After shooting a 5-under 66 on Friday, Boise's Jeff Thomsen might have figured 18 pars would be good enough to win his second straight Bonneville Bank-Provo Open at East Bay Golf Club Saturday.
It turned out that Thomsen needed 21 pars to turn the trick as he defeated Rose Park assistant Wayne Fisher on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff just before dusk.Fisher, who almost won it on the first playoff hole when he missed an 8-foot birdie, saw his drive trickle into the water on the left side of the 18th fairway, the third playoff hole, and had to take a penalty. When he made bogey, all Thomsen needed was his 21st straight par to claim the $1,200 first-place check.
"Actually I figured I'd need to shoot about three under today to win," said the 35-year-old Thomsen. "But nobody else seemed to be making a move."
Thomsen had started the day with a 1-shot lead over Tom Costello and amateur Matt Johnson after his first-day 66.
Costello tied it up with a birdie on the first hole but fell back with a couple of bogeys on the front nine. He got within one with a birdie at No. 11, but a bogey at 14 put him two back again. Johnson went two-over on the front and never threatened.
Thomsen cruised along making a par at every hole. The closest thing he came to a bogey was at No. 12 when he made a 12-footer to save par. Only twice did he have birdie attempts under 10 feet. When he parred No. 18 on his first go-around, he turned to the small gallery at the green and asked what the low score was in the clubhouse. He was a bit surprised to learn there was another 137.
Fisher, a former University of Utah and West High product who had a first-day 69, was just even par for the day after 11 holes. But he birdied 12, 15 and 16 to finish with a 3-under 68.
"I was surprised to be in the playoff, to tell you the truth," he said. "I thought I'd be third or fourth."
Kim Thomspon, the winner of last week's Tri-City Open, finished just a shot out of the playoff after shooting a 67. He lamented later that he might have played the last three holes differently if he knew how close he was. Thompson ended up making bogeys at 16 and 18 to finish third.
Bruce Brockbank fired a 67 to tie Costello at 139. Johnson and BYU golfer Rafael Ponce tied for low amateur honors at 140.