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Bender one stroke away from Pendleton course record

PENDLETON, ORE. - When you're hot, you're hot. This past Monday, Black Rock Creek Golf Course club pro Jeff Bender went a step further. He was sizzling!

Playing at a Central Washington PGA pro-am event at the Pendleton Country Club, Bender humbled the competition. He scorched the course for a 9-under 63. The Sunnyside golf pro came within a single stroke of tying the course record.

Bender's 63 was six strokes better than his nearest competitor-Pasco Golfland club pro Kim Davis. Along the way, Bender earned three skins in the pro-am's professional skins game.

The Monday, April 25, competition was the sixth event in the 2005 Les Schwab Tire Centers Pro-Am Series, sponsored by the Central Washington chapter of the PGA. Each tournament typically draws about 200 professional and amateur golfers.

Bender's 63 not only earned him top honors in the professional division, it served as a springboard for the Black Rock Creek squad to capture the first place prize in the team competition. Bender-along with amateurs Robbie Goins, Perry Uchida, Russ Pond and Greg Smith-shot an aggregate 27-under-par 189. In the team competition, each squad records the score of one gross ball and two net balls each hole. The Sunnyside team edged the Wildhorse Resort Golf Course team by two strokes for top honors.

Smith also cashed in the tournament's #2 amateur division, shooting an 81 for runner-up honors. The low amateur division #2 score was a 77, carded by Phil Raab of Wildhorse Resort.

Black Rock Creek's Scott Andrews also cashed Monday. He tied for third in amateur division #3 with a 92. The low round in that division, an 85, came from a member of the host Pendleton course-Chuck Bracher.

The lowest amateur rounds posted Monday were three 1-under 71's, shot by Mike Hodgins of Sun Willows Golf Course, Willie McIntyre of Pasco Golfland and Andrew Sohna of the Pendleton Country Club.

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