Hogan Hansen battles back, wins 74th Herman Sani Tournament
Hogan Hansen (Iowa Golf Association Photo)
Hogan Hansen (Iowa Golf Association Photo)

After strong performances throughout the season on the IGA circuit, Hogan Hansen of Waverly finally broke through with a victory at his last tournament of the summer.

A 10-under finish and rounds of 68-69-69 was sufficient to win, with Hyperion playing more difficult than expected. Hansen was neck-to-neck with Solon’s Isaiah Zoske throughout most of the round. Although he never checked the leaderboard until he was signing his scorecard, he could tell that he was in the running.

A late bogey on Hole No. 17 threatened a possible playoff, but Hansen kept his cool with a par on Hole No. 18 and let things take their course. Zoske, who was tied for the lead heading into Hole No. 16, finished bogey, double, bogey and fell to T4.

Hansen, known as a long hitter, made the most of his power with Hyperion’s short Par 4s and reachable par-5s. Several drivable Par 4s gave Hansen short chip shots into the green and helped to avoid the worst of the greens. Hitting second-shot irons into Par 5s and “not having to hit long clubs into the greens” obviously gave him an advantage.

Although Hansen (left) wasn’t satisfied with his putting performance, simply surviving Hyperion’s fast and tricky-to-read greens was enough of a challenge and essential to scoring.

“The greens are always a great test,” Hansen reflected. “I use Aim Point. Everybody says the greens break towards camp dodge, but I just stuck to feeling my feet.”

With solid putting, Hansen cracked a hot start during his final round with three birdies in his first five holes.

Zoske deserves credit for a terrific overall performance. Even after an early double on Hole No. 3, he found his footing and went 2-under on his next twelve holes. The high school junior and long-time competitor hit a growth spurt this past year, and his distance reflects it, as he rivals his collegiate counterparts off the tee.

While his consistency is still being refined, his performance at the Sani is auspicious despite his last-minute falter. Leading a field of collegiate, high-level amateur, and professional players deserves high praise.

Former Panther golfer Thomas Storbeck, of Ventura, tied with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville golfer Anthoney Ruthey, of Port Byron, for runner-up at 7-under. Professionals Andrew Petersen, of Bondurant, and Charles Jahn, of Sperry, tied for the low-professional score at 6-under. Overall, they joined Ankeny’s Connor Peck, Zoske, and Norwalk’s Patrick Hall at T4.

In the Senior Amateur Division, Jon Brown of Adel triumphed over Jay Gregory of Lineville in a one-hole playoff. The pair finished at 6-under, seven strokes ahead of the field. Gregory, whose approach bounced over the green on Hole 17 in the playoff, drained a bomb of a putt to save par, but Brown outdid him with a birdie. Brown won the Herman Sani Tournament in the Open Overall Division back in 1993, with the exact same score.

Des Moines’ Rob Pomerantz took over the Super Senior Amateur Division after finishing 2-over, seven strokes ahead of runners-up West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks, Marshalltown’s Rob Christensen, and Polk City’s Joe Ward at 9-over. Pomerantz improved every round, carding rounds of 76-72-70.

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ABOUT THE Herman Sani Tournament

This tournament has a history of great golf from a field of excellent professionals and amateurs. Equally important to the tournament is that college bound students have been recipients of Sani Scholarships each year. 54-hole stroke play event with Open and Senior divisions. Amateur entries must be active Iowa Golf Association members.

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