Three in a row for Westby
Randy Westby and Keith Duchscher were in a familiar spot on late Sunday afternoon, Aug. 15, at the Rugby Golf Course – dueling for a club tournament title.
For the third year in a row the two men were engaged in a back-andforth match, and like the previous two tournaments, it was Westby who would prevail.
“I got down early, but was able to make some putts and get back into the match,’ said Westby, who became just the second golfer to win three consecutive club titles and who now has six overall.
No. 2 seeded Duchscher held a three -hole lead after the first four holes before Westby, the top seed, rallied. The match was even through the front nine and then the two-time defending champ would get on top to stay, winning three and two in the match play format.
“I had two chip-ins and two one-putts in the first four holes on the back nine and that really paved the way,’ Westby said.
Duchscher won the 14th hole to trail by two with four to play, but ran into a bit of misfortune on the 15th. His second shot on the Par 5 just caught the water hazard in front of the green, forcing him to take a penalty stroke.
“Where the pin was on that green, you had to be in front of the hole to give yourself a chance (at an eagle or birdie),’ Duchscher said. “I knew I couldn’t go long and unfortunately I just didn’t get quite enough club.”
Westby’s second shot, meanwhile, rested about eight feet below the cup. He won the hole to regain a three-hole lead. The two halved the Par 3 16th hole which sealed the victory for Westby, who resides in Burlington, but remains a club member.
“The course was again in excellent shape and even though I don’t live here, this is a course I enjoy coming back to play and a tournament that’s fun to be part of,’ he said.
The players had to contend with some challenging conditions during the two-day tournament. A stiff northwest wind on Sunday tested the players’ ability to keep the ball in the fairway and also made it difficult at times in selecting which club to use for approach shots.
Conditions were just as tough on Saturday (Aug. 14) with off-and-on rain showers and cool temperatures and the high scores, especially in the 18-hole championship fight qualifier, reflected that.
Westby advanced to the finals by topping No. 8 seed Randy Deckert in the first round and then defeated No. 5 Rick Bruggeman in the semifinals.
Duchscher, who has four club titles himself, defeated No. 7 Brett McAtee in the first round and then edged No. 3 Corey Espe in the semifinals.
Rick Bruggeman finished third while Mike Santjer took the consolation title in the championship flight.
Jeff Lind captured the first flight tournament title, defeating Tony Bernhardt in the championship match. Eugene Volk was third and Gary Myhre won the consolation title. The second flight champion was Mark Hamilton. Ron Burgard was runner-up.
In the third flight, Toby McCabe won the title match over Larry Fueller. Greg Foster finished third and Christ Heintz was fifth.
Notes: Randy Westby is just one behind Carlan Kraft who holds the record for the most club titles with seven…Keith Duchscher is the last golfer other than Westby to win the tournament, taking the title in 2007…There were three new golfers in the eight-player championship flight from last year (Randy Deckert, Travis Schmaltz, Mike Santjer)…Rain showers on Aug. 14 did delay play temporarily.
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