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Bender places third at golf pro-am event

KENNEWICK - Jeff Bender, head pro at Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course, tied for third in the professional division at a pro-am series event sponsored by the Central Washington chapter of the PGA.

Bender fired an even-par 72 at Kennewick's Canyon Lakes Golf Course. He finished three strokes back of the winner-Michael Combs of Kennewick, who carded a 3-under 69.

The Tuesday, March 16, tourney was the second stage of the two-day 2004 "March Madness" kick-off event sponsored by the Central Washington chapter of the PGA. Opening day competition was at Walla Walla Country Club on Monday, March 15.

The lone amateur on the Black Rock Creek team to cash on Tuesday was Derek Woods. He shot a 9-over 81 to finish in a three-way tie for runner-up honors in amateur division #2. Mo Cortez of the host Canyon Lakes course won top honors in amateur division #2 by shooting a 7-over 79.

Former Sunnyside High School golf coach Keith Crimp, who now operates Ellensburg Golf Course with his brother Frank, tied for second in amateur division #1. Crimp posted an even-par 72.

The low amateur round of the day at Canyon Lakes was turned in by Hank Chafin of Pasco's Sun Willows Golf Course. Chafin scored a 2-under 70.

The next Central Washington pro-am series event will be held Monday, March 22, at the Tri-City Country Club. A field of nearly 200 professional and amateur golfers are expected to vie for cash and prizes.

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