RICHLAND - It's beginning to look like the Lower Yakima Valley Black Rock Creek team is a lock for a three-peat.
In search of its third consecutive Columbia Basin Senior Golf Tour championship, the Black Rock Creek squad easily swept aside the competition at the most recent stop on this year's tour. Playing at Richland's Horn Rapids Golf Course last Wednesday, the Lower Valley team won by 14 strokes over the runner-up Canyon Lakes/Horn Rapids squad.
Black Rock Creek tallied a team score of 746 at the Richland contest. At 760 was the Canyon Lakes/Horn Rapids team, with Sun Willows placing third with a score of 772. Desert Aire and Columbia Point rounded out the top five with scores of 779 and 793, respectively.
Last Wednesday's first place finish at Horn Rapids keeps Black Rock Creek atop the 2009 senior tour points standings. The tour leaders have won two of the three competitions thus far this season.
Powering the local team to last week's first place finish was Tom Diener of Grandview. He made his way around the desert-style course with a 7-over-par 79. Four shots back at 11-over 83 was teammate Akira Nozaka, also a Grandview golfer. Sunnyside's Gene McIntire, one back of Nozaka with an 84, turned in the third low round for the Black Rock Creek team.
The Lower Valley team made up even more ground on the field, which totaled 108 golfers in all, thanks to Jim Angel and Mike Stegeman. Angel won low net of field honors by shooting the furthest under his established handicap. He netted a 66 (actual score minus his handicap). Stegeman carded a net-68, four strokes below his scoring average, which was the third low net round of the field last Wednesday.
Also shooting below their established handicaps were Black Rock Creek's Al Sandlin with a handicap-aided 70 and Perry Barnhill with a net-71.
The next stop on the 2009 senior golf tour will be at Yakima's Apple Tree Golf Resort. That competition is slated for Wednesday, June 3. All Black Rock Creek golfers who want to compete that day are asked to sign up in the local pro shop by Monday, June 1.