Hitting it long doesn’t hurt but when all the putts are falling in as well, it’s a tough combination to beat.
That’s the precision game Spokane’s Dylan Maine employed as he overtook Chewelah pro, Jason Pitt, to win the Rossland-Trail Open this weekend at the Birchbank golf course.
“I made a couple crucial par putts today and had some good birdie putts,” said Maine. “Overall I played good, hit the ball straight and only a couple missed drives.”
Pitt and Maine were tied after both posted two-under-par 70s on Friday. The Chewelah golfer took the lead with a blistering 68 to put him at 6-under after the first two rounds of the 54-hole event, with Maine trailing by one stroke.
But Pitt got into trouble early on Sunday, double bogeying the first hole, number 10, while Maine birdied it, jumping into a lead he would never relinquish.
“I got off to a good start and it just transferred from there,” he said.
Maine birdied four of the first nine holes to shoot a 32 on the front nine.
He once led by eight strokes, making a birdie and a bogie on the back nine to finish with a 68 and 9-under for the tournament.
This is Maine’s second Rossland-Trail Open, but his dad Tom has been playing in the Open for the past 25 years.
Maine is a student and plays golf for Spokane Community College. His 300-yard-plus long drives, left him with only a short iron in, a decided advantage over his competitors.
“It’s a bit of an advantage, having a sand wedge into most of the par 4s here . . . but I put myself on the fairways and gave myself chances for birdies – that’s what it’s all about.”
This years 65th version of the Open attracted 125 players, up from last year. Unfortunately sponsorship was way down, with the B.C. Junior Golf Championships garnering a significant share of donations, said Trail golfer and event organizer Derrick Simister.
Perennial challenger Todd Tibke of Snohomish, Wa. (215) and Fruitvale’s Brad Harding (216) finished third and fourth respectively.
Repeat winner Lance Harvey won overall low net by carding a 200.
Jason Pitt took First flight low gross honours with a 211.
In the second flight Jeffery Schaller won low gross, 233, while Al Akselson grabbed low net.
Randy Gray carded a 240 to win low gross in the third flight while Dennis Stach took low net.
In the fourth flight, low gross went to Rob Paukert and low net to Larry Faulconer.