Doeden also called his six-foot bogey putt on the hole before a critical part of his round. After watching Crouch’s approach shot on the par-4 eighth come up short and fall back down the slope in front of the cup, Doeden went a club up for his shot, and his ball flew over the green long. “It’s not good back there long,” he added. He still was able to make his putt to avoid a complete disaster. “I kind of made a mess of eight, so go get one back on nine was huge. I make double (bogey) on eight and I’m probably out of it.”
Instead, the former University of Minnesota golfer made birdies at Nos. 11 (a chip-in from the front of the green), 13 and 16—that one giving him the lead for good. Unbeknownst to Doeden, he played 16 tied with Halvorsen, who was in the clubhouse at 13-under. Doeden rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt there, made a two-putt par on 17 and then closed with the birdie.
“Honestly, I thought I maybe had a one-shot lead, but I knew there was probably a [66 or 65] ahead of me,” Doeden said as he arrived at the 18th tee. “I knew I was ahead of the guys in my group, so I said, ‘Hey, I think I need a four to make sure this is done. That was my mindset walking down 18. Let’s make four.”
He hit his drive to the left side of the fairway and then laid up with his second shot, leaving him a little more than 100 yards over water to the green. Before hitting his third shot, he stopped and restarted his routine.
“That is where it sunk in. This is probably the biggest moment of your career. Those words didn’t come to mind, but that’s what hit me,” Doeden explained. “Sure, it was a 100-yard wedge shot. I’ve hit a million of those. But for some reason as I took the trigger back, something wouldn’t let me take it back. So, I backed off, took a deep breath, pulled the trigger and hit it to five feet.” It was a shot that essentially cemented the title.
Did you know Andreas Halvorsen was 131st in the points standings when the week began? He was hoping for a good finish this week, allowing him to qualify for the season-ending LOCALiQ Series Championship, and his runner-up performance did the trick. Halvorsen had previously made three starts, with two missed cut and a tie for 44th at the Jacksonville Championship. He improved from No. 131 to 16th with his second-place outing.