FOUR! Russell rolls to Overlander victory

Fours were wild for Keith Russell on Wednesday, and they were good enough to help him win the Rivershore Overlander senior men's golf tournament.

Russell followed his opening round 71 with a Wednesday 75 to win the 26th annual Overlander by six strokes over Ray Flynn of Chilliwack-Royalwood, who went 74-78. Greg Jackson of Rivershore Golf Links, where the tournament was played, finished third at 153.

Russell, a Rivershore member, had a three-shot lead going into the final round, and started the day with a four on the par-4 first hole. Then he made another four on the second hole.

And another on the third . . . and the fourth . . . and the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth holes.

By the time the streak was over - it ended with a five on the par-4 ninth - Russell had stretched his lead to the point where a double bogey on the 10th hole didn't hurt that badly.

"I usually play the front nine pretty well," Russell said. "Starting off with eight fours was great and I made a lucky bogey on nine - it could have been double."

It's the first Overlander victory for Russell, a 62-year-old retired B.C. Rail conductor.

He was solid Tuesday, making four long putts for the round of the tournament, and didn't get into much trouble Wednesday.

The conditions - it was windy (as always) and the players suffered through a stretch of rain - actually helped Russell close the deal.

"I kept a close eye on (Flynn)," he said. "But the guys in the groups ahead of us, I figured they would have to shoot 68 or 69, and when the wind kicked up, I knew that was going to be tough."

The rain actually came when the final group was on the ninth and 10th holes, but Russell wasn't blaming it for the lone hiccups in his round.

"It didn't make any difference to us," he said. "Going down 10, it was raining, but it was just (holes) 9-10 doing their thing - no excuses."

Flynn, a seven handicap, ended up winning low net overall.

Larry Stone of the Kamloops Golf and Country Club shot 78-83 to win the super-senior division, for golfers over the age of 70. Ron Stone of Penticton shot 81-85 to finish second.

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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