Playing a group ahead of the first-round leader Nathan Tarter, Aaron Crewse made an absurd birdie on the 540-yard par-4 18th hole Sunday with a driver-hybrid-15-foot-curler to finish the day at 2-under par 69 and put some real heat on the front-runner from Mogador.
That unlikely birdie-3 finish by Crewse forced the first-round leader to make at least a score of five on the final hole from the monster back tee, and the field average score on that hole for the day was 5.2. So it was no easy task in front of Tarter, and the murmur of a potential playoff went through the crowd as he set himself to hit his second shot from about 245-yards away.
Tarter’s hybrid second finished well short and in line with the left greenside bunker, leaving a testy 25-yard pitch for his third. But as he had done all week, the Malone player showed some short game prowess by lofting his wedge to 8-feet above the hole then gently sending the par putt to the bottom of the cup for a two-shot victory.
The finishing par by Tarter meant that for the first time in quite a long while, the winning total for the 36-hole Chippewa Championship was under par: a 1-under par score of 141. Kevin Larizza and Brad Stewart lived up to their word to make the golf course setup as challenging as possible while still being eminently fair; clearly, mission accomplished.
That’s certainly not to say the course was set up ‘normal’ or ‘easy’ by any stretch of the imagination, as the 13+ green speeds and sloping hole locations meant that any mediocre shot hit from the wrong side still traveled far from the hole for most of the weekend. (See the Video Gallery from Sunday’s round for documented proof.) But if a shot was played to the correct spot and the putt hit with care, a par could be had on any hole while still providing a fair chance at birdie for the brave. As it should be.
After Tarter at 141 and Crewse at 143, the next best score was a trio of players seven shots removed at 8-over par 150: John Kabasky, Mike Simpson, and 2010 champion Ty Kovach.
Allen Freeman followed another shot behind that in solo sixth, while 10-over par 152 rounded out the top-9, earned by Pete Skirpstas, Ryan Stefanski, and Nate Petry.
As always, the players send a hearty thank you to Kevin Larizza, Brad Stewart, Eric, Don and the rest of the Chippewa Golf Club staff for the 24th playing of what has become a annual must-enter tournament. We look forward to the Silver Anniversary tournament next season!
Complete results below.
FINAL RESULTS: 2012 Chippewa Championship
Chippewa Golf Club, Doylestown, Ohio
Saturday & Sunday, August 25-26, 2012
36-HOLE $50 BIG SKINS GAME:
Justin Morton #3 $320 (Eagle)
Kenny Koprivec #5 $320
Charlie Schrader #14 $320
# 3 Allen Freeman $320 (Eagle)
#9 Derek Duda $320
#10 Aaron Crewse $320 (Eagle)
#11 Dave Trier $320 (Eagle)
#12 Larry Russel $320
#14 Chris Okeson $320
#16 Mike Armour $320
$20 2-DAY SKINS GAME
#9 Mike Hose $500
#10 Aaron Crewse $500 (Eagle)
Wager sheet results to be confirmed and posted Monday evening.