09/20/09 — eGolf -- Walnut Creek Open

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eGolf -- Walnut Creek Open

By Courtest eGolf Pro Tour
Published in Sports on September 20, 2009 2:00 AM


eGolf Pro Tour

Conditional Nationwide Tour player Dustin Bray had a chance to compete in the Boise (Idaho) Open as the seventh alternate.

He decided to stay home.

What a good decision.

Bray carded a three-day total of 17-under 205 and claimed the 2009 Walnut Creek Open on Friday evening at Walnut Creek Country Club. It was Bray's first professional victory since 2006.

Goldsboro's Andy Crain ended up tied 27th overall with Jay Haas at 6-under 206.

"I think I'm in (Nationwide events) for the rest of the year," said Bray. "It's hard to say. I was counting my chickens on going to Boise, but wound up here, which worked out for me.

"I was seventh alternate this week, but what really pushed me out were the 30 PGA Tour guys who were no longer in the FedEx Cup taking a few spots. It's frustrating, but all of those guys on tour are going to look at me and say 'play better.'

"Ultimately, they're right."

Bray entered the final round with a four-shot cushion over Chris Rogers, who won the spring event at Walnut Creek. The blowout became a golf tournament in the span of 45 minutes on the front nine Friday morning.

Rogers used two birdies and a Bray bogey to pull within one shot. He pulled even with a birdie putt on the par-4 No. 7 hole and former PGA Tour player Travis Perkins joined the duo atop the leaderboard with a 7-under 29 on the front nine.

A former Ole Miss standout, Rogers birdied Nos. 10 and 11, and seized a one-stroke advantage. Bray bogeyed and Perkins logged a birdie to take sole possession of second place.

But California native Aaron Goldberg, who started 30 minutes earlier, entered the clubhouse with an Open-leading 15-under 197.

As play continued, Bray and Rogers dueled for the top spot and Goldberg eyed the leaderboard. Bray birdied and Rogers bogeyed No. 16, and the duo traded pars on No. 17.

"No. 18 was huge ... probably my best drive of the week," said Bray. "I just smoked it down the middle, had a good sand wedge yardage."

Bray's wedge found the right bowl where the pin was located and managed to sit just 10 feet above it. Rogers snuck a wedge from the rough to nine feet -- a mere foot inside Bray.

Bray dropped the putt and collected a $30,000 payday.

"There is no better feeling than making a big putt," said Bray. "It was match play from No. 12 on, so on 18 I had to assume he (Rogers) was making his."

Rogers and Goldberg tied for second.