Heffernan Leaves History in the Dust at Fall Championship
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-09-09
By GORD MONTGOMERY, Inside Golf
EDMONTON, Alberta — So Wes Heffernan, what was the best part about winning the 2019 Alberta PGA SunIce/Bobby Jones Fall Championship? A) Coming from behind on Day 2 to win? B) Winning by six shots? C) The winner’s prize of $3,500? or D) Setting a new course record at the Royal Mayfair G&CC … that was formerly held by some dude named Arnold … umm … Arnold Palmer that is.
Without a whole lot of thought, Heffernan went to the final answer, noting humbly that his record came on a somewhat different track than the one played by The King four decades ago. While Palmer carded a 64 at the end of his day on what was than a par-71 layout, the Calgarian posted a 63, on what’s now a par-70 design, to take over the lowest score ever at the Mayfair in Edmonton.
“The course’s are different so they are two different records, but it was pretty cool to do some-thing like that. It’s something that I can always remember,” Heffernan said of comparing the two special numbers.
Asked that lead-off question, Heffernan noted, “Ah, the record to be honest. It’s pretty cool. To win the tournament and get the cheque is pretty cool, but you don’t get the chance to do stuff like that (set a course benchmark) very often. It was a 40-year-old record but it won’t be 40 years …. it’ll probably get broken next year.” But for now, he holds a place in history that few will ever have a shot at matching.
About the tournament itself, the winner noted he certainly wasn’t over-confident despite his strong play this season on the Alberta PGA circuit.
“I didn’t play, basically, until the weekend before this tournament and only nine holes and I played terrible,” he confided. “So, my confidence wasn’t too high. Then, I was able to play 18 holes at Pinebrook (prior to the event) and I hit the ball fantastic so I was in a better frame of mind going in, for sure.”
Trailing after Round 1 by two shots to Dustin Risdon, Heffernan admitted he likes that position on the leaderboard rather than leading the charge, start to finish.
“I prefer to chase,” he noted, adding that he often feels more comfortable moving up the leader-board as a tournament wears on and thus putting added pressure on those in front of him. This was one of those times he put that philosophy to work, in the best of ways.
“You do feed off other guys but a lot of times, this year and last, I fed off Riley (Fleming, who was third in this event) and with him you know you have to make birdies. This was a little differ-ent because I was behind early and I started off slow (on the final day). I made some putts on the front nine, and suddenly I think I was up by four. So within a two hour frame of time, I went from two down to a four-shot lead.”
A big part of that, he continued, was making his time on the greens as short as possible. While the winner said he didn’t stick any approach shots overly close to the hole, he wasn’t missing when he pulled his putter out of the bag.
“I had a couple of 15-footers, a couple of 20-footers,” he stated. “I had a sliding 25-footer on nine,” to post a 30 on the front side on the final day and take control of the tournament. “It was just one of those nine holes.”
Heading into what will be his final two events of the year, the PGA of Alberta Pro/Pro and the Canadian Assistants Championship, Heffernan says he’s going into both with his confidence up.
“It’s nice to have won a few times, especially against guys like Riley (and Dustin). It’s nice to fi-nally win against those guys because I finished second so many times last year. To win by six gives me confidence but then unfortunately, it’ll be seven months off,” due to an upcoming big moment, as he and his wife are expecting their second child in November.
“My focus won’t be on golf for the next little while. There won’t be any tournaments until next year, so I kind of wanted to go out this year and play really well,” which, needless to say given what’s transpired over the past few months, he did.
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