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BLACKFOOT â€” Last years defending champion Steve Tarkon is going pro. He has stated this on many occasions and local golfers would like nothing better than to see the spry young 24 year old pack his bags and head out onto the professional tour because over the weekend, Tarkon successfully defended his Von Elm championship by firing a two day total 139 en route to the 2011 title.
"Last year I played a little more conservative on the second day," Tarkon said. "Today I wasn't playing real conservative but my swing wasn't as good today so unfortunately I kind of had to play more conservative because I was kind of hitting by ball everywhere."
Tarkon entered Sundays final group with a two stroke lead over Arnulfo Quintero after firing a four under 68 on Saturday. Tarkon wasted little time letting everyone in the final group know that his intention was to go low yet again on Sunday when he notched a birdie on the par five first hole to move to five under.
In the mean while, Quintero had some hard luck in the trees down the right side of the fairway, leading to an opening double-bogey on the first hole.
Also in the first group was Pocatello native Darren Kuhn and Kuhn opened with a birdie of his own to leap frog himself from a tie for third with Lee Reed into second position behind Tarkon.
Those two then matched each other nearly shot for shot for the remainder of the round with Kuhn eventually pulling to within one shot with a slick birdie on the par three sixteenth hole while Tarkon just missed his par putt, leading to a rare bogey.
"That putt on sixteen is just something that happens," Tarkon said. "I hit a good putt, I just didn't make it."
Tarkon regained a two stroke cushion on seventeen after a crushing 360 yard drive he cooly slipped his chip shot to within five feet where he drilled his birdie putt.
"On seventeen I knew that it was a short par four which was perfect for my little fade down wind so I told my self that I was going to hit it down the middle, chip it up and make birdie," Tarkon said. "I was expecting that Darren was going to make a birdie as well and I was planning on going to eighteen with a one shot lead but unfortunately he didn't make his putt and I did giving me a two shot lead and a good boost of encouragement."
A routine par on eighteen sealed the deal as Tarkon retains the title of Von Elm Champion for 2011.
"I didn't hit the ball as well as I would have wanted to today, but fortunately I did a good job of grinding it out," Tarkon said.
Kuhn finished three shots back in second while Dan Pickens and Jimmy Burnett tied for third.
In other flights Ricky Dotson turned in a one shot victory 145-146 over Kyle Morgan to capture first flight money.
The second flight was won by Ernie Eggers who's 152 was one shot better than Cody Seamons and Jody Lowe as they finished in a tie for second.
In the third flight, Joe Johnson cleared the rest of the field by four shots with his 156 for the top honors while Edward Bisharat and Shane Wright tied for second with each carding a 160.
The fourth flight was won by Kreigh Perkes with his 169 while Flint Nilsson was second with a 172.
In the fifth and final flight Jeremy Duke was the big winner as he shot a net score of 138 a full thirteen strokes better than runner up Gary Capson who carded a net score of 151.
1-Steve Tarkon 139
2-Darren Kuhn 142
3-Dan Pickens 145
3-Jimmy Burnett 145
5-Arnulfo Quintero 146
1-Ricky Dotson 145
2-Kyle Morgan 146
3-Steve Hays 148
4-Lytle Denny 149
5-George Yowell 151
1-Ernie Eggers 152
2-Cody Seamons 153
2-Jody Lowe 153
4-Dave Chavez 158
5-Kevin Rupe 160
5-Mel Savage 160
1-Joe Johnson 156
2-Edward Bisharat 160
2-Shane Wright 160
4-Kerry Cameron 162
5-Kerry Hays 163
1-Kreigh Perkes 169
2-Flint NNilsson 172
3-James Parrish 174
4-Doug Barber 176
5-Eldon Fullmer 177
5-Pat Teton 177
Fifth Flight (net scores)
1-Jeremy Duke 138
2-Gary Capson 151
3-Rick Jackman 152