BERKELEY, Calif. (August 5, 2012) -- The long, uphill opening hole at Tilden Park says 411 from the back tees, but it plays more like 440 for most, especially on a damp, foggy morning.
Not so for soon-to-be 23 year old (he turns 23 later in August) Weston Payne from Menlo Park. On Sunday he had 131 yards to the pin that set up an opening hole birdie. After a 4-under 66 on Saturday, it looked like he was going to start right where he left off and run away from the field and hide for good.
But danger lurked on the 464 yard, par 4 third hole where Payne let the field back into the tournament by making a triple bogey 7 after hitting his tee shot OB left. Two birdies offset his lone bogey of the tournament (on No. 8) for an up and down 1-over front nine. A very steady even par 35 on the back 9 with all pars meant someone would have to play REALLY well to catch him.
Indeed, four players broke par in the final round, and one of those was in the final group. Michael Decker, the senior-to-be at Robert Louis Stevenson in Pebble Beach shot 68 for a 139 total to tie Drew Bender for second with a 66 today for his two day total of 139.
Payne's embrace of Old Man Par on the back nine meant that they would only get within two strokes of his 3-under 137 winning total. Jennifer Brumbaugh, a senior at San Jose State, defended her 2011 championship in style by making a par on the last hole to beat Erika Salinas by one shot. From hole No. 14 onward, the two excellent players traded punches. A birdie on 16 put Salinas down by one and then after a double bogey by Brumbaugh on No. 17 and a bogey by Salinas the two were all square, fighting for the title. But Brumbaugh, the 2011 champion, was able to pull out the victory with a par in the last hole. Nigel Harold blitzed the net division with a net 64 to go with a 70 in round one. The Fairfield resident, a member of Tilden Park won by 8 shots over Bart Goldie of Oakland and James Murphy of San Francisco.