What started early in the spring finally came down to 10 matches at Manito Country Club on Friday.
And it could hardly have been more closely contended.
Six of the 10 singles matches in the Washington Trust Bank Cup competition were decided on the final hole, and all 10 went at least through 17 holes.
Playing through see-your-breath cold, the pro golfers who placed in the top 20 through the seven-month WTB Pro-Am series wrapped up the season in dramatic fashion.
Ron Barker of Ritzville powered to a three-hole lead over Spokane Country Club’s Les Blakley through 10 holes.
But Barker went out of bounds on the 13th and Blakley swept the final three holes - one with a bogey - to win the match 2-up.
“I just kind of hung in there and kept plugging,” said Blakley, the only golfer to win all three matches he played during the two-day competition.
Barker’s comment: “I’m going to bury my driver.”
Matt Bunn of Spokane Country Club was also cruising along with a three-stroke lead and three holes to go in his match against Jerry Zink of The Fairways.
Zink rallied on the 16th and 17th, but put his drive behind a pine tree on the 18th, while Bunn was dead solid perfect just 130 yards from the green.
Zink tried to cut a 7-iron shot around the tree but ended up buried in the bunker, leaving Bunn with nothing more to do but go for the middle of the green and two-putt.
But Zink blasted from the bunker to within a foot of the cup to get a sandy par, while Bunn three-putt bogeyed - leaving the match halved.
And golf.The match between Avondale’s Tim
Morton and Manito’s Steve Prugh finished dead even, as well, as the rallying Morton parred once from off the green and then sank a 30-footer on 16 for a par.
Qualchan’s Mark Gardner also slipped in front of Liberty Lake’s Bob Scott by getting birds on the 14th and 16th to win 2 and 1.
Coeur d’Alene’s Mike Elmore defeated Lewiston Country Club’s Paul McCarthy by that count also.
The duel between Chris Mitchell of Sun Dance and Downriver’s Dan Porter also went to the wire as Mitchell parred 17 and Porter bogeyed.
Two players who competed in the Chapman and better-ball competitions Thursday were absent Friday, as Mark Rohde left for another tournament and Twin Lake’s Randy Buckenberger withdrew because of the flu.
MeadowWood’s Scott Petterborg, meanwhile, showed that sometimes you just gotta golf hurt. He twisted an ankle on Thursday when he slipped coming off a green. He played with an air cast on the swollen joint, but was edged 2 and 1 by Qualchan’s Stu Aden.
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