Klughart captures first Men’s Northern title

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Danny Klughart chips onto the seventh green during the championship flight final round at the 2020 Men’s Northern championship at the Cooke Municipal Golf Course.

Danny Klughart accomplished one of his career goals on Monday afternoon.

The Prince Albert golfer won the Men’s Northern championship at Cooke Municipal Golf Course for the first time in a tightly contested final match with Saskatoon’s Greg Swenson.

“It feels awesome,” Klughart said. “This was one of the tournaments that I told my dad that I wanted to win a long time ago, with the other being the provincial amateur tournament.

“I’ve been able to do that now and I’m really proud of that accomplishment.”

Klughart, who was the runner-up to Cory Sawchuk in the 2018 championship flight, had a tough start to the match but moved into the lead early on the back nine after making three straight birdies.

“I hit into the trees on the third hole and that put me behind a little bit,” Klughart said.

“I was able to hit a really good tee shot on the ninth hole and I was able to make birdie. I think that was the first hole that I had won and that helped to put the momentum back in my favour.”

Swenson tied the match up by winning the 13th and 14th holes, but Klughart would regain his two-hole cushion by capturing the 15th and 16th holes.

“I hit a terrible tee shot on 13 and that led to a boggy…then I made a complete mess of things on 14,” Klughart said. “It was good to make some really nice shots on the next two holes and get that momentum back.”

Swenson, who had lost in the finals to Colin Coben and Brad Phelps in 2011 and 2013, made things interesting by winning the 17th hole to close within one.

His chance at capturing the title came to an end on the final hole, however, as his tee shot ended up in the bushes and he was forced to chop his way back out into the fairway.

“Danny is the best player in the province right now and I was happy to take him to the final round and give him a good match,” Swenson said.

“I thought we both played really well today. The winds were gusting at around 30 to 40 km/h this afternoon and that made things a little bit challenging as we tried to pick out what clubs to use on certain shots.

Swenson, who is originally from Prince Albert, reached the final by defeating Jason McKay, Shaun Strelau and Clay Mullis.

The match against Mullis was one of the most dramatic of the entire tournament as Swenson earned his spot in the final by birding the 10th hole in a playoff.

“To almost hole out my second shot and just have a tap-in for birdie felt really good,” Swenson said.

“This tournament is always one of the best-run events in the province and it’s always a joy to come and play at this course.

Prior to beating Swenson, Klughart defeated Jason Ahenakew, last year’s runner-up Ashley Ziegeman and low qualifier Wyatt Newman to earn a spot in the final.

“It was a pretty steady weekend,” Klughart said.

“I got off to a bit of a rocky start in the qualifying round on Saturday as I couldn’t get any putts to drop. I kept myself in it though and took the pars where I could. I was able to shoot a round of 72, which was good enough to get into the championship flight.”

Defending champion Cory Selander reached the championship flight but lost in Sunday’s quarter-final round to Newman.

Flight Winners

Championship Flight Consolation: Brett Blakely over Travis Fehr

First Flight: Chris Reid over Cory Sawchuk

First Flight Consolation: Martin Ring over Ryan Haight

Second Flight: Colin Coben over Garry Hagen

Second Flight Consolation: Justin Magnuson over Darryl Simmonds

Third Flight: Glen Erickson over Al Swenson

Third Flight Consolation: Jeff Stefanski over Jeff McKeand

Fourth Flight: Brody Parent over Tim Reid

Fourth Flight Consolation: John Foster over Rick Genest

Fifth Flight: Dustin Rhoades over Tom Wormworth

Fifth Flight Consolation: John Bernier over Andrew Kutnikoff

Sixth Flight: Cole Massey over Chris Gates