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Tuttle eludes usurpers in defense of Eagle Point crown

EAGLE POINT -- After an opening-round 5-under-par 67, Medford's ScottTuttle had the luxury of placing his golf game in cruise control Sundayin the final round of the Eagle Point Amateur Championship.

Tuttle shot a final-round 3-over-par 75 to claim a five-stroke victorywith a 36-hole total of 2-under-par 142 as he retained his title.

I played a solid round yesterday, but today I didn't play verywell, said Tuttle, who used his home-course advantage to at leastsome benefit in winning another tournament as the top-ranked amateur golferin Oregon.

Tuttle, 41, held off charges by Marshall Holman, the Professional Bowlers'Association Hall of Famer from Medford, and Mark DeBoer of Medford. Holmanand DeBoer tied for second place with 147 totals and Southern Oregon GolfTournament champion Doug Olson and Brooks Newsome tied for fourth placeat 148.

Tim Mort won the low net overall championship with a 130 total.

Although Tuttle calls Eagle Point Golf Course home, he says he doesn'tplay that many rounds there. I would guess all of the top playersin the field play here more than I do, says Tuttle. I don'tplay more than twice a week, if I'm not playing in tournaments.

Tuttle made six birdies and one bogey on Saturday in opening up a five-strokelead. I hit the ball well and made some putts, said Tuttle.It was a good start. But today, I didn't chip and putt as well, andI had trouble concentrating. For whatever reason, I had trouble keepingthe intensity going.

Holman, a Rogue Valley Country Club member, shot a 1-over-par 73 to gowith Saturday's 74. During Sunday's round, Holman made birdies at the seventhhole from 5 feet and at No. 9 from 2 feet. He stayed hot on the back ninewith a 6-foot birdie at No. 12 and a 3-footer at 13.

A 73 is a good score for me, said Holman. My handicapis three, but it's going to go down to two because of these rounds here.

One of the reasons I played well is this course, said Holman.The Rogue Valley is fortunate to have a facility like Eagle PointGolf Course. Because of the foundation of sand here that they put down underthe course, it enables you to hit good golf shots. That gets me fired up.

The sand base enables the greenskeeper here to cut the fairwaysshorter, and then you can hit iron shots with more spin on them.

The members are voting at Rogue Valley to add sand to the baseof our fairways, and we need to do that, said Holman. That wouldgive us fairways like these.

DeBoer, who shot a 74 to go with Saturday's 73, closed to within threeshots of Tuttle after shooting a one-under-par 35 on the front nine.

I thought I had a chance to catch Scott, but a couple of bad shotsended that, said DeBoer. I hit a bad sand wedge from 100 yardson No. 10 off of a sidehill lie. It ended up in a bunker.

On No. 12, I hit my second shot from 208 yards into a hazard, andI ended up with a par while Tuttle was making birdie on the hole. That wasthe end of my chances.

Dennis Slahery won the First Flight title with a 153 total. Jim Howewas the low net winner at 143. Mike Stritenberg took the Second Flight grosstitle at 164. Del Westlund was the low net winner at 138. Mort won the ThirdFlight low gross championship at 162. Sid DeBoer was the low net championat 142.

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