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Brian Blanchard wins AGA Championship in three-way playoff
20 Mar 2022
by Kent Paisley of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for AGA Championship, Aguila Golf Course, Brian Blanchard Profile

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Credit Arizona Golf Association
Credit Arizona Golf Association

After the third round of the Arizona Golf Association Championship at Aguila Golf Club in Laveen Village, Brian Blanchard answered a media member’s question: with trailing by three, what do you need to do to win?

"Send it, just try to go low again," Blanchard said after a seven-under 65 Saturday. "There's a lot of players who can go low in this field as well. It's going to take another really good one tomorrow."

Fortunately for Blanchard, an even-par 72 was enough Sunday to make up the three-shot deficit. In a three-way playoff, he won the AGA Championship with a birdie on the first hole over Bryan Hoops and Adam Walicki.

The 2018 Stocker Cup runner-up came out blazing in the Arizona sun Sunday, sitting at 10-under for the tournament through five holes following back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth, taking the outright lead as Hoops sat at one-over through five.

Hoops lost the lead on the fifth after a double bogey on the third pushed him to one over par. The 2020 Arizona Mid-Amateur Champion rebounded with birdies on the 5th and 7th to shoot one-under on the side.

Blanchard handed the work from his back-to-back birdies back on the sixth, with a double bogey on the par 4 his only double or worse all week. It stalled his momentum, with Hoops making up three strokes on the hole. Blanchard went the rest of the way one over par for a roller coaster 72, seven shots worse than his third-round 65.

Hoops ride, however, was far from over. He held a three-stroke lead with nine to play, breaking away from Walicki, who sat behind Hoops by one to begin Sunday. Walicki fell to four behind the 54-hole leader with a two-over 38 front nine. Hoop's consistent play earned him the 63-hole lead, as he shot even or better on every nine to that point. However, that streak ended on the back nine, with Hoops posting a 40 to close his Sunday round. He bogeyed the 11th, the 13th, and carded his first double bogey of the week on the par-5 15th. Blanchard made up his two-stroke deficit with a par after Hoop's error, and Walicki cut a four-shot gap to one with a birdie with three to play.

The 2019 Arizona Golf Association Player of the Year didn’t go down quietly, birdieing the 17th to shoot even on the back nine Sunday, enough for Walicki to make up a four-stroke deficit with nine to play. He made it a three-way playoff, with the trio all finishing 72 holes at seven-under off to the first at Aguila Golf Club.

The playoff ended swiftly, with Blanchard posting his first birdie of the week on the opening hole to break a 13-hole birdie-less streak for the victory.

View results for AGA Championship
ABOUT THE AGA Championship

The AGA Championship is the new tournament title of what was formerly known as the "Arizona Publinks Championship". 72-holes of individual stroke play at gross with max field size of 144 players. A cut to the low 60-players + ties will be made after 36 holes.

View Complete Tournament Information

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