by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
When Colton Buege signed up for his first Fox Hollow men’s club tournament this weekend, he looked like the odds-on favorite.
After all, Buege, 20, is a member of the Gophers golf team, and has done well at the state level for several years, including winning the MGA four-ball championship a week earlier with a fellow Gopher.
Buege did win, but needed to scramble back from way behind at the mid point, then outduel two past champions, Scott Kostelecky and Jason Cargill, in a three-way playoff.
“I was eight strokes off the pace,” said Buege, smiling and shaking his head at his predicament.
Buege struggled to a 76 Saturday, with Tim Johnston in the lead with 68.
Johnston faltered Sunday for an 82.
Johnston’s playing partners in the first group surged ahead and finished tied for first, Cargill at 74-70-144 and Kostelecky 70-74-144. Then they found out Buege had caught fire the second day with a 68.
Buege hit a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to secure a spot in the playoff. He was two-under the last three holes.
In the playoff, with an aggregate scoring format, Buege shot 11, Cargill 13 and Kostelecky 14, viewed by a large gallery of players and guests.
Kostelecky has won three Fox Hollow titles and Cargill has won two. Both are from Maple Grove.
Buege was coolest in the clutch Sunday, though.
“I put pressure on my opponents,” said Buege. “I hit three greens in regulation and hit every fairway, and made a couple nice putts. If the other guys played real well, they could beat me, but I wasn’t going to make mistakes.”
Buege, one of two brothers on Division I golf teams (McCabe plays at Central Florida) said he wanted to try the club tournament last year, too, but had not played in enough club events to qualify. This year he made sure he did.
Among 12 players in the top flight, Jon Spetz was fourth with 73-75-148. Tying for fifth were Joe Sicora 76-74-150 and Johnson 68-82-150.
Blackwood wins seniors
Gregg Blackwood of Bloomington shot 75-79-154 to capture the Seniors title, his second in three years.
A Fox Hollow member for 15 years (he’s also a member at Edinboro), Blackwood notched 27 pars in 36 holes. His 75 was marred only by one triple bogey. He had four double bogeys in the 79.
Blackwood said he plays about 190 rounds per year and his next event will be the state seniors tournament.
Runner-up among about 10 senior entrants was John Hygrell with 75-81-156.