Kettering’s Day wins City Stroke Play Championship

Players at Kittyhawk Golf Center earlier this summer. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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Players at Kittyhawk Golf Center earlier this summer. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Fifty-one golfers teed it up twice in the City Stroke Play Championship last weekend at Kittyhawk Golf Center, but only one – Paul Day – managed to break par for 18 holes.

Day, a 34-year-old Kettering software support specialist, fired a 3-under-par 69 Saturday on the Hawk course and turned in a 3-over-par 75 on the Eagle course Sunday to win the overall title with an even-par score of 144.

It was the second stroke play title in three years for Day, who also won it in 2016. Brian Bair posted scores of 73 and 75 to finish four strokes behind in second place.

Day cruised around the Hawk course on Saturday, hitting 16 greens and making a few putts. “I never really struggled,” he said.

It was a different story on Sunday when he made 15 pars and three bogeys. “I didn’t hit it as well,” he said. “I was kinda fighting to make pars most of the day. I had a lot of long putts. But I did enough to win.”

Day was in a threesome with Bair, so he could see that his closest competitor wasn’t gaining any ground. “It’s always nice to get a win,” he said.

While Day was outplaying everyone in the regular division, 58-year-old Steve Sandstrom of Miamisburg emerged from a logjam to win the senior championship by one stroke over three players with a 36-hole total of 154.

Kevin Flynn, James Spalding and Steve Block all had 155. All three outplayed Sandstrom on Sunday, but he had been three clear of the pack by shooting 75 on Saturday.

“The Hawk is such a technical course,” Sandstrom said. “The fairways are a lot narrower. The tee shot matters so much on the Hawk, and I hit 10 or 11 fairways. That’s Christmas for me.”

Sandstrom has been frustrated in previous attempts to win the stroke play title. “I’ve worked for so many years to win this one,” he said. “I finally got it done. I was able to control my emotions. I’m a guy who likes to charge everything. I’ve really hurt myself in past tournaments.”

Sandstrom nearly allowed victory to slip away while playing the Eagle course on Sunday. He had a 7-over-par 79 while Block recovered from an 80 on the Hawk to shoot 75, Spalding trimmed his score from 79 to 76 and Flynn followed a 78 with a 77.

“My putter won this tournament,” Sandstrom said. “I made 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15-foot putts. My putter picked me up and carried me across the finish line.”

Sandstrom was paired in the second round with Flynn, who is his brother-in-law. “We had a death match,” Sandstrom said.

Jeff Sawdey shot 79 and 78 to lead the 60-69 age group with a 157 total, and first round co-leader Jim Sass (79-82) had to settle for second place. In the 70-and-over division, Don Warren had rounds of 85 and 90 for a winning total of 175.

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