Eric Ash (Phoenix, AZ) shot a final-round 69 and made par on the first playoff hole to beat Steven Allan (Phoenix, AZ) in the second annual Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open, Presented by United Rentals at Talking Stick Golf Club.
Ash held a share of the second-round lead at 8-under with Daniel Miernicki (Santee, CA) but got off to a slow start in the final round, shooting even par through the first nine holes to stay at 8-under as he made the turn. Miernicki got to 10-under par for the tournament after making par on the holes 2 and 8, but dropped back into a tie with Ash after a costly double-bogey on the 446-yard par-4 ninth hole.
Allan started the day three shots back at 5-under but got into the mix early, carding birdies on three of the first five holes to get to 8-under. His hot streak stopped on the par-4 ninth where he made a bogey that dropped him one back of the leaders at 7-under par with nine holes to play.
On the back nine, Ash struck first, making a clutch birdie on the par-4 10th to take a one shot lead over Miernicki and two shot advantage over Allan at 9-under par. Ash gave one back after a bogey on the par-4 14th, but Miernicki could not take advantage, carding a bogey of his own to drop back to a tie for second with Allan at 7-under par.
Allan countered with birdies on 16 and 17 to get to 9-under, while Ash answered with a birdie on 17 to get back into a tie with Allan with one hole to play. Neither player could close things out in regulation, as they both made par on 18 to force a playoff. Miernicki managed a birdie on the closing hole to get to 8-under, narrowly missing a three-way playoff.
Ash and Allan went back to play 18 again for the sudden death playoff, with Ash taking an early advantage off the tee with a great drive that found the fairway, while Allan found himself in a little trouble with a wayward drive into the desert. Allan made a good recovery out of the desert to the front of the green, then chipped up to about eight feet.
Ash’s approach flew the green, but he recovered with a great chip shot to five feet. Allen then missed his par putt, while Ash knocked in his five-footer to take home the championship and the $20,000 first place payout of the $125,000 guaranteed purse.
“Eric played great this week and held off a strong field, he’s a great champion,” said Tournament Chairman Brian Vransesh. “It was a great week overall, Talking Stick is a fantastic golf course, we had a full field, and thanks to our great sponsors we are able to donate $5,000 to the Desert Financial Foundation. We can’t wait to bring this back next year.”
Allan finished 4-under for the day for his second place finish, while Miernicki was even par on the afternoon and finished T3 at 8-under with Calum Hill (Silver City, NM), who shot 3-under for the day and jumped into the Top-5 with birdies on four of the final six holes.
Ryan Hogue (Mesa, AZ), carded the low round of the day, firing a bogey-free 65 that included a 31 on the back nine that vaulted into a T5 finish with Ray Beaufils (Phoenix, AZ), who also finished 6-under for the tournament.
Rounding out the Top-10 were Taylor Montgomery (Las Vegas, NV) and Zach Wright (Baton Rouge, LA), who finished T7 at 5-under; while Charlie Beljan (Mesa, AZ), Cannon Blake (Mesa, AZ) and Tyler Weworski (Carlsbad, CA) finished T9 at 4-under par. Blake matched Hogue’s low round of the day with his 5-under 65 that included six birdies over the first 10 holes.
This was the second annual Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open Presented by United Rentals. The event features a charity pro-am and a 54-hole championship with a field of 156 players and a guaranteed purse of $125,000 – with $20,000 going to the winner. The goal of the tournament is to provide a first-class competitive arena for aspiring professionals, while supporting worthwhile charities in the local community. Tournament Director Brian Vranesh announced that the tournament was able to donate $5,000 to the Desert Financial Foundation. For more information visit www.scottsdaleazopen.com.