Brandon's Jarod Crane tees off on his way to winning the men's championship at the Tamarack Golf Tournament at Clear Lake Golf Course on a scorching hot Saturday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Jamie Stone finally has company.
Prior to this year, the Minnedosa native was the only player to win both major tournaments played at the Clear Lake Golf Course — the Grey Owl and the Tamarack — in the same year, accomplishing the feat in 1991. On Saturday, Brandonite Jarod Crane became the second member of the exclusive club.
Crane completed his Clear Lake Slam with a 2 and 1 victory over Onanole’s Kody Fawcett in the men’s final at the 80th annual Tamarack golf tournament.
Since he won the Grey Owl — a 36-hole stroke play event — in June, Crane has been thinking about winning the Tamarack — which uses 36 holes of stroke play to flight competitors, who then compete in a single-elimination match-play format until a winner is decided. The pressure built on Crane the closer he got to living his dream, and once he shook hands with Fawcett on the 17th hole, a huge sense of relief came over the 41-year-old.
"It’s gratifying," Crane said.
"I won the Grey Owl once before and I think I got to Friday in Tamarack that year. Winning it again, once I made sure I was in the championship flight, that was in the back of mind that I wanted to win both. I wanted to get what I called the Clear Lake Slam. It’s gratifying and emotionally draining. It’s a tough week. Lots of golf and lots of matches and just happy to be finished and happy to be on top."
Crane has competed in the Tamarack for each of the last five years, but never won the event. He believes it’s so difficult to come on top because of the shift from stroke play to match play, which are completely different games.
Crane has come close to winning the Tamarack before, reaching a couple semifinals, and is relieved to finally get over the hump.
"It’s a monkey off the back," he said. "There’s been two or three times where I’ve been close and lost out on Friday. Last year I lost the first round, so I was in the consolation side on Saturday. It’s nice to finally just get the monkey off your back."
Crane came into this year’s championship flight as the sixth seed after shooting a 143 during the two days of the qualifying round. He had three tough matches against Dustin Dyck, Greg Clemmensen and Tyler Rice, all of whom he beat 3 and 2, to reach Saturday’s final.
It was expected to be a tough match with Crane being a former golf professional and Fawcett, the ninth seed, a former NAIA college golfer. It lived up to the hype with Crane winning four of the 17 holes, Fawcett managing two and both shooting under par.
Although Crane was happy to beat Fawcett, he doesn’t think it will take long for the 23-year-old to get his own Tamarack title soon.
"Kody’s a great player," Crane said. "As young as he is, he’s going to be in the men’s division for years to come. He’ll win one. He hits it good. He putts it good. You can play well and lose. He was probably three or four under par. I was probably a shot better. That was the difference.
"But he’s a great player and he’ll win one eventually."
CHIP SHOTS: This year’s Tamarack included four holes-in-one and one albatross … Brandonite Grant McPhail showed he still has game. Forty years ago, McPhail was the men’s medallist and this year he won the men’s first flight.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 26, 2013