Doeden rallies late to win Classic at The Club at Weston Hills
STORY BY: Staff, PGA TOUR Staff
October 9, 2020
WESTON, Florida—Justin Doeden made a 35-foot birdie putt at No. 9 and that jump-started his final round at the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills. From there, the Minnesota native added four more birdies, including an exclamation-point six-footer on the final hole, to win the final full-field LOCALiQ Series tournament by two strokes over Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen.
Doeden earned 500 points and easily qualified for the season-ending LOCALiQ Series Championship next month in Georgia. With this week’s purse elevated from the traditional $100,000 to $125,000 courtesy of BMW of Pembroke Pines, he also walked away with a $20,000 first-place check.
“It’s still sinking in. I think of all the hard work I’ve been putting in, the hours of sleep I’ve lost. It’s everything. I’m kind of speechless,” said Doeden, who began the final round three shots behind playing partner A.J. Crouch.
As he walked from the 18th green, the victory secured, a crowd of Club at Weston Hills members cheered on Doeden, who finally smiled and yelled “Come on” to their approval. Moments later, Doeden was talking about that critical birdie putt that allowed him to make the turn to the back nine at 1-under. It was a difference-maker, he called it.
“Without a doubt that putt on hole No. 9. I had about a 20-footer over this ridge. That one creeped over the edge there and got me going,” Doeden said. “If that putt doesn’t go in on nine, who knows what happens? That was definitely the turning point.”
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 performancedid 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.
SEASON POINTS STANDINGS
Through The Challenge at Harbor Hills
|Pos.||Player (Home Tour)||Points||Previous Position|
|1||Bryson Nimmer (Mackenzie Tour)||1,419.000||1|
|2||Carson Young (Mackenzie Tour)||762.467||2|
|3||Toni Hakula (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||675.667||3|
|4||Hayden Shieh (Mackenzie Tour)||674.750||4|
|5||Justin Doeden (Mackenzie Tour)||580.500||67|
|6||Stoney Crouch (Mackenzie Tour)||552.333||5|
|7||Cooper Musselman (Mackenzie Tour)||509.500||6|
|8||David Pastore (Mackenzie Tour)||472.150||7|
|9||Alex Smalley (Mackenzie Tour)||412.000||8|
|10||Cole Miller (Mackenzie Tour)||356.083||9|
NOTE: THE TOP-TWO FINISHERS ON THE POINTS STANDINGS WILL EARN INVITATIONS TO FUTURE, TO-BE-DETERMINED PGA TOUR TOURNAMENTS.
The Classic at The Club at Weston Hills was the third and final event of the Arcis Golf Florida Swing. With his win at the Jacksonville Championship, his tie for 10th at The Challenge at Harbor Hills and his tie for 40th this week, Carson Young won the Swing and the $7,500 bonus provided by Arcis Golf. Finishing second was this week’s Classic at The Club at Weston Hills champion Justin Doeden, who pocketed $2,500. “Apparently I like some Florida golf,” Young said after the check presentation. “I had a solid three weeks, obviously with the win starting off in Jacksonville helped a lot. I didn’t have my best stuff this week, but I got it done. It’s been a great three weeks.”
Arcis Golf, the premier operator of public, resort and private golf clubs in the United States, has a current portfolio of 60 properties located coast to coast in 13 states, including The Club at Weston Hills—the site of the final event of the Arcis Golf Florida Swing. Rounding out the top five in the standings were Toni Hakula, Cole Miller and Andreas Halvorsen.
ARCIS GOLF FLORIDA SWING
|Pos.||Player (Home Tour)||Points|
|1||Carson Young (Mackenzie Tour)||578.167|
|2||Justin Doeden (Mackenzie Tour)||563.000|
|3||Toni Hakula (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||561.167|
|4||Cole Miller (Mackenzie Tour)||381.083|
|5||Andreas Halvorsen (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||311.167|
|6||Camilo Aguado (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||263.250|
|7||Jorge Fernández-Valdés (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||252.333|
|8||David Pastore (Mackenzie Tour)||252.250|
|9||Rowin Caron (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||245.000|
|10||Chris O’Neill (Mackenzie Tour)||235.500|
This season, Justin Doeden has played in all seven LOCALiQ Series tournaments, missing four cuts. His previous-best finish was a tie for 11th at the Jacksonville Championship, where he shot three consecutive rounds in the 60s (69-69-66). He disappointingly missed the cut last week in Central Florida but came back strong with the victory. Doeden is a combined 42-under in the seven tournaments.
This was the final full-field event of the LOCALiQ Series season, with the top-78 on the season-long points standings advancing to the LOCALiQ Series Championship at TPC Sugarloaf in metro Atlanta in mid-November. The 78th player is Trey Shirley. Holding down the No. 1 slot, as he has all season, is Bryson Nimmer. He was absent this week as he is playing in the Korn Ferry’ Tour’s Orange County National Championship in Orlando. Nimmer, with a 656.533-point lead over Carson Young, mathematically locking up the No. 1 position on the points standings. Only 600 points are available to the winner of the LOCALiQ Series Championship at TPC Sugarloaf. That tournament will feature 78 players in the field, so if a qualified player doesn’t enter the tournament, he will be replaced in the field by the next-available player.
