The CSGA Links Volume 6 Issue 4 August 2018 - Page 19

if I played solid coming in there are birdie holes out there, but you’ve got to hit good shots so I was just trying to keep the pressure on him.” Swift was dis- appointed, but sanguine. “Hey, I didn’t make a bogey until the 18th hole. I have been putting well and there in the middle of the round they finally started to fall. It hurts, but I’ll be back,” said Swift, who was also close in 2017. Meanwhile, the rest of the field played for third. 2016 Open Champion Adam Rainaud shot even par, two over the previous tournament record, and finished third, six back. Max Theodorakis of Danbury took Low Amateur hon- ors at -6, and prepared for a trip to Pebble Beach and the U.S. Amateur. Mike Ballo, tied him for fourth, failing, he said, to get putts to fall in the final round. Fifteen-year-old Michael Hanratty played like a veteran, finishing at plus one and tied for 21st. Kyle Gallo, who led on Day One with 66, finished T11. For Swift and VanDerLaan, the difference might not have been the fin- ish, but the rainy, overcast start that saw the champion go low quickly and the runner up start cold. VanDerLaan birdied at three and five, the first a 40-footer, while Swift missed short chances at three and four. “I made a cou- ple of putts you don’t expect to make,” VanDerLaan said. “CJ definitely got off to a little bit of a slower start. But then he found his game there right in the middle. Great player.” For his first professional win to come at the club where twenty years ago his Dad John won a member-guest shop credit and bought his two-year- old son a set of starter clubs, was, well, “ridiculous,” said VanDerLaan. “On a course I really like, in front of the guys I grew up playing with, amazing.” But not surprising, said younger brother Michael, who finished T-28 and also plays at Florida Southern. “He’s the most level-headed person and prob- ably the best putter I know,” said Mike. “He knows how to get it done even if everything’s not working perfectly. I want to follow in his footsteps.” Those footsteps will head to Q school in October, where John will once again find a fellow competitor named CJ Swift. es close at 15... ...and from five feet takes the lead for good CSGA Links // August 2018 19