Scott Erdmann played the par-5 18th at Indian Canyon twice in the Rosauers Open Invitational pro-am earlier in the week and four times during the 54-hole tournament.
His scores: eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie and birdie.
Erdmann’s final two birdies came Sunday afternoon. The first helped him get into an all-Oregon three-man playoff. The second, roughly 30 minutes later, completed his improbable comeback to win the tournament.
The uphill, 449-yard 18th has produced numerous dramatic finishes over the years. Erdmann certainly made the most of the closing hole, but he pointed to No. 16 as the turning point that led him to the winner’s circle for the first time in a PGA Pacific Northwest Section major.
Erdmann, assistant pro at Oswego Lake Country Club near Portland, entered the final round in five-way tie for ninth, five shots behind leader Jared Lambert. Erdmann bogeyed No. 1 to fall six behind. He bounced back quickly, penciling in seven 3s on his scorecard on the next eight holes.
Erdmann, 42, continued his charge on the back nine, but was one shot down standing on the 16th tee. He pulled his drive left into ground under repair and got a bit of a break with his drop.
“It was just enough where I could hit a punch hook that I was hoping to get somewhere on the green,” Erdmann said.
He exceeded his expectations. His shot rolled within 10 feet and he dropped the birdie putt to pull even with Justin Wiles, assistant pro at Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
“That’s the tournament,” said Erdmann, who closed with an 8-under 63 to earn an $11,000 first-place check. “It could have easily been a bogey or worse. To make birdie was huge.”
Lambert, assistant pro at Meadow Lakes in Prineville, Oregon, joined Wiles and Erdmann at 13 under with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 16. Wiles, Erdmann and Lambert all birdied 18 with Lambert draining a clutch 6-footer to make the playoff.
Erdmann and Lambert hit the fairway on the first playoff hole but Wiles was in the right rough, partially blocked by a tree. Wiles shaped his second shot to within 10 yards of the front edge but his chip was too hard. He missed a slippery 10-foot birdie putt.
“Pretty frustrated,” said the 26-year-old Wiles, recalling a similar result when he lost in a playoff at the 2017 Northwest Open. “I was on the waiting list, the first alternate, so I almost didn’t get into this tournament. I played good for three days, just not good enough.”
Lambert pushed his second shot into the bunker, leaving little room to operate with the pin tucked on the right side. His 15-footer for birdie burned the right edge but didn’t drop.
“I thought that was in,” said a smiling Lambert, who trailed Wiles by three shots after Wiles birdied No. 10. “I wasn’t playing my best golf so I was happy I was able to come through when I needed it on the back side (with four birdies on the last seven holes).”
Erdmann’s approach left him with a 25-footer for eagle. He lagged within 4 feet and made the uphill birdie putt.
“That’s a really tough pin to go for,” said Erdmann, who estimated he’s played in the Rosauers 15 times with his best finish a tie for second last year behind champion Derek Bayley. “I wanted to give myself a chance for eagle. I didn’t hit a really good first putt, but I left it in a good spot.
“Whether golf pros say it or not, I always have a little bit of nerves but the putter was probably the strongest club for me today.”
Lambert and Wiles both made $6,175. Four-time champ Corey Prugh, head coach at Community Colleges of Spokane, shot a 67 to share fourth place with Liam Kendregan (68) at 12-under 201. Kalispel Golf and Country Club head pro Nick McCaslin (64) finished in a four-way tie for sixth.
Zach Stocker, a Central Valley High product who played at CCS last season, was the low amateur. He closed with a 65 for a 9-under 204.
Organizers presented a $100,000 check to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. The tournament has generated over $3 million for the nursery in 32 years.
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