Caribou make their way past Gordon Griffin, Kirk Hyman and Mike Kebschull Sunday in the Kenai Open at the Kenai Golf Course. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Caribou make their way past Gordon Griffin, Kirk Hyman and Mike Kebschull Sunday in the Kenai Open at the Kenai Golf Course. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Reese emerges as Kenai Open champ

Swirling clouds and gusty breezes didn’t dampen the spirits of 14 local duffers Sunday at the Kenai Open tournament at the Kenai Golf Course.

It didn’t make the play any easier, however.

By the late hours of Sunday afternoon, Tom Reese emerged as the winner to claim his second Kenai Open title at the course, and Bill Davis beat Keith Stuart in a one-hole playoff to break a tie for second.

Reese carded the best 18-hole effort of the day, an 81, to finish with a two-day net total of 130, which left him 13 strokes ahead of Davis and Stuart.

In a long held tourney that has passed at least 30 years, according to course owner Gordon Griffin, the Kenai Open challenged even those most accustomed to the ocean breezes that frequent the 18-hole course.

“This is about the windiest I’ve seen it,” Griffin said after the event.

As a testament to the winds, Reese finished Saturday with a gross total of seven-over par 79 to sit in a tie for second, then returned Sunday to shoot a worst total of nine-over 81 on Sunday, but still made out with the trophy. Reese might have emerged better on Saturday, but shot a quadruple bogey on hole No. 17 to drop back.

Bill Davis led the gross tally after Saturday at 78, but due to his lower handicap, trailed the net total two.

Todd Eskelin started the fastest Sunday with the best opening nine-hole score of 39, two better than Reese and Stuart, but faded on the back nine with a 47, while Reese settled down to shoot 40. Gordon Griffin ended up with the top back-nine day at 39 to finish at 82 on Sunday, better than the 85 he notched Saturday. In all, four players finished with better days Sunday than Saturday.

Mike Houghton was the white tee winner, contested between the younger crowd that utilizes the white tee boxes. Players age 62 and older used the gold tee boxes, which were slightly shorter.

Kenai Open

Saturday, Sunday at Kenai Golf Course

Par 72


Tom Reese7981160130

Keith Stuart8386169143

Bill Davis7889167143

Mike Houghton7994173145

Pat Bowen9290182146

Charlie K8191172148

Keith Stasek9590185149

Jerry Norris8795182152

Kirk Hyman9386179153

Todd Eskelin 8186167153

Gordon Griffin8582167155

Larry Jackson9093183159

Everet Kraft95101196160

Mike Kebschull93104197171

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