If folks thought Lynden’s Tim Feenstra, the runaway leader at the 85th Washington Open Invitational, was due for a letdown, guess again.
Once again, he left the field in his dust – this time it earned him his second title at this championship.
Three birdies in his first five holes left the field too far behind, and Feenstra closed with a 1-under-par 70 to win the tournament held at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.
His 12-under 200 total not only was seven shots better than Tacoma’s Michael Putnam (71), a PGA Tour, Feenstra eclipsed the tournament scoring total of 202, set by Chuck Milne in 1976 at Meridian Valley Country Club.
None of Feenstra’s closest challengers – Putnam (71); Olympia’s Andres Gonzales (69), also a PGA Tour player; or Kenmore’s Derek Berg (75) – mounted a charge to at least unnerve the 28-year-old champion.
At 6-under 207, Putnam was the sole runner-up. Gonzales (208) was in third alone.
Feenstra’s three days of scorching golf, including a course-record 63 on Tuesday, certainly impressed the PGA Tour pair. They were the first two men to congratulate him as he came off the final green.
“You see the two guys on tour at 6- and 5-under – and we might not have felt we played our best golf – but we are tour players, and he just beat us by seven or eight shots,” Putnam said. “That is good golf. Even if I had played well, he would have been tough to catch.”
Feenstra wasted no time building on his big lead. He hit his tee shot close on the par-3 second, and rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt. On the next hole, a sidewinding par 4, again he was on the mark with his iron approach, and made a 10-footer for another birdie.
A swing hole between Feenstra and Berg, his playing partner, came on the short par-4 fifth hole. Berg hit his drive so far right, his only option was to play his second shot underneath tree branches, which led to a bogey.
And Feenstra was in the middle of the fairway, knocked a wedge to 12 feet and walked off with his third birdie in five holes.
“I was very proud of myself of how I started,” Feenstra said. “I made a couple good swings, made a couple birdies to calm the nerves and I started to get into a rhythm.”
NOTES: Defending champion Jeff Coston, of Blaine, ended up tied for seventh at 211. he shot 68 on Wednesday. … Spokane’s Corey Prugh and Oregon’s Brian Nosler fired the day’s best rounds at 67. … When Feenstra won the Washington Open title in 2007, he took home $5,000. On Wednesday, it was $15,000. He added another $2,000 when he and amateur partner Greg Stark captured the pro-am title at 189. … The tournament raised more than $500,000 for charity.