble was 12."
After No. 12, though, Jung would play the last six holes at even par. He picked up one shot on Arellano when Arellano bogeyed No. 13, then drew within one with a birdie on No. 15.
Jung was still within a stroke heading into No. 17, a 430-yard par 4. The hole is narrow, lined with trees and finishes with a tricky green.
"The last two holes on this course are very tough holes," Jung said. "They are very tight."
While Jung was making par on No. 17, Arellano went into the trees with his tee shot and failed to get his second shot out into the fairway. After chipping out into the fairway, he hit the green, then three-putted to fall two strokes back.
Jung said Arellano never actually tapped in his third putt, which meant he did not finish the hole and couldn't finish the tournament.
But with No. 18 left, Jung was not about to relax. That par 4 features a carry of over 100 yards over a gully.
"I knew there were guys in the groups behind me that were capable of winning," Jung said. "All I wanted to do was make sure I got the ball over that gully on my second shot."
He made bogey on the 18th, but still cruised to the tournament victory.
Jung said the players and the weather made it a great tournament. He also was happy with the way his game held up on the tough tournament course that is Kenai Golf Course.
"This course can bite you at any time," he said.
The low net winner was Mike Houghton, who had a gross of 170 and a net of 140. Eskelin was second at 163 and 151, Andy Anderson was third at 196 and 152, and Bob Bush was fourth at 187 and 153.
Mark Griffin, with a two-day total of 166, was awarded second gross because Eskelin elected to take second net.
On Saturday, closest to the pin went to Eskelin on No. 5, Mark Griffin on No. 9, John Glidden on No. 10 and Chris Murray on No. 14. Shane Zimmerman had the closest second shot on No. 18, while Rene Alvarez, Arellano, Chris Murray and Zimmerman had skins.
On Sunday, closest to the pin went to Bush on No. 5, Alvarez on No. 9, Tyler Yamada on No. 10 and Anderson on No. 14. Mark Griffin had the closest second shot on No. 7. There were no skins on Sunday.
at Kenai Golf Course