Washington State’s Derek Bayley already held an eight-stroke lead on Sunday when he stepped up to MeadowWood Golf Course’s daunting 607-yard 16th hole.
The tee boxes were moved up in the final round of the 29th Rosauers Open Invitational to take a few teeth away from the tiger, but the hole always plays longer because of a nasty, tree-protected dogleg and an elevated green.
“I kind of went after the tee shot to see what happened,” Bayley said.
How about 350-plus yards? After his ball stopped rolling, Bayley only had 218 yards to the green. He smashed an iron that skirted the trees and sailed up to the elevated green and the ball hit only a foot from the cup before it rolled just off the back of the green.
The ball “didn’t stop, but it was kind of a sweet shot and kind of sealed the deal,” the 20-year-old Bayley said.
Bayley sank a 4-foot birdie putt on that hole to go 28 under. He bogeyed the 17th and made par on the 18th to shoot a 63, one day after he set the course record at 59 on Saturday.
Bayley’s final score of 27 under won the tournament by eight strokes over Tacoma club professional Tony Robydek (19 under), who birdied the 18th hole to edge out Reid Martin at 18 under. Martin bogeyed the last hole to miss out on a chance for the $11,000 top prize.
Bayley’s three-day total of 189 set the Rosauers tournament record by three shots and six shots relative to par. The previous record was 21 under set in 2009 by Corey Prugh at Indian Canyon Golf Course.
“Boy, (Bayley) made everybody else look like a booger,” said tournament director Gary Lindeblad. “That was a stunning performance. He seems like a well-grounded young man. It makes you feel good for him.”
Bayley, originally of Rathdrum and now a junior at WSU, said he wasn’t worried at all about a letdown following the 59 he shot on Saturday.
“I had to forget it as soon as possible,” he said.
Martin, originally of Mukilteo and now an assistant golf pro in Everett, is the only golfer who gave Bayley a chase.
Starting the day two strokes behind, Martin made eagle on hole No. 2 and birdied No. 3 to tie Bayley at 19 under.
“I knew it was early,” Bayley said. “I liked my chances no matter what happened in the beginning.”
Bayley regained the lead a hole later when he birdied the fourth hole. He sank the 10-foot birdie putt and never looked back.
Since Bayley’s amateur status prevented him from receiving the $11,000 top prize, the only real drama came in the race for second place.
Robydek, a 46-year-old club pro from Tacoma, birdied the long 16th hole and Martin bogeyed to drop into a tie at 18 under. Martin then sank a 7-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take a one-stroke advantage.
“I looked on the scoreboard and saw that he made birdie,” Robydek said of Martin. “I told myself, ‘I just need to make one more putt.’ ”
Robydek made that putt on the 18th to tie Martin at 19 under and shoot a 65. Martin then hit his approach shot over the 18th green and his chip came up short, resulting in a bogey and third place.
“I felt bad for Reid. He’s a good player,” Robydek said. “But that first-place check of $11,000 makes it a lot easier drive home.”
After Reid, Bryce Fisher shot a 66 to finish in fourth place at 16 under. Andrew Whalen, an amateur from Ephrata who is a junior at Northwestern, shot a 70 and finished fifth at 15 under.
Bayley said he would have liked to have cashed the winning check.
“That would have be nice right now,” he said. “But there will be more of those down the road, hopefully.”
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