Brooks & Won
Brooks edges Vance for T-R City crown
Bob Brooks fired a second-straight 67 Sunday at the American Legion Golf Course to win the 30th annual Times-Republican City Golf Tournament by two strokes (134-136) over Marshalltown High School senior Nate Vance, who added an even-par 70 to his 4-under opening round score of 66.
Four-time winner Sam Zoske was third with 69-68–137.
The win didn’t come easy though for the man who blew up the old course record at Elmwood Tuesday with an 11-under-par 59.
Starting the day, Vance held a one-shot lead, thanks to a scorecard error that cost Brooks a stroke after he signed his Saturday card for 67 instead of 66, his actual playing score.
Vance widened the margin to two strokes with a birdie on the 616-yard par-5 second hole but fell into a tie on the sixth hole after Brooks dropped his third-straight birdie. Brooks had a chance to pull farther ahead on the seventh hole when Vance hit his tee shot wide left on the par-3 and hit a poor chip to leave a 15-foot putt to save par. Brooks was 8 feet left of the hole with his drive to have a chance at birdie and a two-shot swing if Vance could not drop his par putt. But Vance sank his putt and Brooks just missed his birdie, leaving the two tied at 6-under.
Vance gave up a stroke on the eighth hole with a drive into the trees left of the green that left him with little to do but salvage a bogey.
Brooks’ one-shot lead grew to four strokes when Vance hit his drive on 11 into the pond fronting the green. He dropped back with a one-shot penalty, hit his third shot on the green but inexplicably four-putted for a triple-bogey 7 to Brooks’ par 4.
On the 12th hole, Vance drew back within 2 shots with a birdie 4 to Brooks’ bogey 6.
But Brooks birdied the 13th with a deuce for a three-shot lead, a lead which shrank to a single stroke with another two-shot swing on 14 with Vance’s birdie and Brooks’ bogey.
The shot of the day came on the par-5 15th hole when Brooks holed his 50-yard third shot for an eagle 3, negating a birdie by Vance and stretching the margin to two strokes, where it remained when both players bogeyed the 17th hole and parred the 18th.
Meanwhile, one group ahead of the ebb and flow of scoring in the final group, Zoske opened his round by birdieing the first hole but could get no closer than a single shot the rest of the way. Zoske birdied the par-3 7th to go 3-under and had a chance for eagle on the par-5 12th hole when he hit his second shot about 15 feet right of the hole but was unable to drop the eagle putt that would have put him in a tie with Brooks at 5 under.
Kip Hilderbrand shot a final-round even-par 70 to go with an opening 71 to gain fourth place at 141, followed by Troy Underhill (67-75-142), Bill Benda (70-73–143) and three players at 144: Pat Ryan (72-72), J. D. Pollard (71-73) and Cole Davis (69-75).
In addition to winning the Open Division, Brooks became only the second player to with the Senior Division as well. Ten-time City champion Matt Steddom is the other player, accomplishing the double two times.
Brooks said later, “I got putts to the hole on the front nine but was short several times on the back.” That seemed to be the case with several players whose putts didn’t quite get there, not just Brooks.
Of his title-winning eagle on 15, Brooks said he had a decision to make on his second shot after his drive went left of the 15th fairway: “I had a choice — I could hit a 6-iron and try to hit a big hook around the trees but I took a hybrid and cut it over the pine tree about 50 yards from the hole and sank the wedge.”
Vance, though he finished second, said “I made a lot of birdies,” and agreed when it was suggested that he sank some key par putts, too.
As for his triple bogey on 11, Nate said “I hit my drive solid; it just leaked right a little,” drifting into the pond. It wasn’t the driver on 11, he added.
“It was the four-putt. If I two-putt for a bogey on 11 we’re tied (at 5 under) after 12,” with Vance’s birdie and the bogey 6 that Brooks made.
Give it to Bob, Vance said, “He played good and he rolled the ball good. He just outplayed me today.”
Sam Zoske headed into Sunday’s final round having to make up three shots. His birdie on the first hole put him two back and, after a birdie on the 7th, he had a chance to tie for the lead with an eagle 3 on the par-5 12th but his 15-foot putt just missed, his birdie getting him within a stroke.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way I played,” Zoske said. “I played really well; I only missed four greens in 36 holes. I just couldn’t make a putt. I don’t that it was the speed or the breaks, I just couldn’t get anything on line.”
Brooks praised the much-younger Vance for his play, saying, “He played really well, he is a good player and I told him, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll win plenty of these.'”
It would be hard to disagree after the way he ground his way back close to the lead after the disheartening triple bogey.
In the new Super Senior Division, ageless John Detrich (74-74–148) cruised to a four-stroke victory over Tony Giannetto (74-78–152). Mike Anderson took third place with 82-78-160.
Sam Bryngelson (88-94–182) edged LeAnn Ainley (94-809–183) to capture the Ladies Division championship.