Mid-Amateur Men’s and Amateur Women’s Championship winners Brad Phelps, left, and Brooke Hill show off their trophies at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre last Thursday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO
A strong approach shot helped an almost-local golfer win the 99th Amateur Women’s Championship at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre last Thursday.
Brooke Hill, who was born in the Border City 21 years ago, suffered an unplayable stoke penalty off her second playoff hole tee shot against Saskatoon Riverside Country Club golfer, Julia Dereniwsky, by hitting her ball into a shrub near the Hole 1 fairway.
Hill then cracked her approach onto the edge of the green and about 10 feet from the hole, while Dereniwsky drove her approach into a tree and a subsequent shot into the deep rough on the right side of the fairway.
Unable to move the ball out of the rough, Dereniwsky was forced to hit from its original place, only to then find the bunker. Hill, who entered the day seven strokes back of Dereniwsky, two putted for the win.
“Today I just had no pressure on me,” said Hill, who was all smiles as she completed her first trip back to Lloydminster since moving away as a child.
“I just decided I’d go out and shoot the best score I could, hit a bunch of greens and make pars. And that’s what I did.”
Dereniwsky and Hill both carded a total score of 233 (17-over), but it was the latter’s third round of 71 (1-under) that led to the playoff. Hill, who is based out of Regina’s Wascana Country Club, seemed posed to win on the first playoff, only to three putt on the 18th hole.
“I was nervous considering it was a hole that I just put it in the water on 18 the round before, and it was the same tee shot, same swing, but I made a good save for up and down,” said Dereniwsky.
“Luckily, she made a bogie too. She three putted, so that gave me a chance for the first tee, and then we both teed off. I saw her go first and she was in the bush, and I got a little too excited and made a couple bad swings from there. It just wasn’t my day today.”
While Hill and Dereniwsky were battling on Hole 1, Saskatoon Holiday Park Golf Course member, Brad Phelps, was putting the finishing touches on his 220-stroke (4-over) win in the 31st Mid-Amateur Men’s Championship.
Phelps entered the day two strokes back of Saskatoon Golf and Country Club member Scott Allan, but carded a third-round best score of 71 (1-under) to take the lead.
“I felt really comfortable with the wedges in my hand, and really comfortable with my putter today,” said Phelps, who also won the Mid-Amateur Men’s Championship in 2008.
“Probably the big key to getting the round finished was the putter. Made a few three, four footers for par, and then made a couple birdie opportunities along the way.”
Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre’s Jim Born finished five strokes back of Phelps, and in a tie for third place with Edmonton’s RedTail Landing Golf Club member Brian Laubman, thanks to a score of 225 (9-over). Born shot an opening round of 80 before battling back for scores of 71 and 74, respectively, on the final two days of the tournament.
“I made a lot of putts,” said Born, who captured the 2009 Mid-Amateur Men’s Championship. “I didn’t hit the ball all that great, but I kept it in play and made a few putts when I had to.”
Phelps said playing on his home course helped through knowing where you can hit from and where not to miss to, but a bit of work from the grounds crew beforehand provided a new challenge.
He said no water hit the greens during the first couple days of the tournament which made them harder to hold shots into and a lot faster.
“Every competitor had a tough time with the golf course,” added Marty Wheaton, head PGA of Canada instructor at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre.
“It’s right in front of you. There are no tricks, but it is challenging. We played it from about 6,500 yards for the men, so overall the course played very tough for everyone.”