Birch Ridge pro Tom Walsh and Moose Run pro Bryan Anderson teamed up to win the 10th annual Wells Fargo All-Alaskan Pro Skins Game on Monday at Birch Ridge Golf Course.
The duo won a total of $2,400. Rob Nelson of Eagleglen Golf Course and Rich Lundahl of Bird Homestead Golf Course came in second with $1,050, while Mark Matarrese and Trevis Kordus came in third with $150.
The event added a new wrinkle this year. In the past, the pros played for themselves in the skins event. In a skins event, each hole is worth a certain dollar amount. A skin is taken by getting the lowest score on a hole. If there is a tie for the lowest score, the money carries over to the next hole.
The new wrinkle in the event was having four two-person teams. The two-person teams played alternate shot, meaning members of the team alternated hitting shots on each hole.
“I saw it on TV and I thought it would be a nice way to get more pros involved,” Walsh said. “Everybody seemed to like the new format, and the bank was nice enough to kick in some more money for it.”
The field was narrowed down to eight pros in the pro-am earlier Monday. Anderson led the way in that pro-am, shooting a tournament record 6-under-par 64. Also under par were Nelson at 66, Settlers Bay pro Billy Bomar at 68 and Walsh at 69.
A blind draw was held to determine the teams, and Walsh and Anderson were more than happy to draw each other.
Walsh said he has played a lot of golf with Anderson over the past eight or nine years and enjoys playing with him. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Anderson had just finished with a round of 64.
Anderson knew Walsh’s extensive knowledge of his home course would come in handy. Plus, Walsh’s relative lack of length off the tee would not be a factor on a course that measures out at 6,030 yards.
Kordus and Matarrese got right down to business on the first hole. Kordus drove the green on the 325-yard hole and Matarrese hit a perfect lag putt for a birdie and a skin. Upon reaching the green, Bomar announced to the gallery that Kordus had just said of his drive, “Most people don’t go that far on vacation.”
Anderson and Walsh picked up their first skin, worth $450, on hole No. 3. Walsh’s drive left Anderson 120 yards out on the par-4, 405-yard hole and Anderson put his approach shot within 4 feet. Walsh made the putt.
“I was dialed in on that hole today,” Anderson said. “I had birdied it twice earlier in the day.”
Lundahl and Nelson picked up their skin on the par-3, 150-yard sixth hole. All four teams put their tee shots on the green, but Lundahl’s was the closest at about 10 feet. Nelson made that putt, while the other teams all missed lengthy putts.
No team was able to take a skin on the last three holes, so the event went into extra holes. Matarrese and Kordus were dropped on No. 10 after the other three teams made birdies.
On No. 11, Walsh came within inches of ending the event. His approach shot from 100 yards was about to nestle up next to the cup when it took one last hop, struck the pin and rolled 25 yards away.
“I didn’t even know I’d hit the pin at first,” Walsh said. “I though it had just spun back. I thought, ‘Whoa. I haven’t done that in a while.’”
Nelson and Lundahl were dropped on No. 11. The two remaining teams took par on No. 12 and birdie on No. 13. At the par-4 14th, both teams were on the front of the two-tiered green in regulation. With the pin on the higher tier, Bomar struck his putt 5 feet past the hole while Walsh left Anderson a tap in. When George Collum III’s putt slid left past the hole, Walsh and Anderson had an additional $1,950.
The top team in the pro-am was Billy Bomar, Brittany Bomar, Ann Frawner and Earl Frawner. Second was Kordus, Lorne Smagge, Kathy Herring and Nick Horn. Third was Matarrese, Steve Dexheimer, Gary Stackhouse and John Roderick.
Horn was low gross amongst amateurs at 72, while Todd Eskelin was second at 74 and Brittany Bomar was third at 77. Low net went to Pat Bird, with Kathy Herring second and John Roderick third.
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