Michael Ciez led wire-to-wire here at the 66th Walla Walla All City golf championship and culminated his third consecutive run to the title with a 5-under-par 67 at Veterans Memorial Golf Course on Sunday.
Ciez’s two day total of 11-under-par 133 tied Mike Early’s tournament record set in 1981.
Ciez played 35 holes of bogey-free golf and had a new tournament record at 12-under within reach as he played the par-4 18th, needing a par to break the tournament record. It was not to be, as Ciez’s birdie putt rolled past the hole leading to a three-putt bogey and his 133 two-round total.
“I’m happy that I won,” Ciez said. “I knew I had it (the record) on 16 (a birdie). I could’ve tapped it on 18, but I tried to make my putt and let it get away from me. It happens. I thought it was over when I hit my shot in, but it wasn’t.”
Except for the hiccup on 18, Ciez was darn near flawless. He carded birdies on No. 3, 7, 8, and 9 on the front.
Ciez then ran off three consecutive birdies on 14, 15, 16 on the back side after a near out-of-bounds drive on No. 13.
“I hit a bad drive (on 13) and I got lucky,” Ciez said. “I made my par and knew I had a few birdies to make if I wanted to shoot low. I made birdie on 14, 15 and 16, and 18 just happened.”
Other than a 4-under 68 by Tyler Daniels and a 3-under 69 by Jeff Thomas, Ciez was never pressured.
“I didn’t think about that (being pressured),” Ciez said. “I was just trying to hit fairways and greens. I knew if I did that, it would all take care of itself. But disappointed that I bogeyed the last hole. I had played a bunch of rounds in the 80s last week. It felt good to come back home and shoot good scores.”
Daniels made a run with a birdie on No. 1 and an eagle on No. 3 to start his Sunday challenge run from six shots back. A double bogey on No. 6 stopped the momentum, and even with birdies at Nos. 12, 13, 17 and 18 on the back side, it wasn’t enough to challenge Ciez.
Daniels finished with a 68 to go with his even-par 72 on Saturday for a two-round score of 4-uunder 140 and a second-place finish.
“It was good and a lot of fun playing with those guys (Ciez, Ryan Baumgart and Eric Kimball),” Daniels said. “Watching Mike try to break Early’s record was fun.
“Seventy-two was all I had in me yesterday (Saturday),” Daniels continued. “Today, I got it going a little better. I doubled six today and that kind of took all the wind out of me. Still, Mike played so good that I wouldn’t of had a chance to catch him anyway. I started off birdie, bogey, eagle and kind of got within shouting distance, then I just gave it right back. Mike is a good player and a great kid on top of it. Winning it three times in a row is pretty impressive.”
Ciez looks forward to more golf and a possible attempt at a four-peat next year.
“I would like to play well in high-level amateur tournaments before I think about anything else,” Ciez said of his golf future. “Turning pro is appealing, but I’m not in a hurry to do that. I would rather prove myself on a bigger stage of amateurs before I start getting ahead of myself. It’s appealing (to come back for a four-peat). I would like to get this record under my belt.”
Thirteen-time All-City champion Jeff Thomas fashioned a 3-under 69 Sunday to give him a two-day total of 142 and third place.
After a 1-under to open the tournament, Baumgart shot 74 at Vets on Sunday and finished with a two-round score of 145 to take fourth place.
Eric Kimball and Chris Smith shared the fifth spot as each posted a 2-over 146 for the tournament.
In ladies action, Dona Dunovant led the field at Vets with a 76, one stroke better than Sue Chestnut.
Dunovant captured the division with a two-day score of 149 and Chestnut was second at 158.
Joan Schille finished third at 170.
Sarah Michelson took home the net crown with a two-day net of 141. Vicki Handyside took the second-place prize with a 150.
http://www.vetsmemorialgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Ciez_t670.jpg394670adminhttp://www.vetsmemorialgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/vets-logo-white.pngadmin2015-08-20 13:35:422016-09-29 14:00:32It’s an All-City three-peat for Ciez