A 21-year-old college student from Richland came from six strokes behind to win the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational with a final-round 7-under 65 Wednesday at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent.
Drew McCullough, who just finished his junior year at the University of Wyoming, had an eagle, six birdies and a lone bogey in winning the biggest tournament of his life.
“I figured there was a small chance, if any,” said McCullough, who played two groups behind the leaders. “I know I had to shoot a really low number to do it.”
McCullough’s 65 gave him a three-round total of 210 and a one-stroke victory over Shane Prante, a pro at Lake Spanaway Golf Club. As an amateur, McCullough didn’t win any money and the $8,000 first-prize money went to Prante. The total purse for the no-cut tournament usually won by a Northwest club pro was $76,000.
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Derek Berg, former Washington Husky who is an assistant pro at Sahalee Country Club, had held a two-stroke lead entering Wednesday but faded with a 2-over 74 and finished third at 213.
McCullough, who won the Seattle Amateur last summer, had six birdies, one bogey and an eagle in his round. The eagle was a 20-yard chip-in on the par-5 14th hole. He finished birdie-birdie and then had to wait to see if Prante or Berg could catch him.
McCullough is the first amateur to win the tournament since Josh Immordino in 2006 at Canterwood Golf & Country Club
McCullough’s final-round 65 was the tournament’s low round by four strokes.
Defending champion Jeff Coston of Blaine, a five-time winner of the tournament, which was being played for the 91st time, shot a 1-under 71 Wednesday to finish tied for 21st at 221.
The weekend pro-am for the tournament raised $61,000 for the Folds of Honor charity that provides scholarships and assistance to…