Before his first-round 79 was in the books, Bonney Lake’s Sean Packer already had another plan brewing.
Very analytical, and a tinkerer by nature, a few adjustments – and a career-best 66 at The Home Course – had Packer back in the winner’s circle at the third annual Washington State Golf Association’s “Champion of Champions” tournament in DuPont.
Packer started his final round Wednesday in the wind and rain with six birdies in his first seven holes. He went out and caught first-round leader Craig Larson (last-day 79), of Tacoma, who began the day with an 11-stroke lead over the two-time Tacoma City Amateur winner.
His 1-over 145 total edged Larson (147) by two strokes.
“I tried some stuff putting-wise that I had never put in a tournament,” said Packer, who changed putters and his grip before the final round to try and cure some of his short-putt woes.
Of course, the ball-striking, too, obliged. Packer hit it to 5 feet on the first hole, and made the putt for birdie. And he kept it going – a 12-footer on No. 2, a 4-footer on No. 3, a 6-footer on No. 5, an 8-footer on No. 6 and to cap it all, he hit a 9-iron approach at No. 7 to within 10 feet, and sank that as well.
“The craziest thing about this whole tournament is that it is a golf course I have never done well at,” Packer said. “I had never broken par in a tournament. I love the course, but the greens have had me completely baffled … so this was a 100 percent turnaround.”
Other winners included Tom Brandes, of Bellevue (senior men), Katie Lee, of Silverdale (women) and Yasue Alkins, of Lacey (senior women).