Former high school star wins B.C. Amateur title
By Gary Ahuja
While Charlie Hughes is kicking himself for needing a playoff, he is just glad he was able to play a few extra holes and capture the B.C. Amateur golf championship.
“I never should have taken my foot off the gas,” said the Thomas Haney grad.
He was up four strokes with five holes to play in Friday’s final round of the Amateur championship, which was held at Invermere’s Copper Point Golf Club.
“Things were looking reasonably good and then things started looking really ugly,” he said with a laugh.
Hughes bogeyed both the 14th and 15th holes and then the 17th.
Dueling with Adam Svensson for the tournament title, Hughes came to the final hole not knowing if he was tied or trailing. He rolled in a 12-foot downhill putt for the birdie and a playoff.
Both golfers shot 12-under-par 270 over the four days and after each birdied the first extra hole, Hughes made his third straight birdie, a feat which Svensson could not duplicate.
“It just feels great,” Hughes said.
“My game has been getting better lately and I have been working hard.”
He helped the Haney golf team finish second in B.C. in 2008, and fifth in 2009, and just graduated from the University of Washington’s prestigious School of Business.
His caddy for the playoff was another local, Kevin Kwon, who finished fourth after shooting 66-70-72-69 for a seven-under 277. He was a big help.
After Svensson hit a towering draw that landed in the green side bunker, Hughes wanted to follow suit but was stopped by his player-turned-caddy. Kwon had finished play for the day and was hanging around to watch the excitement.
“I didn’t have a caddy all week and Kevin offered for the playoff,” mentioned Hughes.
“Adam was in pretty good shape in the bunker and I really wanted to hit driver and turn things around. Kevin made the right call. I guess I gotta thank him maybe more than anyone. I hit a great 3-wood there, an okay pitch and buried a 20 footer.”
Hughes, with the help of Kwon, hit his birdie putt directly in the heart of the hole and putt the pressure on Svensson with his third consecutive birdie dating back to regulation play.