PAYSON The folks at Gladstan Golf Course might want to change the name of their tournament to the "Chris Moody Open."
By sinking a relatively easy uphill 3-foot par putt on the first hole of sudden death, the Riverside assistant pro took home the Gladstan Open title for the third consecutive year. Not a bad record considering the tournament has only been in existence for three years.
"For some reason I just seem to play well here," Moody said. "It's not really a bomber's course. You have to play precision shots here and play course management, and that's the kind of course I usually play well on."
Moody's scores of 70-71 left him tied after 36 holes at 141 with Park City amateur Steele DeWald, who had Sunday's low round with a 3-under 69. For a time it appeared the two would share the title, with DeWald settling for his $430 in pro shop merchandise and Moody his $2,000 first-prize professional check.
But after a little urging from others in the field, Moody and DeWald
decided to break the deadlock in a playoff.
"I play in these tournaments because I want to play under pressure, and I wanted to play under that pressure," DeWald said.
On the dogleg right par-4 No. 1, DeWald hit first and blasted a monster drive over the corner, leaving him only 60 yards to the pin. Moody followed with a solid drive down the middle but far back of DeWald's ball. Moody's approach from 140 yards stopped about 25 below the hole. DeWald's low pitch checked up about 15 feet below the cup.
Moody's birdie putt came up about 3 feet short, giving DeWald a putt to win. However, the Arizona State senior got a little bold and rolled his birdie putt a little more than 3 past the cup. When DeWald's downhill par putt slid past the hole's left side, Moody was left with the straight uphill putt to win and knocked it dead center.
When DeWald posted his final-round 69 and two-day 141, it looked for a while like the score on the difficult layout would hold up. But Moody, in a head-to-head battle with Mike Borich on the final holes, made a birdie on the par-5 18th to force the playoff.Borich, who made birdie on the downhill par-3 17th to momentarily catch Moody and DeWald, finished alone in third at 2-under par 142 with a par on his final hole. Gladstan, with the course's much-praised redesign, again proved to be a difficult test as Moody, DeWald and Steele were the only three players in the field to finish under par. Amateur Jeff Jolley took fourth at 147, followed by Henry White and host pro Tracy Zobell at 148.