Always a bridesmaid, never a bride . . . Dan Soley shed that label Monday at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club.
Five times a runner-up in the Central Alberta Amateur, Soley finally broke through and nailed down the elusive title with a final-round score of one-over 73.
Soley finished with a 54-hole score of 223 that included earlier rounds of 75-75, four strokes better than Tom McKinlay Jr. of Lacombe, who came in with a 74 and finished at 227. McKinlay fired an opening-round 79 and carded a 74 Sunday.
“I had a one-shot lead going into the final round today, which is not a safe place to be, but then again who knows?” said Soley, a member of the host club. “The golf course was tough today, the greens were very fast. But it was good.”
The 2013 champion was satisfied with his overall play during the three rounds, but suggested it could have been better.
“I think it could have been a lot better,” he said. “For example, I was five-over on the ninth hole for the weekend, with two double bogeys and a bogey.
“At the same time I made some putts I probably shouldn’t have made, but also made some bogeys that shouldn’t have happened. So I guess it all evens out.”
Soley, as he stated, was clinging to a single-shot margin at the first tee of the final round. He posted a bogey at No. 9, but recorded birdies at the 10th and 12th holes to take charge.
“I was pretty steady from there,” he said. “I was in a bit of trouble at the 17th hole, but I was able to scramble to within four feet and made my par putt.”
Soley recently lost the RDG&CC club championship to Scottsville fellow employee Garrett Scott on the 18th hole, but didn’t suffer the same meltdown Monday.
Senan Foley of Calgary turned in a final-round score of 73 and finished third with a 229 total that included earlier postings of 77-73.
Meanwhile, Levi McDermott of Forestburg came in fourth with a 230 total (73-78-79) and Darren Windle (83-74-74—231) and Eric Brodie (78-78-80—231) of the host club tied for fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 and ties in the championship flight were Jesse Teron of the RDG&CC (76-78-78—232), Tom Skinner of the host club (82-74-76—232), Kyle Morrison (78-79-75—232), Ross Andras of the RDG&CC (80-75-78—233), Chad Cargill of Lacombe (75-76-82—233), Merv Dusyk of the RDG&CC (80-80-73) 233 and Scott (79-74-80—233).
The top three placings and ties in the first to eighth flights:
First: Ken Evanecz, RDG&CC, 82-75-73—230; Rob McWilliam, RDG&CC, 75-80-79—234; Cody Mast, 78-78-79—235.
Second: Robert Laycock, Springbank Links, 79-79-81—239;Randy Harrison, RDG&CC, 80-84-83—247; Brad Romans, RDG&CC, 87-79-83—249.
Third: Chris Schille, Innisfail, 82-79-80—241; Dale Bingham, RDG&CC, 77-83-86—246; Mike Kooman, RDG&CC, 84-84-83—251.
Fourth: Dennis Lesyk, RDG&CC, 76-82-83—241; Russ Hall, Calgary Country Hills, 78-75-91—244; Luc Vienna, RDG&CC, 83-79-88—250.
Fifth: Al Rausch, RDG&CC, 82-89-82—253; Ron Olney, Lacombe, 81-88-88—257; Lynn Booth, RDG&CC, 80-85-93—258.
Sixth: Don Schumacher, RDG&CC, 82-91-83—256; Nathan Mah, RDG&CC, 86-87-84—257; Monty Carter, Sirocco Golf Club, 94-88-87—269.
Seventh: Jim Cramer, RDG&CC, 82-92-91—265; Al Fiske, RDG&CC, 94-85-91—270; Bob Thompson, RDG&CC, 86-91-94—271.
Eighth: Spencer Hutton, River Bend, 94-89-89—272; Jay Jokisch, 103-90-92—285; Kevin Clarke River Bend, 98-93-95—286.