Four-under-par 128 wins by four strokes over Krieger and Hunter

Hotter than normal weather made playing conditions challenging at last weekend’s Prineville Invitational Pro-Am Golf Tournament, held at Prineville Golf Club.

On Sunday afternoon, ominous thunderclouds gathered to the west. Despite the weather, the tournament went off without a hitch.

“We were thankful that the weather held out on Sunday afternoon so that we could finish 36 holes of competitive golf,” said tournament director Kim Crofcheck. “The invitational was a great success with 25 golf professionals and 100 amateurs participating.”by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Marla Pierce chips onto the sixth green during Saturday's first round of the Prineville Invitational Pro-Am. Pierce did not place in the final standings.

Leading the charge among the professional golfers was Vince Johnson, who cruised to a four-shot victory in the two-day event.

Johnson posted rounds of 66-62 for a four under-par score of 128. Four individuals tied for second in the tournament with scores of 132. Professionals Scott Krieger (66-66), and Brad Hunter (68-64) tied with amateurs Charlie Rice (64-68), and Byron Patton (68-64).

Hunter, who won the pre-tournament horse race on Friday night, made a late charge, but came up short.

Rice led after the opening day, but was unable to keep pace on day two, gradually falling behind the red-hot Johnson.

Jim Lynch won the amateur net division posting scores of 58-62 — 120 to finish one stroke ahead of Jim Wyzard (60-61 — 121). Dave Favie finished one shot further back with rounds of 59-63 — 122.

Although he didn’t win the tournament, Favie still had the most memorable moment of the two days. Favie blasted his tee shot off the 194-yard 11th hole. Almost immediately large cheers, which could be heard from all over the course, erupted from Favie’s playing partners as his ball rolled cleanly into the cup for a hole-in-one.

On the professional side, Todd O’Neal won the net division with a score of 69-65 — 134. Jeff Bright and Pat Huffer tied for second with scores of 64-71 — 135 and 67-68 — 135, respectively.

That this year’s pro-am went off without a hitch was a testament to the volunteers who put on the tournament. Longtime tournament director Tom McDonald is recovering from back surgery so Crofcheck stepped into his place. Professional Gary Davis, who has been the host professional for the last several tournaments, has been having health issues and was forced to limit his duties at this year’s event, including withrawing from play partway through the first LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Vince Johnson plays a chip shot onto the seventh green at Prineville Golf Club during Friday's horse race. Johnson, who finished fourth in the event, went on to win the Prineville Invitational Pro-Am with a four under par 128.

Meadow Lakes head professional Zach Lampert quickly stepped into the void to help the tournament run smoothly.

“What makes this a unique tournament is that we host this very large pro-am event without a golf professional on staff,” Crofcheck said. “We rely on outside professionals such as Davis, the golf professional at Shadow Hills in Juncion City and Lampert. Zach stepped in at the last minute and helped with scoring and many of the behind the scenes tasks which take a great deal of time.”

Crofcheck added that Lampert’s services were invaluable and Prineville Golf Club would like to thank him and recognize his efforts.

Although Prineville Golf Club doesn’t currently have a golf professional on staff, that doesn’t mean that the club wasn’t well represented by professionals at the tournament.

Lampert and Davis have both been members of the club in the past. In addition, professionals Mark Payne, Brad Hunter, Jeff Bright, Brian Whitcomb and Jim Wilkinson all were either once head professionals at Prineville Golf Club or were club members early in their careers and honed their skills on the course.

Even though this year’s tournament is over, that doesn’t mean that the work is done. Crofcheck noted that next year is the 60th anniversary of the tournament and the club is planning something special to commemorate the occasion.

“We are looking forward to it,”?she said. “We will turn right around after finishing out the rest of the golf season this year and begin preparations once again for next year and another memorable tournament.”

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