There were no slip-ups for Phil Straley this year.
A year after a late bogey earned him second place in the City Open, Straley grabbed the lead on Saturday and never relinquished it, earning his seventh men's City Open title at the end of the 46th annual event at Alpena Golf Club on Sunday.
Sue Geyer was one of two women's golfers in the championship flight to post a sub-90 score on Sunday and won her fifth women's City Open title by double digits.
News Photo by James Andersen
Phil Straley, left and Sue Geyer pose with their trophies after winning the 46th annual City Open on Sunday at Alpena Golf Club. Straley won his seventh title, beating Tom Lahner by four strokes while Geyer beat Kristen Kennedy by 13 strokes to win her fifth title.
Straley bested Tom Lahner by four strokes (143-147) to win his seventh title. After firing a 67 on Saturday, Straley entered Sunday with a four-stroke lead over Lahner, but found his lead narrowed to two after nine holes.
The tricky fifteenth hole ultimately helped Straley pull away for good after he shot for par and Lahner double-bogeyed. Both ended the day with a 76.
"Obviously it was a good weekend. Yesterday, we had ideal playing conditions and the scores were a little bit better obviously than today," Straley said. "It was tough today, big winds out there, branches falling out of trees but there's some good competition and it was a good time."
46th annual City Open winners
Men's City Open Champion: Phil Straley
Women's City Open Champion: Sue Geyer
Men's First Flight: Tom Grueter (142)
Men's Second Flight: Darrell Liske (129)
Men's Third Flight: Tom Ross (137)
Men's Fourth Flight: Neil Bellmore (140); beat Pat W. Green in a playoff
Women's First Flight: Sandy Malaski (135)
Last year, Straley was in second place entering Sunday and rallied to tie for the lead with only a few holes to play before earning a bogey on No. 15 and finishing second.
Straley also earned titles in 1989, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008, but said the thrill of winning the event never changes.
"It really doesn't," Straley said. "The fact that you won helps you kind of keep calm during the competition."
Geyer cruised to her fifth City Open title after finishing with a 163 (81-82), well ahead of second-place finisher Kristen Kennedy, who shot 176.
With a three-stroke lead over Kennedy entering Sunday, Geyer kept her cool, firing an 82 for the lowest women's score in the championship flight on Sunday. Geyer and Gisela Schreier (88) were the only two women to have sub-90 scores on the second day as competitors had to contend with a steady wind.
"I'm very happy with the way I played. It's probably in the top three or four scores that I've had over several years," Geyer said. "I just stayed steady today and didn't really get into any trouble."
Geyer's goal in every City Open is to at least place and in more than 10 events, she's done well, earning championships in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2009. The key to her success, she said, is just playing her game and trying to stay consistent.
"I'm very good at tuning everything out; I just go play my game. I don't pay attention to stuff around me," Geyer said. "One of my keys to playing well is I never pay attention to my score and I don't pay attention to other peoples' scores and I don't count strokes. I just play hole for hole and you can still have a bad hole and do well."
In other results from the City Open: Trenton Donakowski was third in the men's championship flight at 150; Kevin Szymanski was fourth (151); last year's City Open winner Todd Skiba was fifth (153); Garrett Sobeck was sixth (155) and Dan Budman was seventh (157). Tom Grueter won the men's first flight (142); Darrell Liske won the second flight (129); Tom Ross won the third flight (137) and Neil Bellmore won the fourth flight (140), beating Pat W. Green in a playoff.
Sandy Malaski won the first women's flight (135), beating Kelly Poirer (141).