When Dan Soley lipped out from six feet on the 18th green and basically blew his chance of forcing a playoff in the CHCA TV Central Alberta Amateur on Monday at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club, Mitch Evanecz breathed a sigh of relief.
Not that Evanecz was wishing any ill will on this RDG&CC clubmate; he was, quite simply, tired of swinging golf clubs.
“Seeing Danny lip out was tough, but I was really glad the tournament just went through the 18th hole,” said Evanecz, who followed Soley’s miss by draining a three-footer for bogey and a one-shot victory in the 54-hole event.
The University of Victoria graduate captured the Alberta Amateur title on July 24 and competed in the Pacific Coast Amateur last week, flying to Calgary from Tucson, Ariz., late Friday and then teeing off in the Central Alberta Amateur Saturday afternoon.
“The first day (Saturday) I was tired,” said Evanecz, looking back at his opening-round 75. “It’s been a long couple of weeks. I’ve had one day off in the last 16 days, so it was great to come out with a victory today.”
Evanecz carded an even-par 72 on Monday and in addition to turning in a 69 on Saturday, finished at even-par 216. Soley, who fired a 73 on Monday, had a 217 total that included earlier rounds of 70-74.
“I just battled it out all day. I just tried to stay with it, but I had a few lazy swings out there,” said Evanecz, who missed a birdie putt on No. 16, but then posted a two on the par-3 17th to take the lead.
“And then I hit a bad drive on 18,” he added. “It was definitely nerve-wracking out there.”
The 2009 champion, who missed last year’s Central Alberta Amateur after winning in 2007, admitted that playing in higher-level tournaments like the Alberta Amateur keeps him sharp.
“But I was still nervous out there today,” he said. “Playing your home course and seeing family and friends gets on your nerves. This is definitely a tough tournament to win. A lot of the guys know this course like the back of their hand and they play well here. It’s a real level playing field.”
Next up for Evanecz is the Canadian Amateur in Blainville, Que., starting on Aug 10.
“That’s a tournament I haven’t played well in, but I’ll take a couple of days rest and then work on my game before flying out on Saturday,” he said. “There’s a lot of very good Canadian players and my goal is to place in the top 10.”
Soley and John Saunders of Edmonton Glendale (77-69-71—217) tied for third place, while Joey Sereda of Edmonton Windermere was fourth at 218 (74-73-71).
Rounding out the top 10 in the championship flight were Ross Andras of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club (RDG&CC) (77-71-72—220), Matt Steinbach (72-72-76—220) and first-round leader Garrett Scott (69-73-79—220) of the RDG&CC, Brian Laubman of Edmonton Highlands (72-75-75—222), J.D. Morrical of the RDG&CC (73-75-74—222), Kolby Kniel of Calgary Canyon Meadows (72-73-78—223) and Jordan Krulicki of the host club (72-76-75—223).
Defending champion Kyle Morrison finished at 225 (76-71-78).
Following are the top three from each of the first to 10th flights:
First — Ron Harder, Innisfail 215 (70-71-74); Ken Evanecz, RDG&CC 229 (76-77-71); Jason Simmonds, Edmonton Glendale 236 (81-80-75).
Second — Dave Youngs 227 (75-76-76); Darrell Neudorf, RDG&CC 236 (78-80-78); Rob Hamill, RDG&CC 237 (82-76-79).
Third — John Ringrose, Edmonton Glendale 236 (79-81-76); Hugh McPherson, RDG&CC 240 (83-82-75); Doug Leather, Edmonton Glendale 243 (87-76-80).
Fourth — Russ Hall, Calgary Country Hills 236 (79-76-81); Gerald Tardif 241 (78-80-83); Sonny Sedun, RDG&CC 246 (88-81-77).
Fifth — Brad Romans, RCG&CC 233 (81-78-74); Brent Foord 237 (79-76-82); Gary James, Lacombe 247 (81-80-86).
Sixth — Jordan Hedlund, Lacombe 240 (81-82-77); John Hull 248 (78-79-91); Shaun Simpson, RDG&CC 250 (83-85-82).
Seventh — Wayne Yanz, RDG&CC 257 (88-82-87); Neil McPhedran, Sturgeon 260 (89-86-85); Dave Lindsay, RDG&CC 266 (90-88-88).
Eighth — Tom Laffan, Lacombe 251 (88-81-82); Tim Wiltzen, RDG&CC 255 (87-81-87); Chris Hedlund, Wolf Creek 259 (88-86-85).
Ninth — Bob Rogan 263 (86-89-88); Joe Pobihushchy, RDG&CC 267 (92-87-88); Lawrence Sidebottom, RDG&CC 268 (85-94-89).
10th — Darrell Peter 263 (92-89-82); George Campbell, RDG&CC 272 (90-90-92); Lorne Zaparniuk, RDG&CC 279 (90-95-94).