Tonan drains monster playoff putt for Gamble Sands title
Oct. 9, 2017 – Gamble Sands, Wash.
This time it only went two extra holes, capped by a birdie-birdie finish (including an unlikely 75-foot putt) by Port Townsend pro Gabe Tonan, to capture the 2017 crown of the Gamble Sands Hickory Classic over Beau Forrest. Earlier this summer, the title of Pacific Northwest Hickory Championship was settled after five extra holes.
The third rendition of this tournament began under clear blue skies at the renowned Gamble Sands Golf Links (recently voted the best golf course in Washington State) with 24 players. As the round progressed, the winds picked up, dark clouds moved in, and scoring became more elusive. Uncharacteristically, no one broke 80 in the Open division, with two PGA professionals, Jim von Lossow and Gabe Tonan sharing the lead at exactly 80. Beau Forrest, first-time hickory player playing on his home course, followed closely behind at 81.
While the Open players struggled on day one, the Senior division saw a pair of fine 77s turned in by Kit Ledbetter and Martin Pool.
Day two was a different story as the Open Division showed off its mettle. Beau Forrest came back with a strong 74 to tie Gabe Tonan (75) at 155. The two players returned to the par 5 18th hole, which they matched with birdies. On to hole No. 1 they went, whereupon Tonan won with his monstrous long birdie putt.
In the Senior Division, Kit Ledbetter followed his terrific first round with another (77-78=155) to capture the title, three shots ahead of Martin Pool (77-81=158). Tom Driscoll won the Statesman Division with a come-from-behind 89-80=169 over California’s Chuck McCollum’s 88-84=172. In the Women’s Division, Roberta Robbins won her third consecutive Gamble Sands title with a 94-91=185.
This year we were joined by Jake Varnell, grandson to the late Jack Wilson, who used his grandfather’s clubs to take his place among the Northwest Hickory Players. We hope to see more of young Jake to carry on his grandfather’s legacy.
For more photos of the event, visit the Northwest Hickory Players facebook page.