SISTERS — No golfer was keeping a closer eye on scores Thursday than Colin Inglis.
Trailing by two strokes heading into the third and final round of the Oregon Open Invitational at Aspen Lakes, Inglis was maintaining a tally of his own score as well as that of leader Corey Prugh.
“I’m one of those people that just has to know what other people are doing,” said Inglis, an assistant pro at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell. “So I was counting all day, really.”
So Inglis knew exactly the situation he was in when he trailed Prugh by three strokes after nine holes Thursday. And he knew exactly the spot he was in when birdies on the 16th and 17th holes, combined with Prugh’s bogey-par, vaulted him into a two-stroke lead — one he would not relinquish as he came off the final green at 1-under-par 71 for the day, 7-under 209 for the 54-hole tournament, and with the Oregon Open championship in hand.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel any pressure,” Inglis, a 2007 graduate of Eugene’s Churchill High School, recalled as he entered the final round. “Everyone was expecting Corey to win. I’ve been here (in the tourney) recently, and I’ve kind of fallen on my face. So I just did the opposite, just relaxed. When I pressed, I just stepped back and relaxed even more.
“That was my game plan today. I didn’t feel any pressure until the second-to-last putt out there.”
That penultimate putt was a birdie attempt at the 18th hole, which set up a short par to secure Inglis a two-stroke victory over Prugh, the Spokane, Washington, golfer who won the Oregon Open in 2008 — the last time the tournament was staged at Aspen Lakes.
Inglis had a respectable round at the turn Thursday, carding an even-par 36. But Prugh appeared well on his way to the win, as a 1-under 35 earned the Community Colleges of Spokane head coach a three-stroke lead with nine holes to play.
“At that point, just holding on for second (place) was going through my head because Corey was playing so solid,” Inglis said. “But he made a couple mistakes and I finished with a couple good putts there with a few birdies.”
Prugh, however, bogeyed three of the next four holes, while Inglis remained consistent. Despite settling for bogey on the 10th hole, Inglis was still in contention, and five pars followed by back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th holes turned a one-stroke deficit into a two-shot lead with just one hole to play.
“I was giving myself chances all day, but I just couldn’t make a putt,” Inglis said. “I tried to free myself up and just rolled it.”
The low amateur for the tournament was Bryce Wortman, a 2016 graduate of Mazama High School in Klamath Falls and a three-time Class 4A state champion. Wortman carded a 3-under 211 for the tournament to place third overall.
Just behind Wortman was 2017 Oregon Open champion Russell Grove, who finished at 1-under 213 and tied for fourth with a familiar face at this tournament.
Casey King has become more and more comfortable playing at the Oregon Open. Three times a top-five finisher at this tournament since 2010, the assistant professional from Black Butte Ranch added another strong performance.
Heading into the final round tied for seventh at 2 under, King bogeyed the second hole but followed with an eagle at the 585-yard par-5 third. The former Oregon State golfer went on to make 13 pars and surrendered just two bogeys en route to a final-round 73 and a tie for fourth place overall at 1-under 215 over three days.
“Overall, I’ve got to be happy,” King said. “I don’t really play that much anymore, or practice, for that matter. To be under par after three days is an accomplishment in itself.”
King’s best finish at the Oregon Open was a tie for second in 2011. He was fourth in 2015 and fifth in 2010.
“I feel a lot more comfortable now after playing this a few times,” King said. “Putting feels a lot better. You’re not in panic mode when you’re facing a 5-footer for par. Even when you’re in trouble, you can give yourself a shot to make par instead of playing hero ball.”
One of King’s playing partners, George Mack Jr., also added to King’s comfort level, he said. Mack is the director of golf instruction at Black Butte Ranch, and he tied for 14th Thursday with a three-day 219.
Justin Kadin, from Tetherow, tied for 21st with a 220, while Meadow Lakes’ Jared Lambert and Broken Top’s Travis Moore were part of a six-way tie for 39th with matching scores of 225.
Other Central Oregon players competing in Thursday’s final round included Black Butte director of golf Jeff Fought, who carded a 76 to finish with a three-day 12-over 228 to tie for 58th. Jerrel Grow, Pronghorn’s director of golf, tied for 62nd with a 230, and Summit High grad Cole Chrisman finished 74th with a 236.