Just when it looked like the championship in the pro division would be decided after 36 holes of play, the 29th annual Lake City Open golf tournament at the perfectly manicured Polson Bay Golf Course went into extended play to determine the titlist.
Jim Mee of Libby stood at 11-under-par with one hole to go Sunday evening, leading past champion Ryan Porch of Kalispell by two strokes. Brian Thornton, the first day leader, was at minus-8 and Greg Vannatta was out of the running for the title — nine strokes off the lead.
While Mee played the par-5 18th hole conservatively, Porch “went for broke,” needing to make up the two strokes he was behind. Mee was off the mark on his birdie putt from about four feet away. Porch needed to hole his longer putt for an eagle-3. He sank the shot, and Mee and Porch went to a playoff to crown the champ.
On No. 1, the first playoff hole, Porch struggled and had a bogey while Mee had a par for the tourney win.
Both Mee and Porch had official totals of 133, both very consistent both days of the tourney. Mee pocketed the first-place prize of $3,000, and Porch settled for $2,000. Thornton was third with 134, getting $1,250, and Mike Gord had a 68 Sunday for fourth place at 138 ($750). The total pro purse was $9,500.
ROGER WALLACE, the pro playing his home course, was the Senior Pro champion. He shot 69-75 for a 144 to pocket $500. He was eighth among the pros.
Ryggs Johnston, the defending amateur champion, led with a 67 Saturday, but dropped off to a 75 Sunday to finish tied for third with Sdean Ramsbacher. Each carded a 142.
With a 67 Sunday, Craig Hurlbert of Rollins emerged as the amataeur titlist with a 140. That was one stroke better than high-schooler Bucky Crippen. The total amateur purse was $9,250.
The Lake City Open is presented by the Polson Scholarship and Education Foundation. It is a locally operated and supported foundation, established to provide Polson High School graduates with scholarships and financial encouragement.
LAKE CITY OPEN
Polson Bay Golf Course
May 4 and 5, 2019
1. Jim Mee, 133 (won playoff). 2. Ryan Porch, 133. 3. Brian Thornton, 134. 4. Mike Grob, 138. 5. Harrison Taylor, 141. 6. Greg Vannatta, 142. 7. Dakotah Jenson, 143. 8. tie, Jason Lehtola, Ryan Malby (six-time Lake City Open champ), Connor Sproull, Caleb Stetzner and Greg Morris, 146.
Amateurs (top 10)
1. Craig Hurlbert, 140. 2. Bucky Crippen, 141. 3. tie, Ryggs Johnston and Sdean Ramsbacher, 142. 5. tie, Larry Barber and Bill Dunn, 143. 7. Sean Gilligan, 145. 8. tie, Colin Gunstream, Ryan Flink and Ben Kaul, 146.