It was a win that put Blaine’s Jeff Coston alone atop the golf lore in Northwest major championship golf.
Coston’s 2-under-par 69 Wednesday, under everchanging weather conditions that included a heavy back-nine downpour, was good enough to capture the 84th Washington Open Invitational at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.
It was Coston’s fourth Washington Open Invitational crown, and first since 2001 when he won it at Oakbrook Golf and Country Club.
On a grander scale, the win Wednesday lifted Coston past Portland pro Bob Duden, and to an 18th Northwest major title (consisting of Washington Open, Oregon Open, Northwest Open, Pacific Northwest Sectional Championship, Rosauers Open and now-defunct Giusti Open) – most in this region’s history.
“(An 18th Northwest major) was important to me – very important to me,” said the 54-year-old from Semiahmoo Golf Club in Blaine. “Money is always good, but it’s not as important as that.”
Coston’s winning total of 10-under 203 was good enough for a two-stroke victory over Seattle’s Ryan Benzel (70). Spokane’s Corey Prugh (68) was third at 208, and host professional Scott Williams (72) was fourth at 209.
Coston picked up $15,000 for his win.
At one point on the front nine, Coston and Benzel were tied at 10-under for the tournament. Then Coston almost drove the 285-yard, par-4 eighth and got up-and-down for a birdie, then hit a wedge close for another birdie on the par-5 ninth to grab a two-shot lead.
After that, it was hold on and maintain steady amid the rain.
“(The weather) made it hard to play aggressively,” Benzel said. “The wind really picked up, and you were trying to guess correctly.”
2008 Washington Open champion Brian Nosler wasn’t near the pro leaderboard, but he and amateur partner Vince Jimenez won the pro-am tournament at 189 – good enough for a one-stroke victory over Todd O’Neal and Derek Berg. … Speaking of Berg, he was not eligible for the tournament title under the new format, but he did shoot rounds of 70-64-64. Good enough to win it anyway? “I wouldn’t have been too far off,” the former University of Washington star said. … Allenmore Golf Course assistant pro Taylor Ferris shot a 73, and tied for 32nd at 220.