There was just one complaint about the Peninsula Senior Golf Tournament, which took place Thursday and Friday at Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna: You have to wait 50 years just to be eligible to play.
"It's fantastic," Darell Jelsma said of the competition. "Everybody's out here to have a good time and enjoy the game, rather than the competition.
"The only bad part about it is that we're all old."
Sure, there were a few other minor complaints the pin placement on hole seven had some participants asking if they could roast the groundskeeper over the campfire, and the last group to finish certainly took its time getting around the course but most of the participants cheerfully played through the rain and quite a few good scores were posted on the leaderboard at the end of the two-day, 36-hole tournament.
Chiya Bazan paced the Ladies' Championship Flight, following up her first-round 84 with a second-round 98 to earn low-gross scoring honors. Pat Bird's net score, the score after a player's handicap is figured in, took low-net honors.
"The (first) day I had a good game, but today, not too good," said Bazan, adding that the intense media scrutiny that comes with leading a tournament made her nervous.
"After the photographer came, I couldn't hit anything."
Sharon Keating's gross score of 199 was tops in the Ladies' First Flight, and her net score of 129 was the best of the tournament for both the ladies and the gentlemen.
Chiya Bazan grimaces after sending a ball astray Friday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
In the Gentlemen's Junior Senior Championship Flight, for players between 50 and 59, Gary Stackhouse followed up his first-day 82 with an 81 to take the gross scoring title. John Dahlgren was the low-net winner with a 148.
"I enjoyed it very much," Stackhouse said of his round. "I got to see all of my old friends. I haven't been here for a year."
Stackhouse said he lives in Mexico and is spending just a month in Alaska. He said he enjoyed catching up with friends during last week's Peninsula Amateur and came back this week for more.
Stackhouse said he didn't play his best round, but was happy to finish well.
"I was hitting the ball so bad, it was a struggle," Stackhouse said. "I had to grind my way around. Fortunately, I was able to grind a little harder than those other guys."
In the junior senior first flight, Jelsma opened the tournament with a 79 and followed it up with an 85 to earn the low-gross scoring title.
"I broke 80 for the first time in my life," said Jelsma, adding that it was his short game that made the difference. "My improvement in my short game really helped me a lot. Or maybe it was the weather, the rain I'm a mudder."
With his 79, Jelsma matched Dale Sandahl for the lowest round of the tournament.
Sandahl shot his 79 on the second day of competition to jump past Morris Redford in the Masters Championship Flight. Sandahl had opened with an 86 and was five strokes behind Redford to start the second round. Momentum was on Sandahl's side, though, as he finished eight strokes ahead of Redford in the gross scoring. Redford did win the low-net scoring title.
Ray Hamby had the low-gross score in the Masters First Flight with a 176, and Roy Stuckey was the low-gross winner in the Masters Second Flight at 183.
Grainge Memorial Peninsula Senior Golf Tournament
Thursday and Friday
at Birch Ridge Golf Course, Soldotna
First- and second-round scores with total gross scoring and total net score.
Chiya Bazan 84-98182 132
Pat Bird 90-96186 134
Carolyn Turkington 107-95202 148
Linda Murphy 97-106203 153
Bard Winkler 104-105209 153
Sharon Keating 101-98199 129
Jan Stenga 105-122227 163
June Stuckey 107-123230 170
Judy Keck-Walsh 118-116234 164
Gary Stackhouse 82-81163 141
Gerald Winkler 82-87169 151
John Dahlgren 87-83170 148
Charles Kahakauwila 89-87176 150
Darell Jelsma 79-85164 134
Bob Bush 85-95180 150
Charles Waguespack 93-88181 139
Steve Hammerstrom 92-94186 154
Jerry May 100-117217 179
Dale Sandahl 86-79165 149
Morris Redford 81-92173 147
John Kramer 88-85173 149
Pat Cowan 88-87175 149
Jerry Norris 95-81176 154
Ray Hamby 90-86176 142
Chuck Rider 88-90178 138
Dave Keating 91-94185 147
Phil Turkington 88-100188 146
Gordon Briscoe 98-99197 153
Don McGhee 100-98198 154
Andy Anderson 105-102207 163
Bill Ratke 109-103212 172
Roy Stuckey 90-93183 135
Dave Stein 92-92184 138
Chuck Obendorf 97-103200 146
Gary Effenbeck 108-113221 151
Dan McKendry 142-125267 145
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