Forum staff reports, Published July 22 2010
Hoge wins state amateur championshipMORTON, Minn. – It took awhile, but Tom Hoge finally recovered from mononucleosis. He proved it this week in the Minnesota state amateur tournament.
He repeated his Minnesota Golf Association title on Wednesday with rounds of 67-67-71 at Dacotah Ridge Golf Club in Morton. Hoge became the first MGA repeat champion since Dave Nordeen did it in 1985-86. Before that, Chris Perry accomplished the feat in 1982-83.
“A lot of great players have come through Minnesota golf so I was fortunate to come out on top,” Hoge said.
The Texas Christian University golfer from Fargo South, playing out of Village Green in Moorhead, was saddled with illness most of May. It wasn’t until at least the middle of last month before he started to feel physically fit.
“I just think it was a long process,” he said. “It took getting in some tournaments and playing in competitive tournaments to get going again.”
Hoge said the difference this week was his “ball striking,” which he called the best in probably four or five years. The drives were accurate, the approach shots hit the greens and the putts were good enough.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities and actually I didn’t take advantage as well as I could of,” he said. “Golf is easy when you’re hitting the middle of the fairway.”
He edged Donald Constable by one shot in a two-man race. Ryan Peterson finished third, eight strokes back of Hoge.
Next up for Hoge is the Porter Cup next week in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The tourney attracts the top amateurs in the country.