BANDON, Oregon (April 8, 2009) -- Ben Whipple and Sherman Haggerty had extra incentive to "finish off" their 54-hole Senior Division lead at the Two Man Links Championship, after recently letting a lead slip away at the Kiawah Island Two Man, where they were caught on the final day.
Today, in misty conditions, Haggerty and Whipple, of El Dorado Hills, California, posted an even-par 72 that allowed them to stay clear of Stephen Friend and Ken Knott, of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Friend and Knott made a nice run, but, according to Friend "the putter gave out on us" and they couldn't put the necessary pressure on the leaders.
In the Net Division, Norm Boucher and Tim Burke recorded their first victory in six tries in this event, posting a final round 67 that gave them a 3-stroke cushion over brothers Randall and Keith Schwartz. Just a week ago, Keith Schwartz suffered a fall and broke two ribs, so a second place finish was more than he expected.
After the round, Burke rushed off to appear at The Comedy Store on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, the same club where Richard Pryor got his start.
The Championship Division appeared to be a total runaway, with Andrew Matagrano and Greg Wardle of San Francisco carrying a whopping 9-stroke lead into the final round. So comfortable was the team with their lead, that they both went for a "Edel Putter" fitting with their caddie Tim Tucker, and switched putters on the spot before the final round.
Not so fast, Pete Davison of Connecticut and partner and tournament organizer Pete Wlodkowski of Carlsbad, Calif. mounted a charge and got within 2 strokes before Wardle saved a solid par on the treacherous par three 15th, and birdied the par-4 sixteenth. But all players were happy to make a game of it.
All in all, it was another solid year for this Championship, which will enter its 9th year in 2010. (Look for late April dates soon.)
* Tournament sponsor Straight Down provided all players with really swank windshirts, and Tuesday night's tournament dinner featured a scotch tasting with Macallan 18 and prizes from sponsors SeeMore, Bridgestone Golf, Prize Possessions, and Lamkin Grips. Thank you to all of these wonderful companies.
* An extra special note of thanks to Marketing and Special Events Manager Todd Kloster and the entire staff of Bandon Dunes, plus tournament director Jake Wiese, PGA and Trisha Williams from amateurgolf.com who took care of all of the important details
* At Tuesday's tournament dinner, a new perpetual trophy called the "Ken Ward Cup" was dedicated to the late Mr. Ward, of Champions Golf Club in Houston, TX. Mr. Ward passed away on Bandon Trails during a practice round in 2007.
View results for amateurgolf.com 2009 Two Man Links at Bandon Dunes