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Bender bests the field at pro-am series event

MATTAWA - Last year's points runner-up in the Central Washington chapter of the PGA pro-am series, Jeff Bender, earned a top finish in a 2004 series event, held this past Monday at Desert Aire Golf & Country Club.

Bender fired a four-under 68 on Monday, nipping Mike Schoner of Moses Lake Golf & Country Club by a single stroke for top honors in the professional division. Bender serves as the PGA head professional at Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course. Schoner is the assistant pro at the Moses Lake course.

The March 29 tourney, which drew 140 professional and amateur golfers competing for individual and team awards, was the second of 26 events that will be staged in this year's series.

The low amateur round posted this past Monday was a one-under 71, shot by Dan Whitaker of Ellensburg Golf Course. Former Sunnyside High School golf coach Keith Crimp, now representing Ellensburg Golf Course, finished in a two-way tie for runner-up honors among the amateurs. He carded a two-over 74. Also in the amateur ranks, Bob Greene of Toppenish's Mt. Adams Golf Course shot a five-over 77 to tie for fourth place honors.

Mt. Adams' head professional Scott Galbraith, a Sunnyside High School graduate, ended up tied for second in the professional net division (actual score minus handicap). Galbraith scored a 76, but with his handicap of -4 figured in, he netted a 72. Jodi Bellamy of Goldendale Golf & Country Club won the pro net division with a handicap-aided 68.

Galbraith and his amateur squad of Greene, Terry Matthews, Rob Brown and Troy Monholland finished in a two-way tie for fifth place honors in the team competition, tallying a 196. Bellamy's Goldendale team earned top honors with a 190.

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