Bend, Ore. (July 16, 2011) – Zac Blair (#36 seed) of Ogden, Utah capped off a great week with a 5&4 victory over Tyler Raber (#15 seed) of El Macero, Cali. in the 36-hole Championship Match.
Blair only trailed in the match for 1 hole and it was after No. 1 when he left his approach shot in the bunker and was unable to get it out on the first attempt resulting in a bogey. Both players birdied the par-5 No. 2 hole and then Blair was able to bring the match back to all square after making a par on the par-3 No. 3 hole. The next five holes were halved and then Blair made his move with a winning par on hole No. 9 and a 12-foot curling birdie putt that fell in on the 10th hole, giving him a 2-up advantage. Holes No. 11-15 were halved before Blair made a great up-and-down birdie from the deep greenside bunker on the shortened par-4 16th hole to go 3-up. Raber answered with a birdie win on the 17th hole, but Blair won the final two holes of the morning 18 with pars to take a commanding 4-up advantage.
After a short lunch break the final match teed off for the final 18 holes of the championship. Blair won 4 of the opening 6 holes with pars on holes No. 21 and 23 and birdies on holes No. 20 and 24 for an 8-up advantage with just 12 to play. Raber had one last flurry in him and he battled back with wins on holes No. 26, 27, and 29 to close the lead to 5, but a missed short birdie try on hole No. 30 proved costly. Hole No. 31 was halved with pars on the long par-5 and Blair was then dormie. On hole No. 31, a 190 yard par-3, Blair hit his shot to about 15 feet after Raber left his about 30 feet away. Raber missed his putt on the low side of the hole and Blair easily 2-putted for a 5&4 victory.
Blair has played 13 championship rounds of golf over the last 9 days and has no plans of resting. After finishing runner-up last week at the Sahalee Players Championship and Champion this week; a 6:30 a.m. flight on Sunday morning will take Blair to the Colorado Open and from there he makes his way to the Pacific Coast Amateur in California the following week.
The Championship began with 36-holes of stroke play qualifying followed by a cut to the low 64 players who advanced to single elimination match play.
Tetherow, which boasts a distinctive layout by David McLay Kidd is playing host to their first PNGA Championship this week. The 7,298-yard links-style course features imaginative routing lined by fescue grasses flowing with the natural terrain. Players are sure to find a diverse mix of holes framed by ragged bunkers, knobs and knolls, and panoramic views of Oregon’s high desert and Central Cascade Mountains.