It wasn’t the most conventional hole of golf Danny Klughart has played in his life, but he’ll take it.
The Prince Albert golfer won a head-to-head playoff hole against Etson’s Jehremy Ryde to win his first Saskatchewan amateur and mid-amateur championship. It’s Klughart’s third consecutive victory this year. He took first place two weeks ago at the Saskatoon Amateur championship and last month at the Men’s Lobstick.
The three titles go along with his third-place finish at the Scotia Wealth Open in Nipawin and a fourth-place finish at the Legends 2 Man Scramble in May.
This week’s tournament was supposed to wrap up Thursday, but a storm blew into the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club just as Klughart and Ryde had teed off in the playoff.
The round was suspended until the next morning, with the two golfers resuming play from their second shots, Klughart about 60 yards ahead of his competitor.
“I just thought if I had a good wedge shot in there I would have a good put for birdie,” Klughart told reporters following his victory.”
Ryde and Klughart are friends, and Klughart stayed in Ryde’s spare bedroom overnight Thursday.
Despite the oddity of starting a one-hole playoff on the second shot at 8 a.m., both golfers said they approached the morning like any other.
“Jeremy and I talked about it (Thursday) night and did our same pre-round routine like any other round,” Klughart said.
“It’s kind of weird hitting a wedge shot for the first shot.”
Ryde said he felt good, but hadn’t hit a great shot coming in.
“I hit a pretty good chip and a pretty good putt, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough,” he said.
Klughart came from behind to take the win. After Tuesday’s first round, Klughart was sitting five shots back of the lead. He opened the tournament with bogeys on one, eight and 14, and a birdie on two.
As the tournament went on, though, he bounced back. He shot four birdies on day two for a score of 69 and eight, along with two bogeys, on day three, for a third-round 66 to earn his spot in the playoff with a total score of seven-under.
Despite a rougher first round, Klughart was confident he would be able to pull it off.
“I fell back on two weeks ago at (the Saskatoon amateur). I’ve been hitting the ball really well,” he said.
“I knew if I got my putter going I’d have a good chance at shooting something like … five or six under. I figured if I did that for two rounds I’d be awfully close.”
Klughart added that he’s spent a lot of time working on his short game this year.
“I’ve … been playing lots, addressed my weaknesses, which were holding me back in the last few years.”
Klughart has come close to winning the men’s amateur a few times, finishing as runner up in 2015 and in 2017.
He’s happy to come away with the victory and bring the title back to the Cooke Municipal Golf Course.
“I’m excited,” he said.
“I finished second twice and didn’t really want to finish second again. It feels really good. The boys are going to be stoked when I get back. It’s been a while since (the championship) has been back there so it will be awesome to bring this back.”
Klughart wasn’t the only Prince Albert golfer to compete at the amateur. Cory Sawchuk finished tied for 16th, Joshua Guthrie in 50th, Cole Jenkins at 52, Brett Blakely at 59 and Noah Parent in 80th.
With the win, Klughart will be able to represent Saskatchewan at nationals.
Ryde is also hoping to represent Saskatchewan at the national level. He qualified last year but broke his leg right after the provincial amateur championships.
“Hopefully this year will be a little bit different,” he said. “Stay healthy and play well.”