By JIM WALLER/Whidbey News Times Sports editor
Steady as he goes.
Doug Pierce’s consistent play carried him to the 48th annual Whidbey Golf Club Men’s Invitational title Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26.
Pierce fired a pair of 72s for an even-par 144 to win by four strokes over Ron Bates.
Steve Pattison captured the overall low net title with a 131.
Pierce not only won the tournament’s main event, but teamed with his father Roger Pierce to take Friday’s horse race. The horse race victory was the Pierces’ fifth over the years; the Invitational win was Doug Pierce’s first.
Doug Pierce, the Sedro-Woolley High School boys golf coach, was tied with Oak Harbor’s Brian Wasinger after Saturday’s first round. Pierce continued to hover around par Sunday, playing one-under much of the back nine until a bogey on 17. The bogey had no affect on the outcome as Pierce held a comfortable lead over the closing holes.
Bates carded a 148 to place second, followed by Billy Van Cleef at 150 and Wasinger, Tim Wyer and Robert Tercero at 151.
"It was the most pressure I'd felt in a long time," said Bates, a 4-handicap who's played sparingly so far this year. "There are big galleries and lots of spectators following you around, in a lot of ways it's just like a PGA event."
Pierce’s win broke a string of five-straight Whidbey Invitational titles by Oak Harbor High School graduate Eric McCardle. McCardle, who lives in Las Vegas, chose not to compete this year.
For net champion Pattison, the Invitational is a family affair. For the past four years he has traveled from Canada with his brother Ian and father Phil to join grandfather Richard in the tournament.
Steve Pattison’s 131 easily took the net competition, winning by six strokes over Jeff Olsen at 137. John Geragotelis finished at 139, and Bryce Hobbs and Mike Horrobin shot 144.
In Flight two, gross winner was Keith Tod at 155 and net champion was Greg Hamming at 140.
Oak Harbor High School girls coach Andy Wesley took flight three gross with a 166, and Leo Munoz recorded the low net of 139.
Dave Holmly at 142 and Denny Behrman at 147 finished 1-2 in the golden tee flight.
Other Whidbey Men’s Invitational results:
Flight two, low gross: 2, Eric Schelling, 162; 3, Grant Bull and Phil Pattison, 164.
Flight two, low net: 2, Don Beeson and Eric Gentry, 142; 4, Bob Merrick, 145.
Flight three, low gross: 2, Steve Anderson, 170; 3, Dave McCool, 176; 4, Bob Seeley, 180.
Flight three, low net: 2, Doug Brown, 143; 3, Rodger Johnson, 147; 4, Joe Beatty and Pat Tompkins, 148.
Deuce pot: Grant Bull (2), Wasinger, Wyer, Tercero, Seeley, Johnson, Jim Boyle, Josh Whitley, John Bates, Jim Chambers, Rob Srdar, Chuck Krieg.
Closest to pin: No. 2, Dennis Ross, 1’2”; No. 7, Bull, 1’10”; No. 13, Tom Sundown, 3’; No. 17, Tercero, 4’8”.
Longest drive: Whitley, white tees; Tom King, gold tees.
Gross skins: No. 2, Doug Pierce, 3; No. 5, Gordon Sears, 3.
Net skins: No. 9, Chris Robinson, 2; No. 10, Doug Pierce, 2; No. 12, Mel Elvebak, 3; No. 14, Sears, 2; No. 16, Anderson, 2.
Calcutta payout: 1 (tie), owners Martin Pool and Ron Coleman, teams 16 and 17; 3 (tie), Pool and Coleman, teams 8 and 10; 5 (tie), Tom Kidd and Coleman, teams 7 and 1.
140 Club: Tod, Hamming, Olsen, Van Cleef, Geragotelis, Munoz, Wesley, Doug Pierce.
Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.
— Journal Editor Scott Rasmussen contributed to this article