Cheney Free Press -

By PAUL DELANEY
Staff Reporter 

Big putt rewards Vijarro with 2017 Lilac Invite title

 

Paul Delaney

Andrew Vijarro, winner of the 2017 Lilac City Invitational golf tournament at The Fairways, shows off his check and the Joe Durgan Memorial Trophy following his dramatic victory last Sunday.

His putter got hot at just the right time and helped Andrew Vijarro earn the victory - and the $10,000 that went with it - in the 54th annual Lilac City Invitational July 9 at The Fairways Golf Course.

"The putter was kind of cold the first couple of days, I made a few here and there and then I knew I was due for a good one," the 27-year-old Vijarro said.

Vijarro nailed a long birdie putt on the 18th green to cap a 9-under par 63 final round and a 264 total over four days, edging out Jesse Schutte's 265. Schutte's 10-footer broke just a little too much or the tournament would have gone into a playoff, but it still earned him $4,500.

"This is my second 63 to win in a final round in the last four months so it feels good," Vijarro said.

Going into the final round of the region's only four-day tournament, Vijarro had strategy dialed in that seemed to work to perfection.

"I figured if I could get to 24 (under) I would have a chance because Corey (Prugh) is a good player and that would make him shoot 5-under today," Vijarro said.

As it turned out, Prugh, an assistant pro at Manito Country Club, let things slip away Sunday as he had a two-shot lead over 2015 winner Brian Miller, was three ahead of Schutte and four up on Vijarro.

But Prugh, seeking his first Lilac win, had bogies on three holes on the front nine and suffered through his worst round of the tournament with a 71. He finished with a 268, four strokes behind Vijarro.

"I saw it was a little breezy and (it was) all right, here we go," Vijarro said. "I got off to a good start and I eagled 13 and I birdied 18 so it was an exciting day, it was a battle."

Playing birdie golf was also part of Vijarro's strategy. "I was hitting it well, this course, you have to hit a lot of birdies," he said.

For Vijarro, who says, "I just play, I just play golf," his payday kind of came a little by accident.

"One of my buddies, I was asking him his schedule and I was looking at mine and he told me about it, and it fits in; it's only six hours from home in Bend, Ore.," Vijarro said, who is now off to play in the Long Beach Open in California and then some events in the Dakotas.

Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@chneyfreepress.com.

 

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