Burgeson takes home PGA of Alberta title
Coming into the PGA of Alberta’s championship Monday Brett Burgeson felt he’d have to shoot a 10-under par to walk away with the title.
That changed a bit on Tuesday because of the strong winds.
“The wind changed my expectations and I knew that five or six would have a good chance,” said the Calgary Country Hills Golf Club head professional, who shot a solid five-under par 67 Tuesday for a 36-hole total of seven-under 137.
He won the title by one stroke over Mike Belbin of the Edmonton Royal Mayfair Golf Club, Matt Freeman of Calgary’s Canyon Meadows and Tom Sawatzky of Lynx Ridge of Calgary.
Burgeson, who shot a 70 Monday, finished his round with the opening-day leaders still on the course. It wasn’t until first-day leader Freeman missed a birdie putt and Sawatzky missed an eagle on the final hole that he could breath easy.
Belbin had the second best round of the day with a 68 while Freeman shot a 73 and Sawatzky a 72.
“There was a spell when the wind was down and it was nice out there, but it picked up again and made it a bear. I know on 18 (the regular par-five ninth) which is usually a birdie hole, it was very difficult.
“But overall I was happy. I did miss a couple of short birdies down the stretch, but it doesn’t matter now,” he said with a smile.
Burgeson liked the course.
“It was challenging in places, but mostly the greens,” he said. “They’re tough, you have to hit in the right spot.”
He made a double bogey on No. 4 (regular 13) even after hitting his drive down the middle.
“I pulled my second shot and it jumped a little and I found myself hitting out of the bush,” he said. “The pin was in a tough spot and I had a chance for a bogey, but missed the putt.”
Burgeson finished his two rounds with no bogeys, although he did have two doubles.”
It’s the third time Burgeson has won the tour championship, but the first at River Bend, who hosted the event twice before.
“I played well, but didn’t putt that well the last two times here,” said the 41-year-old, who is in his seventh season at Country Hills, which was mainly unaffected by the flood.
“We have two courses and one was shut down for five days and the other for three,” he said. “We were lucky as me had no river damage.”
Originally from Westlock Burgeson got into teaching golf in his early 20s and didn’t think about the pro tour.
“My game didn’t progress until my 20s and by then I was already a club professional,” he said. “Then by my late 20s I was married and early 30s I had kids.”
Burgeson still has several good years ahead of him on the Alberta tour, but knows the competition won’t get easier.
“I’m getting older and there’s a lot of good young guys here,” he said.
Red Deer native Todd Halpen of the Golf Canada Centre shot a 74 his final round and placed ninth at 141, pocketing $1,300. Joey Sereda of the Academy of Golf Town, Edmonton North, who is also formerly from Red Deer, Jacques Plouffe of Spruce Grove Blackhawks, who played volleyball at RDC, Scott Anderson of the host club and Kevin Broderson of Lacombe also finished in the money.
Sereda came in a tie for 11th at 142 after shooting a 73 and won $850. Plouffe had a final round 70 and was 15th at 143, which won him $650. Anderson finished with $531 after a final round 71, which tied him for 16th at 144. Broderson had a 74 for a 146 total, which left him tied for 23rd. He won $334.
Roy Hide of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club finished at 148 after a 76 while Jake Behiels of Sundre’s Cougar Creek shot a 78 and finished at 149.
Ryan Moore of Ponoka came in at 153 following a 77 while Todd Fiske of River Bend shot his second straight 77 for a 154 total.
Kevin Snell of Red Deer’s Golf Town had a 73 for 155 with Tye Friesen of Lacombe (74-82) and Aaron Pakylak of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club (76-80) tied at 156.
Wayne Dick of Innisfail (76-82) and Brian Miller of Pine Hills at Rocky Mountain House (78-80) tied at 158 while Scott Bergdahl of the Lakewood Golf Resort at Sylvan Lake (83-76) and Red Deer native Jordan Krulicki of Sherwood Park’s Belvedere (78-81) to finish at 159.
David Drake of Pine Hills came in with an 88 for a 173 total.