Davis defends Oregon Open title

Paul Quam of Kent, Wash. pitches a horseshoe during the 35th Oregon Open horseshoe tournament at McKenzie Park on Sunday. Quam, 81, placed second in the top class, “A,” competing at the 40-foot distance.

Auburn, Wash., pitcher Don Davis successfully defended his crown at the 35th Oregon Open horseshoe tournament with a win in the 40-foot “A” Class on Sunday at McKenzie Park.

Davis finished with an 8-2 record with a high game of 65.5 percent ringers.

Paul Quam of Kent, Wash., finished in second place. Quam is one of a kind at 81 years old; he still chooses to compete at the 40-foot distance rather than move up to 30 feet. All pitchers over 70 have the option to move up to compete.

Quam beat two of three state champions during his run to silver in the tournament.

Jim Link of Goldendale, Wash. won Class “B” at 40 feet with a high game of 55.2 percent ringers and Kennewick pitcher Darrell McCollaugh won the 40-foot Class “C.”

At the 30-foot distance, Les Myers (Wenatchee, Wash.) was locked in to take the crown in Class “A” with five games over 80 percent ringers. His high game was 83.3 percent ringers.

Barry Chapelle of Portland placed second and Umatilla’s Blanca Hettinga placed third.

Gresham’s Jim Petersen took top honors in Class “B” and Pasco’s Hollis Morris placed second.

Tournament organizer and Hermiston resident Rick Rebman said this was his last Oregon Open.

He has put on the tournament since 1977 and was instrumental in building the 25-court facility tucked between the City of Hermiston’s McKenzie Park and the Weber Field baseball diamond adjacent to Hermiston High School.

Rebman said that he plays horseshoes and puts on tournaments for the camaraderie and the long-lasting friendships he has built through the game.

The courts in Hermiston have plenty of history. The longest recorded streak of consecutive ringers in the world was done on the Hermiston courts.

Walter Ray Williams, now a bowler on the pro tour, nailed 56 straight ringers when he was 18 years old in Hermiston.

He did it twice in his career, but has an even longer streak that stretched over two games. He hung 68 straight ringers over a two-game set.

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