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Brandes cruises to Washington Senior Amateur title
Tom Brandes and David Hunter (WSGA photo)
Tom Brandes and David Hunter (WSGA photo)

Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. shot rounds of 69-72-75 to win the 33rd Washington Senior Men’s Amateur; while David Hunter of Federal Way, Wash., shot a final round even-par 72 to rise to the top in winning the 12th Super Senior Men’s Amateur.

Both championships were held concurrently over 54 holes of stroke play at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash. They were conducted by Washington Golf.

Brandes went wire-to-wire in winning the Senior Men’s Amateur, pulling away from the field on the back nine of today’s final round, with the second-place finisher, Alex Stamey of Mill Creek, Wash., sitting five shots behind Brandes. He successfully defended his title, having won this championship last year. This is the sixth time Brandes has won this title, having previously won in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018.

“It feels good,” Brandes said after his round. “It was a tough week, with the weather today, but it felt good to get it done. I didn’t know where I stood (coming down the back nine); I was looking at my phone app and it wasn’t updating. I knew I had a lead, but I didn’t know how much of a lead. I always try to play like I’m behind anyway; I think I’ve learned that the gas pedal is on the right, is the best way to finish, and I knew I had to hit some golf shots coming in.”

Brandes was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 2015, and this title adds to his legacy.

In the Super Senior, Hunter’s round of 72 was the best round of the day, as the field fell away under cloudy and misty conditions.

“This is very satisfying,” Hunter said, of his win. “I’ve been working really hard for this. I set a goal to improve my game over the last year, and this win is kind of a confirmation of my efforts.”

Hunter has played in this championship a few times before, but had never really come close to winning.

Playing in the final group of the Super Senior, Hunter began the day in third place, three shots back of leader Rich Evenson of Mercer Island, Wash., and two back of Rick Weihe of Bellingham, Wash.

The three players stayed steady for most of the front nine, but Evenson took a triple-bogey on the par-5 ninth hole, and then two double-bogeys on the back side, leading to a 79 and a third-place finish.

Weihe took a quadruple-bogey on the par-4 12th, which effectively ended his chances, as he shot 76, leading to a second-place finish.

Hunter double-bogeyed the par-4 second hole, which looked like it may have spoiled his chances, but he rallied with three birdies over the next seven holes, and despite a bogey on the short par-3 14th, he took home the title as Evenson and Weihe fell away in the second half of their rounds.

“It was very helpful to be playing with (Evenson and Weihe) today,” Hunter said. “I was able to know exactly where I stood because they were my closest competitors.”

ABOUT THE Washington Senior Amateur

54-hole gross stroke play competition (overall and by age division). Senior Division 55 years of age or older. Super Senior Division 65 years of age or older.

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