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Boise golfer tops Banana Belt field

A Boise, Idaho CPA, Greg Braun, made the most of a rare visit to Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course this past weekend.

Braun, a scratch golfer with a handicap of 0, rallied from two strokes down to first day leader Bob W. Hall of Sunnyside by carding a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday. That earned the Idaho man a one-shot win over Hall in this year's Black Rock Creek Banana Belt.

Historically, the Banana Belt is Black Rock Creek's most prestigious tournament of the year.

Braun, after opening the tourney with a first day, 3-over 75, closed with a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday. He snagged five birdies in the final round to run his birdie total to nine for the two-day tourney.

This year's race for the Banana Belt title was actually a three-horse affair. In addition to Braun and Hall vying for top honors, Sunnyside native Ty Shatz was in the chase. Schatz, the youngster among the three leaders by roughly 20 or so years compared to the two other golfers, claimed third place honors, just one shot back of the runner-up Hall. The trio easily distanced themselves from the rest of the 46-man field, as the next best finisher was a full 10 strokes back of the third place finishing Schatz.

Playing in the final group Sunday, the trio came up with one brilliant shot after another to make the championship run one to remember.

Hall, who despite windy conditions and spatterings of rain on Saturday shot a nifty 1-over 73 to take the first day lead, had a two-shot lead on Braun to open Sunday's play and was up by five strokes on the long-off-the-blocks Schatz, who had opened with a 78. Hall has a history on the links that includes far too many near-misses than he'd care to remember, yet he staved off the competition through the first nine holes of play Sunday. In fact, Hall's front nine, even-par 36 kept him two shots in front of Braun, and despite a three-birdie, 2-under-par 34 from Schatz, Hall still had the youngster by three strokes heading into the turn.

The momentum quickly switched when the trio hit the back side, though. With both Hall and Braun absorbing a bogey on the opening 10th hole, Schatz knocked down a bird to draw within a single stroke of Hall. In the process, Schatz moved ahead of Braun by one stroke.

Hall stopped the bleeding by parring the par-4 11th, yet still gave up ground to both Braun and Schatz when the two ran in birdie putts. Schatz's birdie pulled him into a tie for the lead, with Braun just a stroke back of the pair.

The first day leader regained the advantage on the par-3 12th by claiming his lone duece of the tournament, while both Braun and Schatz settled for pars.

However, Hall's second hiccup on the back nine came on the par-5, 513-yard 13th hole, which he bogeyed. With Schatz making birdie, he forged a one-stroke lead on Hall and was two up on Braun, who parred No. 13.

No. 14, the longest hole on the course at 539 yards that doglegs left around a pond that far too many golfers find off the blocks, proved to be Schatz's undoing. He ended up taking double-bogey on the hole, which allowed Hall to move one shot in front of him when he parred the hole. The double-bogey by Schatz also allowed Braun to leap-frog into a share of the lead with Hall, as the Idaho golfer snared a birdie.

But, Schatz refused to fold. He birdied the par-4 15th, his 10th birdie of the tournament, to square things dead even. Both, Hall and Braun parred No. 15.

Braun took his first outright lead of the tourney on No. 16, the longest par-4 hole on the course at 402 yards, by making birdie. Hall and Schatz both parred the hole to each fall one shot back of the Idaho man.

The down-the-stretch run turned interesting again, however, when Braun bogeyed the 134-yard, par-3 17th. Hall parred the hole to pull into a two-way tie for the lead. Schatz all but took himself out of the running when he found trouble and settled for a double-bogey.

On the final hole of regulation, with the outcome in the balance, it turned out that Braun needed only a par, which he successfully navigated. Hall finished up with a bogey, which netted him the runner-up finish. Schatz, who like Braun parred the 18th hole, finished in third place two strokes back of the champion Braun.

Although he ended as the third low scorer in the tournament, Schatz did post the lowest 18-hole round by shooting the 2-under-par 70 on Sunday.

Recent Sunnyside High School graduate David Stokes, tied for fifth with an 80 on the opening day of the tourney, moved up to a fourth place finish by carding a 78 on Sunday.

Grandview's Akira Nozaka, with the fourth low score on Saturday (78) but who ballooned to an 81 on Sunday, finished in a two-way tie for fifth place with Yakima's Keith Grace (82-77).

On the net side of the tournament (actual score minus handicap), Sunnyside's Nate Bridges won top honors. Bridges, a 10-handicapper, had rounds of 81-79, which was four strokes below his scoring average. Yakima's Steve Smythe finished second in the net scoring column by shooting three strokes below his handicap.

2005 Black Rock Creek

Golf Course Banana Belt

Greg Braun 75-71 -146

Bob W. Hall 73-74 -147

Ty Schatz 78-70 -148

David Stokes 80-78 -158

Keith Grace 82-77 -159

Aikira Nozaka 78-81 -159

Nate Bridges 81-79 -160

Bud Schatz 84-76 -160

Tom Yurochek 80-81 -161

Steve Smythe 82-79 -161

Eric Stam 81-85 -166

Willy Edwards 82-85 -167

Jack Syverson 85-83 -168

George Jackman 89-80 -169

Rick Mitoff 89-81 -170

Louis Alcala 87-83 -170

Andrew Schutt 87-86 -173

Craig Hisey 96-80 -176

Mike Boast 86-91 -177

Phil Luther 91-90 -181

Keith Sattler 100-82 -182

Michael Nichols 94-88 -182

Loran Hancock 91-91 -182

Walley Flores 86-96 -182

Steward Rogers 95-89 -184

Greg Lenhart 91-93 -184

Bob Hicks 93-92 -185

Ron Kroger 94-92 -186

Scott Andrews 93-94 -187

Ken Ott 100-90 -190

Bill Pannell 97-93 -190

Craig Boge 94-96 -190

Dan Clark 90-101 -191

Randy Boast 103-89 -192

Kelly Hector 97-95 -192

Rob Rice 94-99 -193

Joe Herber 99-94 -193

Garry Wells 99-96 -195

Dan Kolb 96-99 -195

Dean Schuler 98-99 -197

Bob Rice 106-97 -203

Marvin Bonny 105-100 -205

Keith Miller 105-102 -207

Ken Herber 112-104 -216

Ed Lane 91-NC -NC

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