The CSGA Links Volume 6 Issue 4 August 2018 - Page 18

THE OPEN record by four. Swift played a Nicklaus-like round in which he came from three shots back—birdieing eight, nine, and ten—and made no bogeys until that final hole when he charged a long birdie attempt. With eight holes re- maining they were tied, at -14 and it had become a tournament of two, not to mention a slugfest. They tied 11 with pars. On 12, VanDerLaan rolled in a curling 35-footer. Swift, who’d left a long approach putt 15 feet short, sunk that to avoid a two- shot swing. On 13 they reversed roles. Swift was close. VanDerLaan, after an errant drive, lay in the rough back of the severely slopping green. “I had a good lie on a little bit of an upslope that helped me get it up high quick and be able land it soft. I hit about as good a shot as I could and it stayed on the green. If it had gone down that other slope it may have gone all the way off the green.” Swift made his birdie, but VanDerLaan then holed his 12-footer to stay at -15 and tied. “We traded on those two holes and it was huge. It was great. We had a great battle out there. ” said VanDerLaan. “I kept telling myself to play the course, but I was kind of playing him at the same time,” said Swift. “It kind of felt like match play from the start.” With four to play they were all square, but that would change on 15. Swift’s 20-foot birdie putt from above the hold came up short. VanDerLaan’s 5-footer dropped. “I’ve been hitting driver every day there,” said VanDerLaan, “but it was downwind pretty good and I knew it was a front pin and I wanted to hit something I could spin so I hit three wood to be straight.” He laughed. “And I missed the fairway anyway.” But a sand wedge from 95 yards took a couple of hops and stopped about five feet under the hole. “It was huge to be able take a one-shot lead with three to play. I figured 2016 Champ Ra played near-rec for third. Theod T4, was Low Am Punch, Counter-punch A shot back, Swift birdies 13 to tie..... 18 | CSGA Links // August 2018 ...but VanDerLaan pitche