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CEDAR RAPIDS — Dan Dalziel rode a 3-stroke lead from Day 1 all the way to the title of champion in the Cedar Rapids Senior Men’s City Amateur golf tournament.
A delayed start and a humid day could not stop Dalziel as he won the Open Division, shooting a 141 over the 2-day tournament, to edge defending champion Todd Hingtgen, who shot 144.
Dalziel shot a 67 on the first day of competition at Twin Pines. At Ellis Golf Course on Day 2, Dalziel shot a 74. Though both he and Hingtgen, the runner-up, shot the same score on Sunday, Dalziel’s overpowering Day 1 propelled him to the victory.
“I went into that thinking birdie, every hole,” Dalziel said. “I was trying to birdie every single hole because I knew all these guys would be right on my tail or be doing the same thing.”
Twin Pines is a shorter golf course and requires more wedge play. Dalziel, who considers himself a good wedge player, said he worked his wedges and made putts on Saturday to build the lead.
“The big thing for me (Sunday) was just to hold my swing together and keep my focus,” he said. “Those things I haven’t been able to do for long periods of time.”
Hingtgen did not go quietly, however. His final shot of the day might have been the best of the tournament. With a group of players watching, he nailed a 40-foot putt for birdie.
Though he did not complete a full comeback, he did shoot better than Dalziel on the last nine holes — 35 to 36.
“(I played) good on the front, and on the back I just had some bad swings and I just couldn’t get out of it,” Hingtgen said.
Mother Nature nearly played spoiler, with a night of rainstorms pushed tee times back. Dalziel and Hingtgen’s group, which also included former Linn-Mar golf coach Steve Kahlera, did not tee off until 1:30 p.m., as the course and bunkers needed to dry and drain properly.
“You don’t want water standing on greens, those kinds of things,” Cedar Rapids head of golf Lisa Miller said. “We had to go with some local condition rules to make play even for people starting at 8 and people starting at 1.”
Dalziel, who moved back to Cedar Rapids from Burlington five years ago, has been in contention in city tournaments before.
To finally win one was something he’d been eyeing.
“It feels obviously very good, and there’s a lot of good players in this,” Dalziel said.
“I’ve been trying, hoping to win something here soon.”