Lilac Goes To Gleim In Blowout Phoenix Golfer Rallies With Final-Round 64, Sets Tournament Record To Win By Three Shots
The weather remained perfect and the storm continued to blow at The Fairways golf course Sunday afternoon.
Storm Gleim, a veteran from Phoenix, took advantage of perfect conditions to scorch The Fairways with a 64 to finish 22-under par and win the 38th annual Downtown Holiday Inn Express Lilac Invitational by three strokes.
Gleim set a tournament record of 266, erasing the 21-under 267 Tom Costello III and Bill Porter shot in 1990 when Costello won in a playoff.
“The last two days I made a lot of putts,” Gleim said. “I made the putts you have to make. The key this week is I don’t think I had one drive in trouble.”
Gleim started the last round of the four-day tournament one stroke behind Portland rookie Michael Charles and even with a frontside of 4-under 32, still trailed by a shot. However, Gleim’s putter remained steady and Charles couldn’t get anything to drop.
Gleim caught Charles on No. 10 with a 15-foot sidehill birdie putt and passed him on No. 12 when Charles was three-putting for par.
Charles continued to par out until taking a double bogey on 17 that dropped him to third place.
“I realized it was going to be a shootout late on the front nine,” Charles said. “I was fine with that. It was OK until he birdied 15 (to open a three-stroke lead). I knew it was going to be tough to make up. I got aggressive on 17 and paid for that.”
Two groups ahead, Kamiakin High School grad Scott Johnson, in his first tournament as a pro after an All-American career at Arizona State, supplied the pressure.
Johnson was 6-under 30 on the front side, starting with a 70-yard chip for eagle on No. 1, to pull within two, but, starting three shots behind Gleim, couldn’t make up that difference. He finished with a 64 and second-place at 269, 19-under par.
“I told my brother I had to make eight or nine putts,” Johnson said. “I knew I had to be below 65 to have a chance, period. I shot 64 and I needed a 61 to tie. This is a tough course to make that up.
“My first tournament, the first two rounds I was really nervous, trying a little too hard. I settled down and played well, 19 under, I can’t complain. that’s awesome, 22-under.”
Tony Robydek of Tacoma, who started two back, was one off the lead after seven but made a bogey on No. 9 and then watched Gleim pull away. Robydek tied with Charles at 17 under after a 68.
“I enjoyed playing with the champion, it was a lot of fun,” Robydek said. “I scrambled around with a 68. I still have a lot of work on my short game I need to do. It was just fun watching Storm putt, he made everything. Maybe the next time that’s me. That’s what these kind of tournaments are for, experience for the big ones.”
Gleim won $6,000, Johnson got $4,000 and Charles and Robydek $2,250 each.
Tim Rypien, whose brother Mark supplied the major sponsorship this year, was the low amateur at 2-under following a closing 68.
The tournament turned on the first three holes of the back side.
Gleim birdied No. 10, Robydek almost drove the green but couldn’t birdie, Johnson missed a 4-foot bird and Charles had a routine par.
On No. 11, Gleim just missed a birdie but Charles couldn’t get his short one to drop. Robydek hit into the water for bogey and Johnson hit “my best putt of the tournament” that didn’t fall.
Then on No. 12, a realistic eagle hole, Gleim made his easy birdie, Charles three-putted for par and Johnson hit into the water.
“I should have gone birdie-birdie with a chance at eagle on No. 12,” Johnson said. “I knew that was a critical stretch. I got a little greedy (on No. 12), I crushed it and pushed it. I made an aggressive play, I can’t feel bad about that.”
Charles said, “I left a couple (eagle putts) short on 12 and 14 (a par 5) then made pars. That put me behind and made it more difficult to come back.”
Robydek said, “It wasn’t so much he pulled away. I had three bad holes in a row and he had three goods ones. There was the tournament.”
Gleim, who graduated from Sumner, Wash., and played at Weber State, runs a food business in Phoenix. He plays a lot of 18- and 36-hole tournaments but is done chasing a dream.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: LILAC LEADERS Final score and relation to par for leaders at Lilac Invitational: Storm Gleim 266 -22 Scott Johnson 269 -19 Michael Charles 271 -17 Tony Robydek 271 -17 Todd Pence 274 -14 John Wallace 274 -14
Low amateur Tim Rypien 286 -2
This sidebar appeared with the story: LILAC LEADERS Final score and relation to par for leaders at Lilac Invitational: Storm Gleim 266 -22 Scott Johnson 269 -19 Michael Charles 271 -17 Tony Robydek 271 -17 Todd Pence 274 -14 John Wallace 274 -14
Low amateur Tim Rypien 286 -2