Oregon Mid Am: McKay/Mahar take titles

BEND, ORE. (Sunday, July 12, 2009) - It was not a normal summer day in Central Oregon as the final round of the Oregon Mid-Amateur got started with the Women leading the way at Tetherow Golf Club. It started out a little windy, then got nice before wind and cooler weather and threatening storms passed through.

Regardless of the weather, the end result in both the Women's and Men's divisions was pretty much the same. In this competition, open to amateur golfers age 25 and over, the champions won the battle of the generations.

First to triumph was Loree McKay, 52, of Portland, Ore. earning her second major title in the span of a week. On Friday she took home the PNGA Women's Mid-Amateur trophy and today was able to hold on, shooting 82-79--161 to edge Brie Stone, 28 of Veneta, Ore. by three strokes. Both players were the only women able to post sub-80 rounds.

"I struck the ball solidly and managed to put the ball in the right place although I struggled with my putting," said McKay. "I got in trouble a couple times and managed not to cause too much of a train wreck. But that's what you have to do. You know your going to make bogey. You just try to minimize it. You just need to be patient and hang on."

She added, "I'm just disappointed the scores were so high. It makes us look kinda like..." SHe didn't finish that sentence. Although she may have been about to say "amatuers," she was then reminded that the PGA Professionals who competed here last year didn't fair too much better on this difficult course.

In the Men's division, it was a similar story as Randy Mahar of Portland, Ore., who will turn 53 next week, bested first round leader Chad Sawyer, 27, of West Linn, Ore.

Mahar was even par through 14 holes, then went bogey-bogey-bogey but it was good enough. "Its winning by attrition," said Mahar. "That's what it really was today." Mahar has always been one of the top players in Oregon although wins have not been plentiful. He's won many Team titles with his compadres from Columbia Edgewater and won the low individual title when the Team Championship was held at Bandon Dunes. His sole major title was an Oregon Amateur victory in 1977.

Mahar who was even par though his first 14 holes before going on a three-hole bogay train, concluded "I was really happy with my round. I just tried to always hit the ball the best that I can. I wasn't trying to play conservative. I'm not the longest hitter so sometimes it just looks like I'm being conservative."

Sawyer was one of those who succumed to the war of attrition. He started with a 2-stroke lead but had to hit a provisional on the very first hole and was 8-over par on his first 6-holes before temporarily righting himself with two birdies. "I didn't know what was going on," said Sawyer who felt a little out of control as he began to press a little to hold on to a title that was slipping away. If it wasn't for an eagle on the closing hole, he would not have held on to his runner-up status to Rick Dimick of Eagle Point, Ore. who had the low round of the day posting 71. Unfortunatley, his 82 in the first round made it a long shot that he would be able to win.

Bill Winter of Portland, Ore. posted a course record 5-under par 31 on his opening 9 but a triple bogey ended his birdie streak on his tenth hole and he closed shooting 73 to end up in a tie for 16th.

Complete men's results Complete women's results

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