It’s not often you are able to close out a golf tournament bogey-bogey-bogey for the win, but that was all Andrew McCain needed to claim his second Minnesota State Open title Sunday at Bunker Hills Golf Course.
McCain shot 1-under-par 71 Sunday to finish with a three-round score of 9-under 207, three shots ahead of Ross Miller, who was looking for his second major victory in 2018 after winning the Tapemark in early June.
Two-time defending champion Ben Greve was the low amateur; he tied for third with Eddie Wynne at 4 under.
“Today was good and I got off to a solid start. I hit a bunch of good putts today,” said McCain, of Dellwood Country Club. “I tried to keep it in position because I knew that if you’re going to make some pars, you’ll make some birdies — you just try and play the par 5s well.”
McCain began the day with a three-shot lead over Miller and his lead never wavered. He made a 10-foot birdie on his first hole and made the turn at 1 under for the day — four shots clear of the field.
Greve was in the championship picture after posting a 3-under 33 on the front but couldn’t keep it together and finished 1 over on the back for a 2-under 70.
The highlight of the day came at the par-5 11th when McCain made an eagle from 85 yards out to take a five-shot lead. From there, he cruised to his second State Open victory in four years and his first as a professional.
“I ended up getting a nice little break on Hole 11 when I holed out for eagle, which really helps kick-start the round a bit because it was flat from what it felt like,” McCain said. “It was nice and pretty stress-free coming down the stretch.”
Miller made par on his first seven holes and bogeyed the eighth before making the turn 1 over. He made birdie on three of his last four holes, but not before the title was out of reach.
“This one was significantly different because I felt that this was the first three-day event that I was in the lead from start to finish,” McCain said, comparing Sunday’s victory to his championship in 2015. “Especially, like last night when you have a bit of a bigger lead and you’re not just tied for the lead or one-shot ahead, so trying to figure out how I would handle that situation.’’