Chiya Bazan hits on the ninth hole Saturday during the Peninsula Amateur Golf Championship at Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Although neither of the eventual 2005 champions knew it at the time, second place was a good place to be after Saturday's first round of the Peninsula Amateur Golf Tournament at Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna.
Josh Lansing and Chyia Bazan both overcame day one deficits to overtake the first-round leaders Sunday, each earning their first Pen Am titles in the process.
Lansing took advantage of a bad front nine by Tony Azzara, shooting a final round 77 to win by five shots. Trailing by just one after Saturday, Lansing made up seven strokes on the front nine when Azzara struggled to a 46.
"He kind of handed it over to me," Lansing said of Azzara's troublesome nine holes to open the day.
Bob Sizemore finished a shot back of Azzara to take third place.
Lansing and Azzara are good friends who have been playing golf together since they were 10-year-olds. Lansing said he believes Azzara's temper may have gotten the better of his playing partner early on.
"I think he kind of got too angry on the front. If he hadn't, it probably would have been close."
The 18-year-old Lansing a two-time junior champion of the event headed for the College of the Desert to play college golf in the fall said his prior experiences at the Pen Am may have helped him handle the pressure. Two years ago, Lansing held the overall first day lead in the tournament as a 16-year-old before blowing a 10-stroke lead on the final day.
"I just didn't handle it when I was 16," he said.
On the women's side of things, Bazan used a similar charge on the front nine to wrest the winner's gold pan from Tanna Chenault, the 1996 champion who carried a three-stroke lead into the final day. Bazan carded a 44 on the front to Chenault's 48, then countered Chenault's 46 on the back with a 45 of her own to win by two strokes.
Asked how she felt after winning her first Pen Am, Bazan said she simply had the ball going in the right direction Sunday.
"It was just the right game," she said.
Other top performers in the tournament included junior champion Zac Cowan, men's first flight (and overall men's low net) winner Mike Chenault and Rhonda Dettmer, who shot the women's low net score.
Birch Ridge owner Pat Cowan said he was pleased with this year's tournament, which for the second year in a row was played under sunny skies and ideal golfing conditions.
"It was just beautiful weather and a lot of fun," Cowan said.
Peninsula Amateur Championship
At Birch Ridge Golf Course
Men's Championship Flight Sat. Sun. Total
Josh Lansing 75 77 152
Tony Azzara 74 83 157
Bob Sizemore 79 79 158
Jay Kriner 81 80 161
Mike Hollingsworth 83 79 162
Zac Cowan 87 79 166
Steve Dexheimer 84 88 172
Men's First Flight
Mike Chenault 79 80 159
Curtis Nelson 82 83 165
Morris Redford 86 81 169
Darrell Jelsma 83 89 172
Caleb Sizemore 89 83 172
George Stein 87 94 181
Aaron Andrus 99 85 184
Men's Second Flight
Dave Keating 92 92 184
Don McGhee 90 102 192
Phil Turkington 99 105 204
Gary Dawkins 107 106 213
Dave Stein 109 109 218
John Lansing 108 111 219
Chyia Bazan 91 89 180
Tanna Chenault 88 94 182
Rhonda Dettmer 100 93 193
Jana Query 100 98 198
Lisa Parker 99 101 200
Pat Bird 100 104 204
Myrna Cowan 104 105 209
Carolyn Turkington 99 118 217
Sharon Keating 126 103 229
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