- Author: Anchorage Daily News
Russell Marion, shown here teeing off during Thursday’s first round, won the Alaska State Amateur title Sunday in Palmer. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
Russell Marion handled the wind and a seven-time champion Sunday to capture the Alaska State Amateur golf championship.
Marion, a 23-year-old soldier from North Carolina stationed at JBER, shot par at windy Palmer Golf Course to claim a five-stroke victory over defending champion Greg Sanders.
Marion broke par every day but Sunday, opening with a 1-under 71 on Thursday and carding consecutive 68s on Friday and Saturday. He finished the 72-hole tournament with a 9-under-par total of 279.
Sanders, who was bidding for an eighth state title, shot 73 to finish at 284.
Marion, a first-time winner, carried a four-stroke lead into the final round and birdied the first hole to stretch his lead.
Sanders had a pair of birdies on the front nine but never came closer than four strokes. Any chance of a late charge was foiled by bogeys on No. 15 and No. 17.
He shot par or better in each of his first three round — 72 Thursday, 68 Friday and 71 Saturday — to finish the tournament 4-under.
Third place went to Adam Baxter, whose final-round 72 left him at 293, five strokes over par.
John Schmitz won the first flight with a score of 304, eight strokes ahead of runner-up Scott Woodland. Schmitz shot 78 on Thursday and Friday and 74 on Saturday and Sunday.
In the second flight, Garrett Stortz came from behind with a final-round 76 to win by a single stroke with a 336. He rallied past Nate Stogsdill and Matthew Meszoros, who shared second place at 337.
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