302 Caprivi Ale Davenport
Open
Mycroft Pines Golf Club, Star
City, Davenport
STAR CITY, DAVENPORT  The
long, lonely walk back to the 18th tee at Mycroft
Pines G.C. was interrupted by a roar that
Omar PHETPHONGSY won't forget anytime
soon.
His onestroke lead already was in serious
danger Sunday when he learned his tee
shot, lodged in the bottom of a hedge,
was out of bounds by no more than a foot.
Then came the cheers, which felt like
a kick in the stomach.
Phetphongsy looked over his shoulder and
saw Laurence "Leopard" BIRCH sweeping his
fist into the cool air to celebrate a
birdie that brought him redemption at the
Caprivi Ale Davenport Open.
With a 25foot birdie putt on the final
hole and a stunning collapse by
Phetphongsy, Birch went from a onestroke
deficit to a threestroke victory.
It was an emotional victory for the young
Melanian who recently switched to his
new Listonian passport after the dimise
of Brolecia, thus earning the first
international sports victory for his newly
independent nation in history!
"It's a fabulous day!" Birch said. "But
I also feel bad for Omar. I learned from
several times where I blew a lead myself
that you have to play all 18 holes."
That was one too many for Phetphongsy.
Coming off a birdie from 6 feet on the
par3 17th that restored his lead, the
Ansonian hit his drive over the gallery
and out of bounds. Needing to reach the green with his fourth shot to have
any chance at par, Phetphongsy hooked it into the water.
He finished with a triple bogey for 76.
"There is nothing good," he said. "I will
always remember the last hole. Always."
Birch closed with a 69 for his second career
victory on the IGT.
This one will be remembered more for a
collapse far more spectacular than Birch's
splendid birdie on the last to win it.
"It's a funny game," said Birch, who finished
at 274. "I feel for Omar because
I've been in that position. I'm just glad
I made that last putt."
It was no laughing matter for Phetphongsy,
the young Ansonian in his second season
on the IGT.
"I was pretty much lost out there," said
Omar, who made only five pars. "I don't
know what was going on. Things were going
right, and other things were going
horrible."
Phetphongsy started the final round with
a fourstroke lead. "I couldn't get it
done. Hopefully, I'll come out of it some
day soon and give myself another chance to
win."
Birch picked up Z 720,000 for the victory.
Whitlam's Ray BARTRIM had a 73 and tied
for third at 278 with Moranian rookie
Travis OLIO, who had a 72.
Local hopeful and last week's winner John
CATES tied for the low round of the day,
a 4under 68, but was never a factor Sunday
for his second straight win  it
wasn't to be.
"It's a lot harder now when you don't know
where the ball is going," Cates joked.
He finished at 282, eight strokes behind.
Cates was out of the pictures, but the
thrills didn't leave with him on another
gorgeous day along the beautiful Mycroft
Pines Course.
Upanddown throughout the day, Phetphongsy
seemingly seized control by pitching
in for birdie behind the 13th green for
a onestroke lead, only to give it right back
with the kind of mistakes that took him
out of the tournament.
>From the middle of the fairway on the
par5 14th, he sliced a 3wood out of
bounds, dropping to a catcher's squat
in shock. His next shot went left, and
Phetpongsy
showed his quick temper by slamming his
3wood into the soft turf.
He took double bogey, which turned into
a twostroke deficit when Birch, playing
in the group ahead, rolled in a 10foot
birdie.
Phetphongsy somehow regrouped.
A wedge into 2 feet on the next hole stopped
the bleeding, and he holed a tricky
4foot par putt on the 16th to keep Birch
in range.
The par3 17th produced another swift change
in momentum, this time Birch walking
off the green looking like he wanted to
go straight into the lake.
He rolled his 30foot birdie putt about
5 feet past the hole and caught the left
lip coming back, taking a bogey. As he
stood on the 18th tee, he heard a massive
roar and turned his head to see Phetphongsy's
7iron on the 17th come down 6 feet
from the hole.
The Ansonian made that for birdie to take
a onestroke lead, walking to the famous
closing hole with the confidence of a
champion.
Like everything else along the back nine
Sunday, it didn't last long.
"I figured par would win," Phetphongsy
said. "But then, the change of events in
about 30 seconds. I found my ball was
out of bounds. Birch made it, the crowd went crazy. It was a long walk
back to the tee."
An overall disappointing result for the
local Davenport golfers, who were heavily
favored after their excellent showing
last week. Cates was the only one to break
into the top10. Philippe LAROCQUETTE
even missed the cut, as did NICKERSON and
PARSLEY, only with first time competitor
Loniver PORTRESSHAVEN placing as the only
other Davenportian in the money.
