Rain no match for Sanders en route to titleJuly 23, 2018
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
JASPER — They say there’s no place like home and for Jeff Sanders that statement stands true — even more so after his victory on Sunday afternoon in The Herald’s Dubois County Amateur men’s golf tournament.
After rain caused the final round of the County Am to go from an 18-hole day at Sultan’s Run Golf Club to just a 9-hole round, Sanders stayed steady and fired a 35 to finish with a final 45-hole score of 171 to take home the title at his home course in his first ever appearance in the tournament. Last year’s champion Cam Weyer took home second with a 179, George Nord and Bryson Bolling tied for third with 181’s and Cam’s older brother Ian Weyer rounded out the top-five with a 182. Nord took home his second senior crown while Evan Wolfe won the Steve Seger Youth Award with a score of 196.
“It was a tough day, kind of a weird day with a lot of rain off and on so it made it interesting but I feel very comfortable (at Sultan’s Run) so it didn’t make much of a difference to me,” said Sanders, a former Head Golf Professional at the course. “I would’ve loved to play the whole 18 holes, I think everyone would’ve liked to but it was a tough day — the golf course had about enough of it, I think.”
One person who definitely would’ve loved to play every hole on the course was runner-up Cam Weyer.
After Weyer and his fellow foursome of Sanders, Nord and his older brother Ian completed their sixth hole of the day, they had found out that the tournament had changed from an 18-hole final round to just a 9-hole final round due to the rain that had already affected the course and the rain that was rapidly approaching on the weather radar. From that point on, Cam had to change his gameplan and felt like he had to rush things in order to try and take the crown from Sanders.
“When I found that out, I was still one over par for the tournament and we were on hole seven with holes eight and nine to follow. Those three holes are holes that I never pull a driver out on and I normally just make par, but now I had to try and make an eagle on seven and an eagle on eight because I was still so far behind at that point,” Cam Weyer said. “I knew Jeff (Sanders) wasn’t going to fold so I was like hell, to have any chance I have to play the last three holes four-under par. So, I hit my driver on seven and ended up hitting it into the woods and I did the same thing on nine so I ended up shooting three over par on the last three holes — it just completely changed my approach.”
However, Sanders had always planned to just keep his gameplan the same no matter what happened.
“Obviously, it makes a difference knowing whether there’s only three holes left or twelve holes left but it was a situation that I just felt comfortable in and I had a decent lead so I just felt that if I didn’t make any silly mistakes, it was all going to be good,” Sanders said.
Playing in inclement weather like what took place on Sunday afternoon can make for some rather difficult play — no matter what skill level you are.
Nord, who finished third overall and won the senior division after shooting a 37 at Sultan’s Run, said that when he realized the weather wasn’t going to be too kind he just wanted to focus on doing the little things right.
“Playing in wet weather is tough but you have to be steady and take your time,” Nord said. “You want to make sure you keep your hands dry the best you can and always swing easy so you don’t make any quick movement with the clubs. A light grip will work out for you as long as you keep your concentration and try not to overdo it or hit it too far.”
While Cam Weyer was frustrated that he wasn’t able to defend his County Am title, he was happy about one thing — being able to come out on top in the friendly sibling rivalry between himself and Ian.
“We go out and play all the time and I normally get the better of him so I told him all week that he wasn’t going to beat me — I wasn’t going to let that happen,” Cam Weyer said with a laugh. “It was going to be a really fun exciting day but the weather just kind of put a damper into everything but you’ll have days like that.”
While many of the golfers in the field for the 49th annual County Am, like the Weyer brothers, have participated in many County Am’s prior to this one, the tourney winner just happened to be competing in his first ever one.
And even though the weather hindered the day for many of the golfers, Sanders still enjoyed his first County Am appearance.
“I haven’t played that much golf on my own ball in a long time and when I say on my own ball I mean where I actually have to finish it out by myself,” Sanders said. “It was a lot of fun to play with friends and be competitive because I haven’t been able to be competitive in a long time — it was fun, it makes you nervous and it makes you think about things but overall I enjoyed it.”
In fact, Sanders is already hoping he can have the opportunity next summer to defend his title.
“It worked out well for me this year as far as work goes,” Sanders said with a laugh. “As long as it works out for me where I’m able to golf, I’m good to play next year and it’s going to be a fun time once again.”
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