As well as a $10,000 prize for a hole-in-one on the 10th hole, tight contesting for prizes at every level made this year’s Blossom Open Golf Tournament one to remember.
First, congratulations to Bryan “Ace” Smithson, who won the hole-in-one prize sponsored by Western Financial Group and Doug Vance. The odds for his hole-in-one, according to Golf Digest, are more than 5,000 to 1.
The first exciting event was the men’s championship won by Abbotsford’s Trent Mayer, with a scratch handicap. The 22-year-old Mayer combined power off the tee with a fine putting touch, two qualities that will serve him well in his future plans in the world of pro golf.
The local challenge came from 20-year-old Karson O’Keefe, the son of Brian and Janet O’Keefe, with a similar handicap. He was one stroke behind after the first 18 but fought back to even for holes 5, 6 and 7 on the front nine. However Mayer, in spite of a bogey on the last hole, won by two strokes.
The ladies’ event was even more hotly contested. Cherie Baker, the perennial champion, was challenged this year by Leslie Harbison, Joyce Johnson and Ruth Hoffman. Baker was one up on her opposition after the 35th hole, but in a dramatic finish, Hoffman birdied the 36th hole to tie, but lost the playoff to Baker’s par.
Mayer was also part of a unique scenario. For the first time in the history of the club in an open tournament, there was a representative from three generations — his father, Duane, uncle, Brad, and grandfather, Bill. The latter not only played in the tournament but carried off a prize in the third flight. Bill, probably the club’s oldest active member at 87, has usually finished his regular round before most members tee off.
Ladies flight: Gross: low: Cherie Baker, 163; second: Ruth Hoffman, 163. Net: low: Leslie Harbision, 144; second: Joyce Johnson, 145.
Men’s championship flight: Gross: low: Trent Mayer, 143; second: Karson O’Keefe, 145; third: Jordan Ortle, 154. Net: low: Jared McMillan, 143; second: Garry Husband, 144; third: Dave Stader: 146; fourth: Wes Deitz, 146.
Men’s first flight: Gross: low: James Porter Jr., 154; second: Scott Podevelinikoff, 158; third: Leigh Walker, 160. Net: low: Rick Thomas, 135; second: Ken Cooper, 143; third: Len Mosher, 144; fourth: Dereck Larsen, 146.
Men’s second flight: Gross: Dave Ralston, 161; second: Real Emond, 168; third: Dave Handy, 169. Net: low: Ken Karlander, 138; second: Jeff Long 142; third: Dan Kinney, 142; fourth: George Goulder, 144.
Men’s third flight: Gross: Bob Bannatyne, 173; second: Stu Meusink, 182; Dale Benedetti, 185. Net: low: Jackson Wood, 146; second: Ed Stemler, 148; third: Les Stevenson, 151; fourth: Bill Mayer, 152.
—CRESTON GOLF CLUB