INNISFAIL — The only thing hotter than the weather Wednesday was Alex Phillip’s putter.
And that might be a stretch, considering the thermometer flirted with the mid 30s.
“I stole about four birdies out there with my putting,” said Phillip, the Wetaskiwin golfer who took top honours in the McLennan Ross Sun Junior Tour event at the Innisfail Golf Club with an 81 score.
Phillip, who routinely shoots in the 76-77 range, admitted the intense heat took its toll.
“I think there was a few guys here today who could have shot better than that,” he said.
“The heat was ridiculous, I know I haven’t played in hotter weather in my life, plus we were walking on a hilly course.
“Thank goodness we had some shuttles out there or some of us would have keeled over. As it was, we had one guy leave us on the seventh hole, putting us down to a twosome.”
A total of five players pulled out of the tournament at some point Wednesday.
But Phillip played on and would have carded a score in the 70s if not for a nine on the sixth hole of the Hazelwood Nine.
“I hit my drive dead centre on the fairway, then put one in the lake,” he said.
“I dropped one there, put another into the lake, then put the next shot on and three-putted. It’s a good thing I parred the last hole.”
Phillip, whose best finish in 2012 was a second-place showing at Lacombe (with a 73), is in his last season of junior eligibility and will play most of the Central Alberta tournaments — including Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe and Ponoka over the next two weeks — on the McLennan Ross Sun circuit this year.
“I really like the one-day events,” he said.
With the win Wednesday, Phillip qualified for the MRS Tour championship Aug. 26 at Wolf Creek.
Also qualifying for the season-ending event were runners-up Allan Pruss of Red Deer, who turned in an 82, Theo Olver of Three Hills, who checked in with an 83, and girls division winner Courtney Dickson of Innisfail, who carded an 81.