PENDLETON, ORE. - Like a runaway locomotive, it's going to have to be something pretty mighty to derail the Black Rock Creek team from winning its sixth consecutive Mid-Columbia Senior Golf Tour championship.
Last Friday on the fourth stop of this year's tour, at the Pendleton Country Club, the Sunnyside-area Black Rock Creek squad walked away with top honors from the 11-team field.
Behind Chris Indall's 2-under-par 70 medalist round, which earned him low gross of field honors, Black Rock Creek tallied a team score of 710. The closest any of the 10 other teams came to the winners was an aggregate 722, recorded by the Tri-Cities Columbia Point squad.
Last Friday's first-place finish at the 6,317-yard course that criss-crosses the Birch Creek Valley about eight miles south of Pendleton, vaults the Black Rock Creek team five points ahead of Columbia Point in the 2012 tour standings. Westwood West of Yakima and the Pendleton Country Club sit tied for third in the standings, a distant eight points back of the Lower Yakima Valley golfers.
Indall had the hot hand for the winners with his 2-under-par-70, but Black Rock Creek also received four nifty performances from the likes of Phil Luther and Mike Wagner, each of whom carded 9-over-par 81's, and from Tom Diener and Tom Leighty with a pair of 82's. Wally Flores added a solid 18-hole round of 83 for the winners.
Of the 25 senior linksters who represented Black Rock Creek at last Friday's competition, 15 of them shot to their handicap, or better. The top standouts, as for posting rounds under their established scoring averages, included Leighty and Flores with handicap-aided scores of 66 and 67, respectively, as well as Eli Gonzalez and Mike Stegeman with net rounds of 68 and 69.
In side game action last Friday, the only Black Rock Creek golfer to cash was Troy Monholland. He picked up a net skin with a handicap-aided 2 on the par-4, 13th hole, worth a payout of $31.
The fifth competition of the season on the 13-stop Mid-Columbia Senior Golf Tour will be at the Sunnyside Black Rock Creek course, scheduled for Thursday, June 14. Local golfers who want to compete that day have until Monday, June 11, to sign up in the local pro shop.