By Rob Kiser
It would probably be hard to find a more popular champion for the Piqua City Golf Championship than Scott Bradley.
Bradley opened up an early lead Sunday and did just enough to hold off Andy Arp, who had finished about 30 minutes earlier.
“I won the first flight a couple times, but that was years ago,” Bradley said. “I have played in this a lot, but never won (the championship flight). I feel like I am the underdog. This feels great. I just wish more people played in the tournament. They used to, but they don’t any more.”
After an opening round 70 at Echo Hills, Bradley shot a 77 while playing in the final group on Sunday for a 147 total.
Arp, who had opened with a 76 at Echo Hills, had the low round of even-par 72 on the 6,835 yard PCC layout Sunday.
“To be honest, I had no idea (if his score would be good enough),” Bradley said. “I wasn’t expecting this at all (going into the tournament).”
On the opening round, both Brian Robbins and Bradley had cared two-under par 70s at Echo Hills.
Robbins might have had the most interesting start to the back nine.
After double-bogeying the par-4 10th, he eagled the par-4 11th hole.
Bradley had his 70 in a more conventional fashion.
He birdied three of the four par-5s at Echo Hills.
“I was really pleased with the round,” Bradley said. “I used to be a member at Echo Hills. I think it gives me a little bit of an advantage because I know the course.”
He got Sunday’s final round off to a great start.
With the pin back left on the 309-yard first hole, Bradley’s approach shot finished on the right fringe — a nearly impossible position — unless, of course, you hole it for birdie.
Which is exactly what he did.
“I thought I was dead, that there was no chance,” Bradley said with a smile. “I chipped it and I was playing it about 20-feet above the hole and it just happened to go in. I rode that for about five holes, then reality started to set in.”
Bradley was still one under for the round after five holes, before going out in two-over par 38.
He was solid on the back nine until 18..
He countered bogeys on the par-5 11th and par-3 14th with a birdie on the 433-yard par-4 13th.
On 18, he punched out of trouble just short of the creek that fronts the green on the 400-yard par-4 18th.
After chipping onto the green, he three-putted the speedy green for a six.
“I guess I was leaking oil at the end,” Bradley said with a laugh.
But, he had just enough for a well-earned title as Piqua City Champion.
Dave Larger finished third with rounds of 75 and 76 for a 151 total, while Robbins took fourth after following his 70 with an 182 for a 152 total.
Chad Sherrill rounded out the top five, with rounds of 76 and 77 for a 153 total.
Michael Simmons held off Rob Kiser to win the First Flight championship.
Simmons, striking the ball solidly all weekend, had runs of 89 and 94 for a 183 total, while Kiser was second with rounds of 89 and 96 for a 195 total.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.