Specht takes Men's City title in playoff
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Many men get to spend Father's Day playing a relaxing round of golf.
This Sunday came with additional pressure, however, as one group vied for the City Men's Golf Championship, which wrapped up its two days at The Golf Club at Southwind after Saturday's round at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
Trenton Specht of Plains defeated Barry Lucas on the second playoff hole, with the college senior sinking a birdie putt on the par-4 first, but the second playoff hole.
Specht, a senior math major and golfer at Ashford University in Iowa, shot a second-round 74 to go with Saturday's first round 72 (par at Buffalo Dunes) for a 146, three over par.
Lucas, playing one group behind, shot a 72 on Sunday to add to Saturday's 74.
Both men had chances to win outright Sunday, but both took bogey fives on the final hole of regulation.
On the first playoff hole, the par-3 ninth, Specht landed his tee shot 20 feet past the hole, while Lucas was just short and off the green.
Lucas hit his second shot within two feet of the hole while Specht left his putt a foot short, halving the hole.
On the second playoff hole, the dogleg-left first, Lucas left his tee shot in the right rough and laid up 30 yards short of the green.
Specht was in the first cut left, 160 yards out, and he landed his approach shot 30 feet past the hole. His lag putt caught just enough slope and dropped in for the championship birdie.
"I was just trying to hit it close," he said. "It was great. I'm glad someone won with a birdie instead of with a par."
Specht had started the day tied with Grant Vollertsen. The 2009 graduate of Southwestern Heights shot a 3-over-par 39 on the front nine but made birdies on 10 and 11, then parred the next six holes before missing his short par putt on the 18th hole.
He actually started the day with birdie-par, Specht said, but he lost a ball on the third hole and took a double bogey and found himself three back just like that.
"But I just kept grinding," Specht said.
On the par-5 10th, he hit the green on his second shot and two-putted for birdie to close the gap with Vollertsen.
"I didn't take the lead until 16. I parred and Grant bogeyed. The next hole we both parred, so I had a one-stroke lead going into the last hole," he said.
Specht hit his final tee shot in the fairway 138 yards out while Vollertsen wound up in the thick rough left. He took a triple-bogey seven while Specht settled for bogey.
Lucas, meanwhile, made up ground early with an eagle on the par-5 third.
"I was just trying to play for the middle of the green," he explained. "It hit a little left of the pin and I had a great downhill putt. I put it right in the center of the cup."
Unfortunately, that was his only good scoring hole, as he made three bogeys the rest of his round, including the one on 18.
Lucas, a Sublette native who hadn't played in the championship for 12 years, had a round of par as a target, so shooting one over was not too bad.
"I missed some short putts and over-read the breaks, is what happened today," Lucas said. "I'm happy with my 72."
"I had nothing to lose today. I just came out and played," he said.
Vollertsen and Shawn Audrain tied for third at 149 in the championship flight.
Phil Adams won the first flight with Carlos Prieto second.
Thad DeSpain, Derrick Dizmang and Reggie Burnett won their respective flights, while Leroy Linneburr won the senior flight.
Prieto's final round 71 was low round of the tournament.
Next up for many of the golfers is the annual Brookover Cup to be played Saturday and Sunday at Southwind and Buffalo Dunes.