The second-round leader has still yet to go on to win a LOCALiQ Series tournament this season. Justin Doeden is the latest to come from off the pace on the final day. He joins Bryson Nimmer (twice), Stoney Crouch, Cooper Musselman, Carson Young and Toni Hakula as players whohave all come from behind on the final day to win. Doeden also joins Nimmer (The Championship at Echelon Golf Club), Musselman (The Invitational at Auburn University Club) and Young (Jacksonville Championship) who all made up three-stroke deficits on the final day to win.
Velten Meyer, a PGA TOUR Series-China player, had the low round of the day, a 7-under 65 that vaulted him from a tie for 36th at the beginning of the day into his first top-10 of the season—a tie for seventh. The German played Weston Hills’ back nine first and made nothing but pars. He then got it going, shooting a 29 on the par-36 front nine, starting with an eagle at No. 1 and birdies at Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9.
Colombia’s Camilo Aguado has enjoyed top-10s after not contending the week previously. Here is his season: He has tied for 17th, followed by a tie for fourth. He withdrew from The Invitational at Auburn University Club then tied for fourth. He tied for 25th last week and tied for third at Weston Hills—his latest showing his best of the season. The PGA TOUR Latinoamérica regular held a share of the lead Friday when he poured in a 35-footer for birdie on No. 15, getting to 13-under. A late bogey, at the par-3 17th, dropped him back to 12-under, where he finished. Aguado is 11th on the current points standings.
Brendon Doyle enjoyed his top finish of the LOCALiQ Series season with his tie for third. Doyle fired rounds of 68-67-69 to finish at 12-under, two strokes behind winner Justin Doeden. His previous-best performance was a tie for sixth at The Invitational at Auburn University Club.
It’s been an impressive run for American Cole Miller. The native of Pennsylvania recorded his third consecutive top-10 with his tie for seventh this week. Miller’s run started at the Jacksonville Championship, where he tied for fourth. He tied for second last week at The Challenge at Harbor Hills. In his last 10 rounds, Miller has not shot an over-par score, with nine of his 10 rounds in the 60s. This week he posted scores of 71-66-68.
American Piri Borja is also on a nice run, with two top-10s in succession, his latest coming this week with a 69-69-67 showing resulting in a tie for seventh. He also tied for seventh in the second LOCALiQ Series event of the season, The Championship at Echelon Golf Club, and was fifth last week at The Challenge at Harbor Hills.
Jason Thresher has made three consecutive cuts, and this week he posted his first top-10 of the season, a tie for seventh. After a slow start, with an even-par 72, Thresher concluded his final 36 holes 11-under (65-68).
Myles Creighton began the final round within striking distance but couldn’t get his putter going. The Canadian opened and closed with 2-under 70s, with a second-round 65 added in. That gave the PGA TOUR Series-China player his first top-10 of the campaign, as well.
The lone amateur of the three in the field to make the cut was Jake Beber-Frankel. Beber Frankel shot scores of 68-73-73 to finish at 2-under and tied for 47th.
“It was just tough out there. It was hot, and nerves obviously a factor for someone like myself who isn’t always in the mix.” –Justin Doeden
“I didn’t know where I stood at all. I knew what was going on in my group. I knew AJ was starting the day three ahead of me. He was playing great all day until hole 13. He made a double (bogey) there. I thought, Oh, boy. Here we go. We’re in it now. I thought then and there, this tournament is ours if we play smart, stay patient Then I made one there on 16 and got one to finish on 18.” –Justin Doeden
“This is a good one for my confidence. To play the front nine in 1-under par, I was fine with that. I knew there were birdie holes on the back.” –Justin Doeden
“I came up a touch short there and hit a good putt that went in.” –Justin Doeden on his approach shot and putt on No. 9
“That was another boost for me, to keep the momentum going.” –Justin Doeden on his chip-in birdie at No. 11
“I can feel it going crazy.” –Justin Doeden on whether he had checked his phone for text messages and voicemail
“There are definitely some things I want to work on still. I’ll just get ready for the final event there at TPC Sugarloaf. I just want to relax and put my feet up. It’s the offseason, technically. Thankfully, LOCALiQ gave us some events to play, which is awesome, which is huge. I’ll just prepare for that last event and see what happens.” –Justin Doeden
“Being consistent is the name of my game. I’ve been consistent the last few years as a golfer. To get that victory and to stay consistent paid off.” –Carson Young on his Arcis Golf Florida Swing title
“After nine holes, I tried to have a good back nine so I could assure I would be able to play the final event. I haven’t played very well in this Series. I needed a top-five or something like that to get in, and that was my main thing.” –Andreas Halvorsen, who moved to No. 16 in the points standings with his runner-up finish
“I started of birdie-par-eagle on the back, I checked the scores and saw that I was tied.” –Andreas Halvorsen
“I seem to putt better from 20 feet than three feet.” –Andreas Halvorsen
“The last two days were pretty good. I definitely haven’t been playing that good, so it was fun to get in and have a good tournament.” –Andreas Halvorsen
Next LOCALiQ Series Tournament:
LOCALiQ Series Championship
Hot and humid. High of 93. Rain fell for approximately five minutes midway through the round Wind ESE at 11-14 mph.