Harkins-Verna Win 23rd Straight Down Classic

Brandon Harkins of Lafayette and Tony Verna of Orinda teamed up to win the 23rd Straight Down Fall Classic by two strokes over Edward Loar of Dallas and Todd Mitchell of Bloomington, Ill., at San Luis Obispo Country Club www.slocountryclub.com.

The tournament matches a professional with an amateur in each two some, with both playing each hole and the best score being credited to the team.

There was plenty for the winning twosome to celebrate, as Harkins’ wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy named Jackson, three weeks ago, and Verna got married on Oct. 19.

“I putted pretty well,” said Harkins, (pictured, right)  who collected 14 birdies in the two rounds. “Having Tony in each hole with me, it eased the stress, so I think it made it easier on the greens, because the greens are so tricky. These greens are some of the best, if not the best, greens I’ve ever putted.”

Harkins, who played at Chico State, and Verna (left), who competed for at UC Santa Barbara, posted a winning score of 63-66—129, 14-under-par, taking the lead for good when Harkins made birdies on the 10th, 11th and 15th holes.

The winning pair, who traveled together on the PGA Tour Canada for one season several years ago, led by one stroke after the first round.

Loar, a two-time winner of this tournament, and Mitchell finished at 66-65—131, while Rod Pampling of Australia and Ian Happ of Pittsburgh, who plays for the Chicago Cubs, totaled 66-66—132 to tie for third with Ricky Barnes of Stockton and Andrew Medley of Jackson, Miss., who finished at 65-67, 132, and defending champions Scott Heyn of Rancho Santa Fe and Corby Segal of Santa Clarita, who wound up at 67-65—132. Heyn took low club pro honors.

Arron Oberholser of San Mateo and Trent Tressler of Scotts Valley shot 67-66—133 to tie for sixth with Kenny Perry of Franklin, Ky., and Kris Marshall of Scottsdale, Ariz., who finished at 65-68—133, while Jason Gore of Valencia and Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nev., were eighth at 65-69—134.

Loren Roberts of San Luis Obispo and Tanner Podres of Laguna Nigel carded a score of 67-68—135 to tie for ninth with David von Hoffman of Austin, Texas, and Riley Pumphrey also of Austin, who finished at 69-66—135, and Paul Stankowski of Oxnard and Brad Bayne of Carrolltown, Texas, who came in at 70-65—135.

For complete results, visit https://www.straightdown.com/live-scoring-tee-times/

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