Anderson wins Kenai Peninsula Open at Birch Ridge Golf Course
Bryan Anderson, a professional at Moose Run Golf Course, birdied four straight holes on the back nine to take a lead he would not relinquish Sunday in the final day of the two-day Kenai Peninsula Open at Birch Ridge Golf Course.
Anderson finished with a total of 2-under-par 138 to take $1,200 at the inaugural event. Rich Lundahl and Rob Nelson both tied for second at 142 to take $550.
In the amateur division, Beau Forrest finished at 146 to defeat Marcus Dolejsi by three strokes. The Peninsula Amateur was rolled into the Kenai Peninsula Open. Forrest had one previous Peninsula Amateur title.
In the women's division, Ardie Crawford defended her Peninsula Amateur title. She finished at 160. Runner-up Tanna Chenault was 22 strokes behind.
Anderson came into Sunday tied for the lead with John McBride, who would shoot 73 on Sunday to take fourth place. Lundahl had a 71 on Saturday, while Nelson had a 72.
Anderson double-bogeyed the par-4 third hole in finishing his first nine with 37 strokes. After a 33 on the front nine, Nelson led Anderson by two. Lundahl was one stroke behind Nelson.
"This is the type of course where there can be huge swings," Anderson said. "There's trouble on every hole."
A huge swing on the first four holes of the back nine won Anderson the tournament.
Birch Ridge is a nine-hole course that uses different tees on the front and back nine. On the first four holes for the front nine, Anderson used driver just twice. On the back nine, he opted to use the driver on all four holes.
"I just decided to get aggressive," he said. "The pins were in such a position where it was worth getting a lob wedge in my hand."
On No. 10, a 350-yard par 4, Anderson hit driver, lob wedge and hit a 4-footer for birdie. On No. 11, a 375-yard par 4, Anderson hit driver, lob wedge and rolled in a 10-footer. On No. 12, a 425-yard par 4, Anderson hit driver, gap wedge and tapped in a 2-footer. Finally, on the par-5, 515-yard No. 14, Anderson put his second shot on the fringe of the green, chipped to within 2 feet, and tapped in his fourth straight birdie.
"I was able to get out from behind the 8 ball and close the tournament out," Anderson said.
By the end of Anderson's birdie binge on No. 13, Lundahl was 5 strokes back and Nelson was 2 strokes back. Neither would get within a stroke of Anderson the rest of the way.
Anderson has carded a 63 at Birch Ridge, which included going 6-under on a nine, but he said he'll take a back nine like he played Sunday every time. That 63 came during the pro-am of the All-Alaska Skins Game, which is held each year in July.
Anderson said it was nice to get back down to Birch Ridge in August. He said lessons are winding down for the pros this time of year, and it's nice to get out and play more tournaments.
"The staff and hosts did a great job putting this event on with short notice," he said.
He also said the course played great considering Friday's rains. When Anderson arrived Friday, he said the greens were so soggy he wasn't sure if the tournament would happen.
Forrest warmed up for his college career at Bellevue College, Washington, by holding off Dolejsi. Forrest, a scratch golfer, said he figured it would come down to him and Dolejsi, a 2-handicap.
"This win helps," Forrest said. "Marcus is the type of competition I might see in college."
Forrest, who won custom-fit Callaway irons, had just returned from trying out for the Bellevue team.
"I drive the ball fine," he said. "I just have to get used to the weather and the heat and the greens."
A Stimpmeter is used for measuring the speed of greens. The higher the number, the faster the green. Forrest said Birch Ridge is a 10 on its fastest day, while he said the course he played in Washington was at 13.
"It was ridiculous," he said.
First-place net for the men went to Vic Hussey, who won a Callaway driver. Second-place net went to Lee Frey in a card-off.
Crawford cleaned up Sunday. By the time she had collected her haul from door prizes, winning low gross, and winning long-drive and closest-to contests, somebody in the Birch Ridge pavilion jokingly yelled that they were calling an IRS agent. Among her winnings were a Callaway driver, Callaway golf balls and a Callaway range finder.
"A lot of the women out here play good golf, and that's what makes playing here so fun," she said.
Crawford said she played really well for both days.
"I hit the ball great from tee to green," she said. "(Saturday), I just putted out of my mind."
Leona Jackson won a Callaway driver for winning women's low net. Sue Stein was second.
Kenai Peninsula Open
at Birch Ridge Golf Course
Pro Division Sat Sun Total
Bryan Anderson, $1,200 70 68 -138
Rich Lundahl, $550 71 71 -142
Rob Nelson, $500 72 70 -142
John McBride, $425 70 73 -143
Nolan Rose, $375 74 72 -146
Brandon Kaiser, $350 78 71 -149
Hunter Blake, $300 73 82 -155
George Collum, $250 85 76 -161
Bill Engberg 78 84 -162
Tom Walsh 81 81 -162
Travis Jorgensen 78 DNF
Amateur Division Sat Sun Grs Scr
Beau Forrest 74 72 -146 146
Marcus Dolejsi 78 75 -153 149
Mike Edwards 81 84 -165 141
Eddie Sibolboro 87 78 -165 151
Lee Frey 88 84 -172 138
Spencer Tachick 84 89 -173 139
George Stein 91 83 -174 154
James Kopcha 88 87 -175 157
Earl Matthis 87 91 -178 138
Dave Keating 91 89 -180 148
Vic Hussey 90 92 -182 136
Greg Stein 88 96 -184 148
Tyler Yamada 91 93 -184 156
Sid Cox 93 93 -186 156
Scott Jackson 89 97 -186 186
Dave Stein 97 109 -206 148
Gary Dawkins 104 107 -211 169
Gene Diamond 112 113 -225 175
Ardie Crawford 78 82 -160 128
Tanna Chenault 86 96 -182 146
Leona Jackson 98 92 -190 142
Sue Stein 104 98 -202 156
Rita Geller 101 105 -206 158
Lisa Parker 103 102 -205 163
Carolyn Schaefer 115 116 -231 171