By Kevin Duke

The Bulletin

Final

David Lebeck 67-69-71 — 207

Brian Thornton 68-72-69 — 209

Derek Barron 68-66-76 — 210

Casey King 71-74-68 — 213

Ryan Malby 70-73-72 — 215

Jesse Heinly, Bend 68-75-73 — 216

Matt Epstein 72-74-71 — 217

Ryan Books 74-69-74 — 217

Shane Prante 68-74-76 — 218

Ryan Benzel 71-74-73 — 218

Sandy Vaughan 74-72-72 — 218

Hogan Arey 72-71-75 — 218

Jake Koppenberg 68-73-77 — 218

SUNRIVER — David LeBeck had a goal in mind for the final day of the Oregon Open Invitational, after finishing the second round two shots back of leader Derek Barron.

“I hope to make it as boring a round as possible,” LeBeck, from Astoria Golf and Country Club in Warrenton, said Wednesday night.

He accomplished his goal.

Tied with second-round leader and defending champion Derek Barron coming off the 11th green at Crosswater Club on Thursday, LeBeck kept it in the fairway and hit greens over the next five holes, playing that stretch at 1 under par — while Barron suddenly struggled to do the same — and the Oregon pro pulled away for an eventual two-shot win.

First as a pro

It was LeBeck’s first Open since his playing days as an amateur and he made the most of it, taking home a $7,000 winner’s check for his three-day total of 9-under-par 207.

“I wanted to go out, hit some fairways and hit some greens and maybe make a couple of putts and see what happens,” LeBeck said after the trophy presentation.

He knew he was in the lead coming down 18, but after a missed putt for par on 17, he was not certain of the margin.

“I hadn’t really seen the scoreboard, so I wasn’t sure,” he said.

An inconsequential bogey on the last was enough to give him the win.

“I played really solid out there and was happy with the way I played,” he said. “The shot I hit into 18 was pure, I told my caddie that I didn’t care where it went, I had hit it really solid. It went over the green a little bit, but at that point I knew I had a little cushion, so I was OK with that.”

Second-place finisher Brian Thornton, champion of the Oregon Open in 2012, agreed with LeBeck’s assessment of his play.

“He definitely did play boring today,” said Thornton, from Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, Washington.

“It’s funny how we say that. Because we know when good shots come off and they are quality shots, it’s not boring to hit a shot like that,” he said. “But at the end of the day if it sounds boring, that would be a good thing.”

Tough stretch

Barron’s troubles began on the 12th tee when he pulled his tee shot by about 2 yards, and ended up in the hazard to the left of the fairway.

Having to drop some 150 yards back to where the ball crossed the hazard, the Tacoma, Washington, pro managed to get on the green in four, but he would three-putt from there for a costly double bogey.

LeBeck’s routine par from just off the fringe put him up by two.

Bogeys on three of the next four holes by Barron, after he missed the greens on holes 13 and 15 and was unable to get it up and down — and his chances for the championship were over.

The 5-over stretch opened the door for Thornton, who fired a final-round 69 with seven birdies to overtake Barron for second place and take home $4,550.

“I did not think Barron would come back to me, but it’s easy to do, especially when you’re vying for a big championship,” Thornton said. “I’ve been on both sides of that thing.”

Thornton was happy with his ball striking on the back nine, where his three birdies could have easily been four or five.

“I started hitting it pretty good on the back, but I had two iffy swings that cost me two shots,” he said. “Obviously, golf is golf so you don’t know, but I had enough firepower today with the seven birdies, I just didn’t have the defense.

“If I could have managed a couple of more par saves that would have been nice.”

He trailed the two leaders by five shots after No. 11, so he was not considering that he might have a shot at winning the tournament.

“I honestly wasn’t thinking about winning this thing — even coming into the last hole I wasn’t thinking about that,” he said.

“LeBeck was playing so good, everything was in play and he was never out of position, but I was happy with the little charge I made.”

Barron held on for third at 6-under-par 210 and took home $3,200.

What will the winner do with his share of the purse?

“You’ll have to ask the wife,” he said.

Low amateur

Bend’s Jesse Heinly shot 2 under on the front nine before finishing with 1-over round of 73, good enough for a three-day total of even-par 216 — and won the low amateur trophy in the process.

The total was good enough for sixth place overall, and he edged Wenatchee (Washington) Golf and Country Club amateur Ryan Books by one shot for the amateur title.

“It was good, I like this course a lot and feel comfortable here,” Heinly said. “I wasn’t terribly happy with my performance, but at least I hung in there on the back nine today and did not totally throw it away.”

Other top Central Oregon finishers included Tetherow professional Chris Van der Velde and amateur Justin Kadin (+5, 221), Black Butte Ranch pro George Mack Jr. and Juniper amateur Jared Lambert (+6, 222), Broken Top pro Josh Hanson (+7, 223), and Meadow Lakes pro Zach Lampert and River’s Edge amateur Dylan Cramer (+9, 225).

— Reporter: 541-617-7868, kduke@bendbulletin.com .

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