Short-game Shriver

  • By Rich Myhre / Herald Writer
  • Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:00pm
  • Sports

MILL CREEK – Off the tee, Zack Shriver was not all that sharp. On the green he was really not much better.

But in between Shriver was about as good as he could be, working the fairways at Mill Creek Country Club with a deft touch Sunday to seize the second-round lead of the 77th-annual Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament.

Shriver, the 2005 County Am champion, shrugged off an early bogey by carding nothing but birdies and pars the rest of the way for a 5-under-par round of 67 under gray and drippy skies.

Heading into today’s traditional final round at Everett Golf and Country Club, Shriver has a two-round total of 6-under 139 and a two-stroke lead over first-round leader Bob Burton of Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe Golf Course. Burton slipped to a 2-over 74 on Sunday and has a 4-under total of 141.

Alex Stamey of Everett G&CC is in third at 3-under 142 after an even-par 72 Sunday.

Shriver, who also represents Everett G&CC, missed several fairways from the tee on Sunday and never made a putt outside of 10 feet. Those flaws are often the recipe for a disappointing round, but Shriver compensated by dropping approach shots right at the hole time after time.

“I hit my short irons close, I hit my wedges close, and I converted enough (putts) for birdie that I managed a good score,” said Shriver, who figures he reached 16 greens in regulation.

Even his sole bogey was the result of a three-putt, not an errant approach.

“My only goal today was to try to get back in contention,” said Shriver, who finished in a tie for fifth at the Washington Open earlier in the week. “And I did, fortunately.

“When I tee it up in a tournament,” he added, “all I ever want to do is have a chance to win in the last nine holes.”

More than anyone in the first-division field (handicaps of 5.1 and better), Shriver seemed unbothered by the soggy weather, which was in distinct contrast to Saturday’s sunshine. Bundled up against the wet and cold – he wore four layers of clothing – Shriver had the best round of the day by a whopping five strokes.

Burton, meanwhile, was not as precise as he had been Saturday at Marysville’s Battle Creek Golf Course, where he opened with a 6-under 67. He surrendered the lead with a round of one birdie (he had eight Saturday) and three bogeys, but still remains in position to win a tournament he won in 1973, 1974 and 1975.

“I’m fortunate to be where I am right now,” said Burton, a 1972 Everett High School graduate and onetime PGA Tour player who regained his amateur status in 1986 and returned to Everett in 2000. “I didn’t kick myself (out of contention) today. I didn’t play real well, but I still got it around, so I’m happy.”

Also in the chase is Stamey, the County Am winner in 2000 and 2004, who salvaged his round Sunday by playing Mill Creek’s back nine in 3 under par. The turnabout from a 3-over front nine had something to do with the earlier rain abating by late morning, he said.

“It was no fun out there for the first eight holes,” he said. “I was hitting an extra club and a half to two clubs because of the rain, the cold and everything else. Usual 7-irons turned into 5-irons. But then the rain kind of settled down after No. 8, and I played pretty well on the back.”

With today’s starting times based on two-round totals, Shriver, Burton and Stamey will be part of today’s final foursome at EG&CC, teeing off at 12:10 p.m. They will be joined by Paul Houvener of Mill Creek CC, who is at 4-over 149 after a 78 Sunday.

Defending champion Sam Pauley of Everett’s Legion Memorial Golf Course is tied for fifth after shooting 76 on Sunday for a two-day total of 5-over 150.

The second division, for golfers with handicaps of 5.2 to 9.3, played its second round Sunday at Everett G&CC. Bob Wallin of Battle Creek is the low net leader at 136.

The third division, for golfers with handicaps of 9.4 and up, also played its second round at Everett G&CC. The low net lead is shared by Battle Creek’s Jay Snyder and Skip Adams, and Cedarcrest’s Carl Tingelstad, all at 137.

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