At the Kenai Golf Course, you better know how to scramble.
Tony Grimes and Rich Lundahl both held the lead coming down the back nine Sunday during the final round of the Kenai Chrysler Championship at the notoriously tricky course. But it was Norm Jarvis who led last, sinking a dramatic birdie chip on the par-4 17th hole to claim a one stroke win at the notoriously tricky course.
Following the tournament, Jarvis said extra practice on the putting green following Saturday's first round really paid off when it counted.
"After my round yesterday, I spent almost three hours chipping and putting," Jarvis said.
That work around the greens came in handy a number of times for the Vancouver, B.C. pro, who lost his first round lead on the front nine to Grimes, then had to make a number of clutch saves on the back to stay in the hunt.
"That's what really kept him in it," Grimes said of Jarvis' ability to save himself from potentially disastrous situations.
Rich Lundalh blasts our to the rough on the par-4 6th hole Sunday in the final round of the Kenai Chrysler Championship. Lundahl would up with a double bogey on the hole. He would later recover to briefly take the lead before finishing third berhind Norm Jarvis and Tony Grimes.
Photo by Matt Tunseth
Grimes said he couldn't be too upset after losing by one shot to Jarvis, whose 25-foot chip-in on 17 was the talk of the tournament.
"He just beat me," he said.
The final grouping of Grimes, Lundahl and Jarvis provided a number of dramatic turns of fortune, with a new leader emerging seemingly after every hole.
Jarvis shot two-under Saturday to take a one shot lead over Grimes into the final round. That lead quickly evaporated after Jarvis chipped over the green on hole four, then took two shots to get out of the sand en route to making a double bogey. He also made bogey on number seven, while Grimes played the first nine holes at even par to lead by one over Jarvis and four over Lundahl.
Lundahl seemed to be fading at that point after making a bogey on the second and a double on the sixth. He failed to give in, however, and when Grimes bogeyed both the 13th and 14th holes and Jarvis found the hazard on the par-3 14th to make a double Lundahl suddenly found himself very much in the picture.
"I think patience is one of the best qualities you can have as an individual or an athlete," Lundahl said of his cool demeanor.
He said he just stayed focused on not getting down on himself, knowing that Grimes or Jarvis could slip up at any time.
"You can have a two or three shot swing real quick," he said.
Lundahl made another birdie on the par-5 16th hole, while Grimes and Jarvis each made par. That put Lundahl up one going into the 17th.
Jarvis could have been further back than one stroke going into that hole, had he not made par saves on the 12th, 13th and 16th holes.
On 16, Jarvis hit his drive into the rough, Jarvis put his second shot near the hazard to the right of the green. His chip out went back over the green, leaving him off the green and needing to get up-and-down to a tricky pin placement to make par.
His chipping saved him. Jarvis calmly knocked his chip off the flag stick, then tapped in for a well-earned five.
"I just kept saying, 'hang in there,'" Jarvis said of his ability to save himself.
On the decisive 17th, Jarvis' chip moved him ahead of his rivals when both Grimes and Lundahl were the victims of some unlucky breaks. Grimes' second shot from the rough on the right side of the fairway appeared to land on the green, but the firm 17th putting surface didn't hold his ball, and he ended up behind the hole and in the woods. His chip out was solid, but he couldn't hit his putt from the fringe.
Lundahl, on the other hand, had his chip get caught up in the rough at the front of the green, and when he couldn't make his 5-foot par putt, Jarvis found himself one hole away from claiming the $7,400 top prize.
On eighteen, he hit his approach shot just over the green, but calmly knocked a 30-foot putt to within gimmie distance to put the pressure on Lundahl and Grimes. When both of them missed short chips, Jarvis became the fifth winner in the 6-year history of the event.
Notes: Don Parker of Anchorage was the top amateur finisher in the tournament, shooting 17-over for the two-day event...Jarvis was also the top senior player, earning him an additional $900...Soldotna pro Tom Walsh was the top peninusla finisher, shooting 17-over for the tournament. Walsh also placed second in the senior competition...The overall prize money for the two-day event was $45,000, a record for the richest tournament in the state.
At Kenai Golf Course
Saturday and Sunday
Norm Jarvis 70 75 145
Tony Grimes 71 75 146
Rich Lundahl 72 75 147
Scott Taylor 73 77 150
James Contreras 76 75 151
Ryan Sparks 76 75 151
Billy Bomar 77 74 151
Aaron Dexheimer 76 76 152
Jim Hennessey 73 84 157
Bryan Anderson 77 81 158
Rob Nelson 77 81 158
Louie Runge 81 77 158
Zac Gavlac 82 76 158
John McBride 76 83 159
Tom Mulka 82 78 160
Mark England 79 81 160
Tom Walsh 79 82 161
Don Parker 79 81 161
Curt Zander 81 81 162
Bill Engberg 81 81 162
Eldon Harvey 78 86 164
Mark Bomar 79 86 165
Doug Jung 82 84 166
Trevis Kordus 82 85 167
Lorne Smagge 84 84 168
Matt Matarrese 80 92 173
Mark Matarrese 81 95 176
Ken Liedes 84 91 175
Jim Bradford 89 90 179
Results from the first and second flights will appear in Tuesday's Clarion.
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