Sadly, Davenport's outgoing legend Toppy
O'BANNON, playing in his final
competitive tournament as a professional,
also missed the threeround cut, denying
his fans a chance to bid him farewell
on sunday, but bowing out gracefully.
O'Bannon is now expected to take a position
as broadcaster, and is hot in the
running as a rumored candidate to be the
302 International Golden Chalice Team
Captain!
The final results and earnings, in RealmsZaster:
Birch (LIS)
Z 720,000 66726769274 14under
Phetphongsy (ANS)
Z 432,000 66657076277 11under
Bartrim (FRW)
Z 232,000 68677073278 10under
Olio (MOA)
Z 232,000 69706772278
Elf (DEU)
Z 146,000 70717168280 8under
Verde (ORD)
Z 146,000 67697272280
VanElvis (WES)
Z 146,000 67727071280
Mendelsonn (LIS)
Z 112,000 69726872281 7under
Fagundes (EST)
Z 112,000 72706772281
Deball (STK)
Z 112,000 70717070281
Havrillak (ALB)
Z 112,000 69717071281
Beobidhenhe (EDE)
Z 84,000 71716872282 6under
Shenassa (ANS)
Z 84,000 70717071282
Cates (DAV)
Z 84,000 70737168282
Koreti (RAB)
Z 60,000 71737168283 5under
Matikainen (VMK)
Z 60,000 73676974283
Rellaux (CMR)
Z 60,000 69717172283
Kluffen (WES)
Z 60,000 67727074283
de Brothie (CAL)
Z 60,000 70736971283
Bneressia (NAM)
Z 60,000 67776871283
DuBraal (KTZ)
Z 60,000 69727270283
Cashasarha (EDE)
Z 60,000 64757074283
Detarti (RAB)
Z 43,200 72706874284 4under
Osicra (RAN)
Z 43,200 69687275284
Aretasuna (UTA)
Z 32,400 71707173285 3under
N'Banj (UTA)
Z 32,400 72737169285
Blavik (VMK)
Z 32,400 70707372285
Uunderfvil (KTZ)
Z 32,400 69737271285
Merch (REZ)
Z 32,400 73717269285
M. Rothies, Jr. (WES)
Z 26,600 71717371286 2under
Holland (CHR)
Z 26,600 69717274286
Fildbauer (ALT)
Z 21,657 72736973287 1under
Falangio (EKZ)
Z 21,657 68737373287
Pishenky (DRA)
Z 21,657 72707174287
Portresshaven (DAV)
Z 21,657 70697375287
de Druuidt (WES)
Z 21,657 75696875287
Senaduro (CAB)
Z 21,657 69727373287
Bilau (NAM)
Z 21,657 71757071287
di Cravengianhe (DEY)
Z 13,421 69717573288 even
McGurk (SPA)
Z 13,421 68767173288
Pharinser (DRA)
Z 13,421 74677572288
Durranende (LEN)
Z 13,421 74717172288
Kilet (BOW)
Z 13,421 69727473288
Monroe (FRW)
Z 13,421 69757173288
Kruddorf (SCK)
Z 13,421 71707374288
Li (WCG)
Z 13,421 74686977288
Fernandez (FRW)
Z 13,421 73717074288
Huyfrino (PCL)
Z 13,421 68727672288
Kekrade (GUW)
Z 13,421 72697572288
Burchard (CHR)
Z 13,421 72687375288
d'Estaing (AET)
Z 13,421 72737172288
Oostingverde (WES)
Z 9,190 74727073289 1over
Werkem (BOW)
Z 9,190 71727076289
Anchinaheto (EDE)
Z 9,190 77677075289
McFeeley (SPA)
Z 9,190 70707376289
Uroja (UTA)
Z 9,190 74687473289
Gaessler (CMR)
Z 9,190 74736973289
Zoek (WES)
Z 9,190 69737473289
Ouesreche (SVA)
Z 9,190 74717173289
Santaline (CMR)
Z 8,680 73727174290 2over
Scipshold (ALT)
Z 8,680 74687375290
Luostarinen (VMK)
Z 8,680 70717277290
Gortsidler (ALT)
Z 8,680 71727176290
Ladtkow (ANS)
Z 8,360 73736976291 3over
Chassea (MER)
Z 8,360 70727376291
Hovanec (ANS)
Z 8,360 71737275291
Chriponsi (PCL)
Z 8,120 72707179292 4over
Zirandria (NAM)
Z 8,120 71727376292
Aloysius (CMR)
Z 8,120 69717577292
Laundy (FRW)
Z 7,960 70747277293 5over
Godjul (VMK)
Z 7,960 76697177293
Matthewman (ARM)
Z 7,840 71727279294 6over
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