Hogan Hangs On For Alberta Amateur Win
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2015-12-20
by Gord Montgomery - Entering the final day with an eight shot lead, Brett Hogan looked like he was on safe ground at the 2015 Sun Life Financial Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship, held at the pristine Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club.
But like so man of us are wont to do, he just had to wander out to the edge of the cliff to see what, or perhaps better, who, was below him even though early on he’d increased his lead to a full 10 shots.
As it was, Hogan, from the Willow Park Golf Course in Calgary, didn’t topple off that cliff but he did slip on the edge a bit, yet managed to retain his footing and his composure en route to a three-stroke victory.
Image Caption : Brett Hogan Accepts The Championship Trophy After Picking Up The 2015 Alberta Title - Image Credit Gord Montgomery
“It’s always hard playing with that big a lead,” he commented moments after signing off on his final day 4-over par 76, giving him a four-day total of 7-under par 281, just three shots clear of runner-up Andrew Harrison of Camrose who was minus-4 on the day. “When you have such a big lead you just try to keep going. Do what you’ve been doing all week.”Over his final 18 holes, Hogan was 1-over on the front nine but slipped to plus-3 on the back, thanks largely to a double bogey on the par-3 13th hole where he dunked his tee shot.
Harrison picked up one stroke on the front nine and really began to charge on the back, birdieing three straight holes before taking a bogey himself on No. 13. The two competitors, in the final group of the day, exchanged bogeys on holes 15 and 16 before Harrison birdied 17 but it was too little, too late for him.
“It was a really tough shot and I knew when I hit it, it was going to go in the water,” Hogan said, setting up his double. “It was one of those “Oh, oh!” moments but I knew I had to get up and down. I ended up making a really good up and down for a double … I don’t know if you can have a really good double but that was probably one of them!”“I kind of struggled there a little bit in the middle but I just kind of hung on,” the winner noted.
Image Caption : Calgary's Brett Hogan Lets Go With His Drive On The 72nd Hole of The 2015 Sun Life Financial Men's Alberta Amateur Championship. While the Shot Flirted With The Water Down The Right, He Kept It In Play To End Up With A Three Shot Win - Image Credit Gord Montgomery.
As for perhaps focusing too much mentally on slipping from what had become a precarious perch on the cliff face after such a strong first 63 holes, Hogan said he tried to keep negative thoughts at bay.
“It’s tough to keep (bad thoughts) out, but the biggest thing is just to move on from them. What happened, happened and I know I’ve been playing well and to continue to play the way I can play.”Of the continual weather changes the participants battled through, from wind to calm, to soaking rain to humid temps when the sun broke through, Hogan said that’s what golf is all about in Alberta.
“The good thing about being from Alberta, you know about different weather conditions and you play in a lot of different weather conditions and you know from day to day it’s going to change.
You go in and each day is a new day. Whatever the weather gives you is how you attack the day.”
One of the players that chased Hogan from the get-go was Cody Adolph from the Stony Plain Golf Course.
Living close to the host site, he’s familiar with the Petroleum Club and as such turned in his best showing ever in the Amateur.
The thing is, as Adolph, who finished 12th noted, it’s tough chasing a guy who has such a big lead over the rest of the field.
“When he gets up that high, your mind’s thought goes, “Play for second place.” You just kind of block that out and play your own game. That’s all you can really do.”
As for the stumble he had on the back nine while nursing that lead, Hogan said, “It’s tough to hit good shots when you’re a little nervous coming in. I felt I hit the ball good but I didn’t putt well today like I did the first few days.”In summing things up, Hogan used the standard line of a winner: “It feels great. I mean it hasn’t rally sunk in for me yet. It’s an unbelievable experience, something you dream of, but it really hasn’t hit me yet.”Hogan didn’t have much time to savour this victory. He headed almost immediately to Eugene, Oregon to take part in the Pacific Coast Amateur as he begins his representation of Alberta in competitions this summer before returning to school in San Antonio, Texas, where, if there are any cliffs around, he’ll now know better than to get too close to the edge.