For Travis Bertoni, a double eagle overcame three double bogeys, leading the Cal Poly senior to a two-stroke victory over Liam Kendregan July 8 at the Sahalee Players Championship.
After opening with solid rounds of 69-72-67, Bertoni held a two-stroke lead over Kendregan, who recently graduated from St. Mary’s (Calif.). But after the golfers matched each other’s scores on the first four holes in at Sahalee Country Club, Bertoni made double bogey on the par-3 fifth as Kendregan was making birdie, leading to a three-shot swing and giving Kendregan the lead.
On the next hole, however, Bertoni rebounded, holing a 2-iron shot from 223 yards on the par-5 sixth. Kendregan birdied the hole but still trailed by one.
“At that point, after five, I felt really confident, and then he dunks one,” Kendregan told The Seattle Times. “I still felt good, but that just doesn’t happen. You always hear that when you win, good things happen for you and you get breaks. He hit an unbelievable shot and that turned it around big.”
Both players had double bogeys on the par-4 eighth hole, then Kendregan drew even at the 213-yard ninth with a bogey when Bertoni made another double.
But a Bertoni birdie and a Kendregan bogey on the next hole, the par-4 10th, restored the original two-stroke margin, and Bertoni never trailed again – despite bogeys on Nos. 14 and 17 that cut the lead to one. A Kendregan bogey on the par-5 18th allowed Bertoni to make a routine par for the final margin.
“It was an adventure, that’s for sure,” Bertoni told The Seattle Times. “It wasn’t the happiest round, but it ended up working out. Three doubles is horrible, but 2 on a par 5 is nice.”
The difference for Bertoni all week was his performance on Sahalee’s par-5 holes, which, thanks in large part to the double eagle, he played in 11 under par for the week.
Jon McLean (73) of Weston, Fla., finished third at 1-over 289, while NCAA men’s champion James Lepp (73) of the University of Washington finished fourth at 291.
Australian Michael Sim, who put together back-to-back victories at the Sunnehanna and Monroe Invitational last month before finishing second at the Northeast Amateur, tied for sixth at Sahalee. Sim, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Titleist Amateur Rankings, was third after 54 holes, but struggled to an 8-over 80 in the final round.
Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Erik Hanson shot 297 to tie for ninth.
– Staff and wire reports