For Immediate Release August 25, 2002
Brian Gray claims inaugural WGA Open
Late eagle in final round clinches victory
GLENEDEN BEACH, Oregon. After three grueling days of golf over 54 holes, Brian Gray held off all other competitors to claim the inaugural Western Golf Alliance Open. Gray's 54 hole total of 4-over 220 was good enough to keep him six strokes clear of the rest of the field.
The clinching moment of the tournament came on the 14th hole at the Salishan Resort. Playing in very dense fog and unable to see the green from 225 yards out, Gray nonetheless went for the green in two and reached it. He then made a 45 foot uphill putt for eagle, taking the air out of any late charge by his opponents.
"This is an accomplishment I am very proud of," said Gray upon claiming the title. "No matter what happens, no one will be able to take away from me the status of being the first ever champion. While this is only the first Open, I am confident this event will grow over the years."
"Overall, I was thrilled with the event and courses," said Competition Committee Chairman Peter McGarry. "These courses proved to be a perfect exhibition of Oregon golf, which will be mighty tough for other regions to match." Besides Salishan, the other courses played were Elkhorn Valley Golf Course and Tokatee Golf Club.
Before concluding the event, the WGA members tentatively decided to hold the 2004 WGA Open in Washington. This early announcement will allow the club time to solidify its membership in preparation for this major golf championship.
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About the Western Golf Alliance: The Western Golf Alliance is the premier golf organization in the United States. The WGA exists to further the greatness of this grand sport of golf through the improvement of golf play by its members, the promotion of golf rules, etiquette, and tradition, and the ability to gather together from time to time for golf events and tournaments. The regional organization spans five western states, and is organized into nine geographic regions. Further information is available at http://www.westerngolf.org/.