Golf: Hingtgen Wins Cedar Rapids Senior City Amateur

By Sam Louwagie (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video), REporters

Todd Hingtgen strikes the ball at the final day of the Men's Senior City Amateur Golf Tournament at Gardner Golf Course in Marion on Sunday, June 23, 2013.(Kaitlyn Bernauer/Gazette-KCRG9)

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By Grant Burkhardt

MARION, Iowa — Todd Hingtgen wasn’t even aiming for the green on his biggest shot of the day.

On the 14th hole at Gardner Golf Course on Sunday, Hingtgen hit the ball down the tree line and ended up with a difficult lie in between the trees. He calmly punched the ball back onto the fairway to set up an easier next shot, went on to bogey that hole, and won the Cedar Rapids Senior City Amateur golf tournament by one stroke.

“That was a mature shot,” he said. “Usually, I’d get ticked off and try to hit it through the trees, and I could’ve gotten a 6 or 7 [on the hole]. It’s pretty dull, but I think that was my biggest shot of the day.”

Hingtgen began the second day of the tournament tied for third place, two strokes behind leader Craig Runyan’s 35. But he rallied with a 74 on Sunday with some booming drives, and a putt from around six feet that clinched the victory.

Hingtgen won the event in 2009, but said he typically plays at a state tournament in Fort Dodge instead. He returned this year to win for the second time. But Hingtgen said even though he won, the round didn’t feel great.

“I don’t want to sound too much like Tiger,” he said. “But I didn’t hit it all that great. My game wasn’t all that sharp. The course played tough. I just kept my head down and played conservatively.

“But I’ll take it. The competition here doesn’t give you anything. You have to earn it.”

Runyan wasn’t so happy after the tournament. He said he hadn’t played Gardner yet this year and wished he had come in for a practice round. Instead, he had difficulty reading the greens, and played three-over par on the last four holes, to finish with a two-day score of 112, just one away from winning score.

“I’m devastated, but there’s nothing I can do now,” he said with a shrug. “After leading the first day, I knew if I could play well today I’d have a good shot. I’m disappointed, but everyone could go out and say I wish I had a stroke back here and a stroke back on that hole.

“When you play a round, you get a certain amount of breaks, and a certain amount of bad breaks. I had plenty of both.”
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