This weekend saw the central Kenai Peninsula's last official golf tournament of the season as Kenai golfers Rita Botelho and Billy Applewhite won the ladies' and men's champion flights of the Combined Kenai-Soldotna Golf Associations Tournament Sunday. For the third time in a row, the Kenai Golf Association captured the trophy that is competed for each year between the two golf clubs.
The two-day tournament, in its third year, had competitors play a round each of golf on the 70-par Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna and the 72-par Kenai Golf Course.
Botelho shot an 82 at Birch Ridge on Saturday and brought home an 89 Sunday at Kenai for a combined gross score of 171. Applewhite scored a total 154 gross, shooting 78 Saturday at Birch Ridge and 76 Sunday in Kenai.
"I shot better at Kenai because I'm used to playing there," Applewhite said. "I like Kenai because it's a little more difficult, but if you don't keep the ball on the fairway, you won't score on either course."
He said his toughest hole in the tournament was Kenai's 17th, where he barely went even on the 4-par hole despite slicing into the trees.
"On my second shot, I knocked the ball into the woods on the left," Applewhite said. "All I could do is take my sand wedge and hit (the ball) as hard as I could. I just lucked out."
Mark Azzara finished second to Applewhite, shooting a combined 157 gross over the two days, scoring 76 Saturday and 81 on Sunday.
He had the lowest net score after subtracting his 7-stroke handicap at Birch Ridge and an 8-stroke handicap at Kenai, for a combined 142 during the tournament. Azzara said he was pleased with how both the 9-hole Birch Ridge and the 18-hole Kenai course played and he was also proud of his performance.
"I think they both played about equally, although the Soldotna greens were a little faster," he said. "That's the first 'First' I've gotten all summer. That's the first anything."
Botelho was modest about her success and only offered a note about what she considered to be a high point in her golfing experience.
"I did shoot my best ever on the front nine," she said of her 40-stroke for the first nine holes.
The club trophy was again awarded to the Kenai Golf Course and will remain on display there until it again goes up for grabs next year.
Combined Kenai-Soldotna Golf Associations Tournament
Gross Bir Hdcp Ken Hdcp Net
Rita Botelho 82-82 -- 171 14 16 141
Pat Bird 96-103 -- 199 27 30 142
Jan Stenga 104-120 -- 224 30 35 159
J. Christiansen 101-123 -- 224 27 31 166
Gross Bir Hdcp Ken Hdcp Net
Billy Applewhite 78-76 -- 154 6 7 141
Mark Azzara 76-81 -- 157 7 8 142
Gordon Griffin 79-81 -- 160 8 8 160
Nick Horn 77-79 -- 156 3 3 150
Ken Liedes 79-81 -- 160 4 5 151
Doug Jung 82-82 -- 164 6 7 151
Eldon Harvey 85-83 -- 168 7 7 154
Dave Kerkvliet 85-86 -- 171 8 9 154
Jeff Sinz 87-85 -- 172 8 9 154
Loran Smagge 90-88 -- 178 8 9 150
Mark Matarrese 89-93 -- 182 2 2 178
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