Yesterday it was anybody’s tournament. Today, Bryan Lemkau made the George Lohman City Golf Tournament his.
Entering the day four strokes behind first place, Lemkau, who won the Open Division last year, shot a 67 to bring his two-day score to 140 and rally for his fifth open division championship. That included a 31 on the back nine and two eagles in the final three holes to clinch the title for the second consecutive year.
“It feels great,” Lemkau said. “I was behind the whole day. There were a lot of things that went my way and a lot that didn’t.”
After a frustrating day Saturday at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course where he missed multiple birdies inside five feet, Lemkau was behind the eight-ball for all of round two Sunday. He shot a 36 on the front-nine and fought to get back into the mix, but after three-putting hole 15, he trailed J.T. McKee by two strokes and Sam Hermann one.
“After 15 I knew I was two back so I got on that tee box and said ‘ok, start playing your game,’” Lemkau said. “I was focused on my target and hitting the ball as hard as I could.
“I did not make a mistake the rest of the way through.”
In fact, Lemkau finished about as strong as possible to end a golf tournament. The five-time champion sank a long putt on 16 for an eagle that he knew he had to make to have any shot at a rally. Then he parred 17 to enter the final hole tied with and McKee.
Lemkau chipped in an eagle on 18 to clinch his title. Hermann and McKee both made par to end the day. Hermann placed third with a 143 two-day score and McKee placed second with a 142 two-day score. Tom Norton placed fourth with a 143.
It’s the second day in a row Lemkau made eagle on 18, which he credited to good drives on both occasions.
“It’s one of my better finished to a tournament,” Lemkau said. “That’s insane, I’ve never done that before but it feels good. It was a mindset to maintain focus, really buckle down and hit the shots I know I can hit. When you have people like J.T. McKee and Tom Norton nipping at your heels you’ve got to bring your best game.
“I would like to think I played exceptionally down the stretch.”
Dillon Cooney rounded out the top five in the open division with a 144 two-day score. He rallied from 10th to fifth with a 68 on day two.
Dave Crawley had no complaints with how the tournament turned out in his third as the Muscatine Municipal golf professional. He noted there were a few adjustments made to get players off quicker to end their rounds that helped the tournament run smoother, but the biggest key was the one factor that can’t be controlled.
“Last year we had rain but it was pretty decent the entire weekend,” Crawley said.
Crawley also gave credit to Brett Parcher, who is in charge of maintenance, for getting the course ready to play on despite previous rain making it difficult.
“With as much as we’ve had and how soft the ground was we couldn’t mow certain places until the last minute,” Crawly said. “It was too sloppy to get the golf carts out there.”
Mark Hutchings won his fourth consecutive senior division title after carding a two-day score of 147. He separated himself from the rest of the pack Sunday, as Steve Graham was seven strokes behind with a 154 in second place. Jay Lohman rounded out the top three with a 154.
Teri Terrill was the lone participant in the women’s division over the weekend at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course. She carded a 231, four strokes better than her score in last year’s tournament.
Super Senior Division
Doug Roelle shot a 76 to overcome a two-stroke deficit and win the super senior division with a two-day score of 154. It’s his third city tournament title. Jeff Finn, who was the leader after day one, also finished with a 153.
The tiebreaker was determined by cardback and it came down to the third handicap hole. The hole that finally broke the tie was No. 6, where Roelle bogeyed and Finn shot a double bogey.
Tony Giles placed third with a 159.