Clayton wins sixth Masters
If it is any solace, Alexandria's Dave Harris came closer to dethroning Sarasota, Florida's Ron Clayton than anyone has ever done during the finals of the Men's Masters' Division on Saturday.
Clayton stretched his streak to six straight Masters' championships by defeating Harris 1-up in a back-and-forth battle.
"I guess winning never gets old," he said during the awards ceremony. "I am old, but the winning doesn't get old...I do know I've had my picture taken more with Jon Empanger (a five-time Executive champion and this year's Senior winner) more than my wife."
Harris and Clayton came into the 2009 tournament with nine Resorters titles between them. Harris won the Senior championship in 1998 and 2006, while Clayton added a 1994 and 2000 Senior championship to his five Masters titles.
With such loaded resumes, the gallery was expecting a tight match. That's exactly what they got. Harris struck first with a par win on No. 1 before Clayton evened things up on the fourth with a par of his own.
Harris responded from there by taking Nos. 5 and 6 with birdies. Clayton, like he usually does, had an answer. He picked up a birdie win of his own on the par-three seventh before a par win on No. 8 evened things up again.
That is how they would head into the back. The match was then decided on Nos. 12 and 13. Clayton took advantage of two bogeys by Harris to move to 2-up with par wins. That lead would hold until Harris birdied No. 16 to move within one hole.
He would still need Clayton to slip up in the final two holes to force a playoff. But Clayton seldom does that. Both players parred Nos. 17 and 18. That was good enough for Clayton as he secured his eighth Resorters title.
2009 MASTERS QUALIFYING
Ron Clayton, Sarasota, FL, medalist 71
Tom Gray, Minneapolis 76
Dave Harris, Alexandria 76
Tom Eidsvold, Alexandria 79
Jack Mathiasen, Alexandria 79
Don Heath, New London 79
Gary Berg, Mesa, AZ 81
George Mikesh, Scottsdale, AZ 81
David Thomas, Indio, CA 82
Dan Mohwinkel, Annandale 82
Jim Fitzgerald, Montgomery, TX 83
Wayne Elton, Alexandria 84
Gary Obele, Becker 86
Dave Perbix, Wayzata 86
Tom Perbix, Wayzata 86
Thomas Dibble, Bloomington 86
Ron Clayton def. Tom Perbix 8-6
Dan Mohwinkel def. George Mikesh 1-up
Dave Perbix def. Jack Mathiasen 2-up
Tom Eidsvold def. Wayne Elton 6-5
Dave Harris def. Thomas Dibble 5-3
David Thomas def. Gary Berg 2-up
Tom Gray def. Gary Obele 2-1
Jim Fitzgerald def. Don Heath 2-1
Ron Clayton def. Dan Mohwinkel 7-6
Tom Eidsvold def. Dave Perbix 3-2
Dave Harris def. David Thomas 4-2
Tom Gray def. Jim Fitzgerald 4-3
Ron Clayton def. Tom Eidsvold 2-1
Dave Harris def. Tom Gray 4-3
Ron Clayton def. Dave Harris 1-up