The Kelowna Golf and Country Club’s Matt Palahniuk found the home track very much to his liking en route to winning the 65th Ogopogo Invitational tournament.
With a final round of two-under par 70 on Saturday at KGCC, Palahniuk overtook second-round leader Garrett Kucher of Sandpiper Resort to win by four strokes.
Palahniuk finished at 9-under par 207, while Kucher, Bellingham’s Craig Roth and Doug Chivers of Marine Drive shared second place at 211.
It was the second Ogopogo title for the 38-year-old for Palahniuk who first won the event back in 2011.
“It means a lot to me, it’s the biggest tournament of the year I play in,” said Palahniuk who has worked at KGCC for 20 years. “I only play in two tournaments a year, other is the Men’s Open here at the club, so it’s nice to get this one.”
The battle between Palahniuk and Kucher remained tight until midway through the back nine when Kucher double-bogeyed the 14th hole.
Palahniuk then took advantage of a Kucher bogey on the 15th with a birdie, then added another birdie on 18, rolling in a 20-foot putt to secure the win.
“I hit the ball pretty good, but I mostly had a good day with my putter,” he said of his final round 70. “I had 12 one-putts, so that was important for me.”
After going 67-66 the first two days, Kucher struggled to a final round of six-over par 78.
KGCC’s Brett Moore, with a solid finishing round of 3-under 69, finished in a tie for fifth with a former Ogopogo champ, the Harvest Club’s Will Deck, at 212.
Kelowna’s Keenan Hall and Harvest’s Keith Martin tied for seventh at 215.
Four Kelowna golfers tied for 10th—Brandon Ortiz, Norm Bradley, Finlay Young and Matt Dunn—at 216. Bradley, from the host club, won low senior honours.
The low net champion was Bruce Fleming from Snee Farm CC.
Palahniuk will tee it up at the Kelowna club again for the Men’s Open, Aug. 13 and 14, a tournament he has won twice before.