The rainy weather could not cool off professional golfer Billy Bomar in the first round of the Kenai Peninsula Open at Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna on Saturday.
Bomar took the lead in the Open Division by firing a 6-under-par 64. Bill Engberg of Birch Ridge said that is the best round ever recorded at Birch Ridge in stroke tournament play.
Bomar got off to a quick start, with an eagle on the par-4 first hole, then chipping in for a birdie on No. 2. He was 7 under after six holes and actually double-bogeyed No. 8 before a birdie on No. 9 brought him to 6 under. His 29 on the front nine included just 10 putts, three of which came on No. 8.
Bomar then shot even par on the back nine.
“By the time he got to the back nine, the rain had made the course soggier,” Engberg said.
Rob Nelson is in second with 68, while Casey Cusack is third at 71. Nolan Rose of Birch Ridge is in fourth at 73, while Tommy Carver of Kenai Golf Course stands in fifth at 74.
In the men’s amateur, defending champ Beau Forrest took the lead with a 71, while Marcus Dolejsi had a 74. Engberg said nobody is close to those two, and it will be a two-man race.
In the women’s amateur, Tanna Chenault had an 84, while defending champion Ardie Crawford is in second at 92.
“It’s not over,” Engberg said. “Ardie is not going to give it up easily.”
There are five in the junior division. Engberg said the group is tightly bunched, with Tyler Yamada leading the way at 85.
The event is partnering with the Central Peninsula Health Foundation for the second straight year.
Liedes storms to Donnie Morgan lead out of second flight
Ken Liedes, an 11 handicap playing from the second flight, took the lead at the Donnie Morgan Club Championship at Kenai Golf Course with a 3-over-par 75 on Saturday.
In the final day of play today, Liedes will have to hold off a bunch of pursuers from the first flight. Derek Kaufman is closest after his 81, while Chris Murray had an 82.
“I would call it impressive for an old guy,” said Liedes, who is 73.
“I was supposed to shoot my age, but I missed.”
Liedes said he had a handicap of 6 before he started having troubles with his right knee. He had knee surgery in January 2012 and has steadily improved his game since then. He said it is the first time he has fired a 75 since the knee surgery.
“Dr. (David) Innes in Soldotna did a great job with it,” Liedes said. “I don’t have any problems with it, as far as pain goes.”
He said he has had to make some swing adjustments due to the knee, but if he concentrates he can still play good golf.
“I putted pretty well and chipped pretty well,” Liedes said. “I never got in trouble on any hole.”
Saturday at Kenai Golf Course
Player Grs Net
Derek Kaufman 81 72
Chris Murray 82 75
Gordon Griffin 84 78
Gilbert Arellano 85 82
Todd Eskelin 85 79
Mark Griffin 85 78
Rene Alvarez 88 80
Doug Jung 89 82
Greg Harrington 92 86
Ken Liedes 75 64
Noel Widmayer 86 74
Pat Bowen 87 73
Dana Bassel 88 76
Kirk Hyman 89 77
John Gibson 91 74
Jesse Wade 93 82
Dusty Steinbeck 105 85
Jeff Jones 119 95