BC Golf with Files from Christopher McGrath
July 14, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – It took Charlie Hughes of Langley, B.C. two extra playoff holes and three consecutive pressure-packed birdie putts at the Copper Point Golf Club in Invermere Friday in order to win the biggest amateur trophy of his career — The Bostock Trophy – and with it the 111th BC Amateur championship.
Hughes sank a 12-foot putt to finish 12-under par 272 in regulation and force a playoff with Adam Svensson of Surrey.
Coming into Friday’s final round, the 21-year-old recent University of Washington Husky graduate, sat one stroke back of Victoria’s Kevin Carrigan. After starting his round with an early birdie on the second hole, Hughes would bookend back-to-back birdies on holes five and six with bogeys on holes four and seven to make the turn at one-under-par.
Hughes would make make another birdie on the par 5 12th hole on the par 70, 6807 yard Copper Point Golf Club to get his round to two under.
“I birdied my 12th hole to get it to two under for the day and I knew I was in really good shape,” said Hughes.
“And then things kinda got ugly.”
Hughes walked onto the 14th tee with the knowledge that he had amassed a lead just he wasn’t sure how much. He would make bogeys on holes 14 and 15, bringing a mounting Svensson back into the mix after a Carrigan falter on holes 10 and 11 seemingly dropped him out of contention and made it a two player race
“I had three holes left [starting 16] and was one or two shots ahead and Svensson was making birdies ahead of me,” claimed Hughes.
“I made a bad bogey on 17 then made a 12 foot downhill slider on 18 to get into the playoff. I didn’t know if I was going to get into the playoff or not so that was a big relief when I walked up the hill [and made it].”
Hughes would post a final round even par 70, -12 total for the Championship (68-69-65-70-272).
Svensson, a Team Canada Development Squad member from Surrey, had been working his way up the leader board all day. He made the turn in three-under-par and would finish birdie-birdie on holes 17 and 18 to post 65 on the day and -12 overall (71-68-69-65-272).
As the excitement was unfolding, Carrigan was unfortunately faltering in his bid for the trophy. A bogey on 10 and a triple bogey on 11 dropped him as far down the board as eight-under. He would finish in class however with a birdie on hole 15 and a 15 foot eagle putt on his final hole in front of a swath of spectators overlooking the 18th green.
Both Svensson and Hughes, sitting tied at -12 after regulation play, would head to the 18th hole to begin the sudden death playoff hole. Svensson, hitting first with a driver that would end up in a perfect position, put the pressure on Hughes.
Asked what was going through his head on the first hole after seeing Svensson’s drive, Hughes talked about his confidence and a little gamesmanship.
“He picked up his tee right away and kind of did the leg kick so I thought I would do the same. I hit a 3-wood because I wasn’t driving the ball too well but then I hit a great 3-iron onto the green and a really good 2 putt from long range.”
Both players made tap-in birdies after long range two putts and would head to the par 4, 369 yard downhill 17th hole with the Bostock Trophy on the line.
After Svensson hit a towering draw that landed in the green side bunker, Hughes wanted to follow suit but was stopped by his player-turned-caddy and incoming University of Washington Husky freshman Kevin Kwon of Maple Ridge. Kwon had finished play for the day and was hanging around to watch the excitement unfold.
“I didn’t have a caddy all week and Kevin offered for the playoff,” mentioned Hughes.
“Adam was in pretty good shape in the bunker and I really wanted to hit driver and turn things around. Kevin made the right call. I guess I gotta thank him maybe more than anyone. I hit a great 3-wood there, an okay pitch and buried a 20 footer.”
Hughes, with the help of Kwon, hit his birdie putt directly in the heart of the hole and put the pressure on Svensson with his third consecutive birdie dating back to regulation play.
Svensson pitched out of the bunker to 15 feet and left himself with a putt to keep the playoff going and try to win his second BC Amateur title. Unfortunately for Svensson, he would miss his putt on the short side, allowing Hughes to breath a sigh of relief as the 2013 Amateur champion.
NOTES: Defending BC Amateur champion Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Alta., finished T14 at one-over par . . . defending BC Senior champion Sandy Harper of Naniamo T41st at 11 over. Harper is B.C.’s only Men’s & Boy’s grand slam winner, capturing the Junior Boys crown in 1974, the Amateur title in 1980, the B.C. Open in 1984 and will defend his Senior honour July 29-31 at Eaglepoint Golf Resort, Kamloops . . . 13-time Amateur champion Doug Roxburgh of Vancouver finished T45th and has now made the cut in 46 of 47 B.C. Amateur appearances. Roxy’s first Amateur win came in 1969 as a 17-year-old . . . next year’s Amateur Championship will be contested at Seymour Golf & Country Club in North Vancouver