Floyd Kilgore went into the final round of the Guardian Capital Senior Men’s Golf Championship at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club Thursday sitting in the shadows.
After a disappointing six-over par 78 Wednesday the 2013 champion found himself five strokes out of the lead and playing in the third last threesome.
But that didn’t bother the 60-year-old from Grimshaw.
“We talked about it last night and it was a matter of just going out to play golf and try to put up a decent number and see what happens,” he said.
All he did was shoot a four-under 68 and when the dust cleared he finished the 54-hole event at even par and three strokes ahead of the rest of the field.
Howard Broun of Calgary’s Earl Grey layout, had an even-par 72 and moved into a tie for second with second-round co-leader David Schultz of Calgary’s Country Hills, who fired a 76 Thursday.
The trio will represent Alberta in the team competition at the Canadian Senior Championship, Sept. 1-4 at Desert Blume in Medicine Hat.
Jim Russell, who won the Alberta title in 2011, went into the final round tied for first, but a six-over 78 left him fourth at 222.
Kilgore, who tied for fourth last year, shot a bogey free final round, with birdies on the par-4 eighth and ninth holes as well as the par-4 11th and par-5 16th.
“I was able to keep it in play and I putted very well,” he said. “I had a few shots that came up a bit short, but I made the comebackers. That’s the key to scoring well.”
Putting is usually a strength for Kilgore, which helped considering how pure the RDGCC greens played this week.
“They were pure and if you had the line you could roll in a few,” said Kilgore, who didn’t mind not being in the final group.
“There’s some pressure on the guys in that last group. Being in front of them it was a matter of putting up the best score and seeing what happens.”
The only small disappointment for Kilgore was the fact defending champion Frank Van Dornick of Camrose wasn’t able to attend because of a few health problems.
“Frank and I have been friends for some time and we’ve went head-to-head on many occasions. We do miss him and if he would have been here he would have been a favourite. The best of luck to him.”
Kilgore plays out of the Mighty Peace Golf and Country Club, which is midway between Peace River and Grimshaw.
“It’s a course with a lot trees, similar to here. You have to hit it straight.”
Kilgore hasn’t won the nationals, but has made the cut when he did attend.
“It’s always great and something I’m looking forward to. The Desert Blume course is a great test of golf and it will be interesting.”
Dave Crowshaw of Calgary Glencoe had a 77 and was fifth at 223, one stroke up on Frank Mackenzie of Edmonton Glendale, who had a 75.
Tom Skinner of the host RDGCC led the local contingent, finishing seventh at 225 following a final round 75.
Eric Brodie of the RDGCC and John Russell of the Elks Club of Calgary both shot a final round 74 and tied for eighth at 226.
The RDGCC’s Merv Dusyk (78) and Kelly Risling of Desert Blume (77) tied for 10th at 227 while Pete Duncan (77) and Ken Evanecz (80), both of the RDGCC, were in a four-way tie for 12th at 228.
Keith Newton of Olds (75) tied for 16th at 229 while Dale Bingham of the RDGCC (77) was tied for 26th at 232. Bob Mullen of Red Deer had a final round 77 and tied for 29th at 233 while Les Swelin of Sundre had an 84 and finished in a tie for 59th at 244.