By the time Alex Uloth walked up to the 18th green Wednesday at North Oaks Golf Club, the nerves he had to start the day with a four-shot lead were gone.
Just like his spot atop the leaderboard at the Minnesota State Amateur.
Back-to-back double bogeys plus another dropped shot at No. 15 all but erased any good vibes Uloth had after a remarkable 63 to open the tournament. So when an official asked Uloth if he’d like to know his position before attempting a 30-foot eagle putt, the 2014 Burnsville grad declined.
“I told him I was going to hit the putt the same way regardless,” Uloth said. “We’d find out when we were done. I gave it a good look and just didn’t want to leave it short.”
Uloth gave the putt just enough oomph. The ball trickled into the hole on the final revolution to cap off a 2-over 73, giving Uloth a 7-under 206 total and the title by a stroke over Gophers golfer Riley Johnson.
“It was a really cool way to win,” Uloth said. “I didn’t want to have to put myself in position to do it that way but it was special.”
The victory capped off a whirlwind past year for Uloth. Last summer he was in a serious car accident the night before he was scheduled to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. Though OK physically, Uloth said the crash, “screwed me up mentally a little bit for a while.” He left Concordia’s men’s golf team and hoped to find a transfer school this summer.
Wednesday’s victory should open some doors. So, too, would a good showing in this weekend’s Minnesota State Open at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. Uloth is one of 156 qualifiers. He tees off in the first round at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
“Having this under my belt tells me I can do it,” Uloth said. “The state open has some big guns in that thing. I’m ready to rumble with the best of them and see where I can take it. If I can shoot 63 here, it shows me I can contend.”