MARICOPA, Arizona (Jan 5, 2016) — The final round of the Saguaro Amateur concluded this afternoon at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.
Texas Tech Sophomore Wes Artac held a one shot led entering the final round over Alec Heinen,with Nick Hardy lurking two shots behind. Having not played since September, Artac was enjoying his position at the top.
“It was fun," Artac told the Saguaro Am. "I dislocated my shoulder in the fall and so this was my first tournament in 4-5 months so it was a really good feeling to come out here and play well right off the bat. After the first day I realized I was alright and just played hard.”
Artac would be challenged quickly as Hardy made three birdies and no bogeys on the front nine to tie Artac at 9-under-par. Heinen made four bogeys on the front, making it a two-horse race between Hardy and Artac.
Hardy, the Big 10 Freshman of the Year at University of Illinois, bogeyed three of the first five holes on the back-nine but birdies on holes 16 and 17 gave him a one-shot advantage going into the long par-4 18th.
Artac continued his fight, however, birding 18 and taking the title after a bogey by Hardy.
"I look at is as a regular tournament until the last 9 holes and I knew Nick and I were tied. He is a very, very, good player. 9,10, 11 that was when everything kicked in and the nerves and pressure started. Golf is great."
Indeed, golf is great.