Hogan Bides His Time Then Charges To Win At Alberta Amateur

Brett Hogan

PONOKA, Alberta (Gord Montgomery/iG) — In major golf championships, it really doesn’t matter where you sit on the leaderboard on Days One through Three. What is important though is where you sit after Day Four.

That was exactly the case for the winner of the 2017 Sun Life Financial Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship, as Calgary’s Brett Hogan hung around the top but never held the lead for the first three days. On the final day though he charged into top spot, gave it up for a couple of holes, then pulled out the win with a birdie on the second playoff hole.

The win for Hogan, his second Amateur title, was simply a matter of staying patient at the short, but challenging Ponoka Community Golf Course. Hogan was tied for second after the first day behind Grande Prairie’s Max Sekulic, who upped that lead over Hogan after 36 holes to four shots. Hogan hung on though and posted a solid 66 to Sekulic’s 68 on Day 3 to pull within two entering the final day.

“Max was playing great all week and it was tough to keep up to him in the beginning,” the winner said immediately after he hoisted the championship trophy for the second time in three years. “I knew if I lopped off a couple (shots) each day that I could stay in it. In the third round I was 1-over on the front but actually shot a 29 on the back,” including birdies on 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18 and an eagle on 16. “That got me back into it.

“I knew coming into today (final round) that anything could happen. I just played my game and it worked out in the end.”

At one point and time in the final round Hogan carried a four shot lead but he saw that disappear. That, he acknowledged, was partly due to some putting woes and perhaps a few nerves.

“It was probably a little bit of nerves. I was playing pretty good up until Hole 12 then made a few mistakes with my putter. I three-putted a couple of holes. But I birdied a couple of holes coming in,” before bogeying 18 while Sekulic birdied the final regulation hole to force the two-man playoff.

Both players birdied the first hole, a par 5. Hogan missed his attempt at an eagle and settle while Sekulic “hit a ridiculous shot,” from behind some trees to card a “4” as well, to send it to the second extra hole.

There, Hogan put things away with a shot of his own from the trees.

“I pulled my drive a little left and had to hit it through trees, about head-high about 95-yards and somehow punched it up there to about two, three feet,” Hogan related. On the green, he calmly tapped in another birdie on the par 4 18th hole. “It was a great finish!”

The win for Hogan, a member at Calgary’s pristine private Glencoe G&CC, sets him up well for competitive golf for the remainder of the summer as a member of Team Alberta as he gets ready to chase his pro status in the fall.

“This means a lot to me,” he said of recapturing the title. “It’s one of my favourite tournaments every year and I look forward to it, try to make sure my game is top-notch for the tournament. It’s not easy to win this tournament once and it’s definitely not easy to win it again. It was a mental grind out there but it means a lot to come away with the hardware again.”

Hogan, Sekulic and Carter Graf from Red Deer will form the Team Alberta Interprovincial Squad for the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship to be conducted at The Toronto Golf Club & Islington Golf Club in Mississauga, Ontario, on August 7-10. The champion will earn the final spot on the 2018 Pacific Coast Amateur Championship Alberta Morse Cup Team.