Before they leave for Florida Gulf Coast University together come fall, collegiate golfers Frankie Capan and Van Holmgren will finish the summer as competitors, just as they have since they were 8 or 9.
On Wednesday, Capan surrendered a four-shot, second-round lead but held off Holmgren and three other golfers to win the 117th MGA Amateur Championship at Edina Country Club.
In doing so, the former Alabama golfer set a tournament scoring record relative to par with a 12-under score of 204 after he shot 66-67-71 over three days. Andrew Israelson, of the Vintage at Staples, was second at 206, and Holmgren tied for third another shot back.
“Very up and down,” Capan said about his final round, “but it felt good to close it out.”
Capan, 20, and Holmgren, 21, transferred colleges to Florida Gulf Coast. Capan left Alabama after two seasons there and Holmgren transferred from North Dakota State. They’ll be joined by former Winona State golfer and 2019 Minnesota State Open champion Brady Madsen.
Capan credited his longtime friend, saying “he’s really good at recruiting” in explaining his decision.
“Florida is a great place,” Capan said. “I always felt eventually I’d like to live there, assuming I go on to play professional golf. I liked Alabama a lot. But overall I didn’t think it was the best place for me to grow as a player and a person. I think we’ve got a really good group of guys [at FGCU] and we could do some damage.”
Last week, Capan shot 13 under par at the State Open and lost by two strokes when Gophers senior Angus Flanagan closed with a course-record 64 at the Royal Golf Club.
“It felt like I played a lot of good golf and just got beat,” Capan said. “I knew I was playing well coming into this week.”
Capan made four bogeys Wednesday after he made three the first two days. After bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14, he responded with birdies at holes 15 and 16. That last birdie came after he shaped a shot from the rough and around a tree that left him with an 8-foot birdie putt after Pioneer Creek’s Holmgren and Fountain Valley’s Trent Peterson briefly took the lead.
“I knew how close it was,” said Capan, of North Oaks Golf Club. “At that point, I knew I needed to make a couple birdies.”
Capan will play in the 3M Open pre-qualifier Thursday. He and Holmgren both are scheduled to play in the Sunnehanna Amateur next week in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Amateur — Capan for the first time — at famed Bandon Dunes in Oregon in August before they team up in Fort Myers, Fla.
“We’ve always grown up playing here and there in events,” Holmgren said. “We’ve always competed well. We want to beat each other on the course, but it’ll be fun to play with each other.”