SHAWNEE – 2018 Elks Invitational champion Craig Van Horn saw his course record shattered on the first day of the tournament and finished the day two behind after shooting a 66. He stuck to his game to keep steady and finished the three day tournament 14-under par to run away with the win.
“I just try to play my game,” Van Horn said. “Ive gotten caught up in trying to compete with other players and think about what they're doing and you can't do that. If you want to play successfully and contend in golf tournaments, you've got to just stay within yourself and do what you can.”
Van Horn shot 68 on Sunday and Monday to shoot four under the 72 stroke course both days and finished with a 202 overall. 2016 champion Tyler Hargus shot a 64 Saturday to set a new course record but shot a 71 Sunday to fall one stroke behind Van Horn. A catastrophic 77 Monday put Hargus into a playoff hole with Joel Driver. Driver emerged victorious to take second and Hargus had to settle for third.
“The golf course was in great shape this week, it's been a long time since I've played here and I saw Tyler Hargus take down my competitive course record, which I was happy for him,” Van Horn said.
2017 winner Robby Komatcheet shot a 215 to take fourth and Ben Coffee beat out Garrett McDaniel on a playoff for fifth.
Van Horn saw others struggling and though he wanted to try to match Hargus' new course record, decided to stay the course and try to just win the tournament instead.
"Today I was after four under on the front nine thinking I'd kinda like to wipe it back off there,” he said. “The back nine, things didn't happen like I wanted them to. Seemed like everybody else was kinda falling off a little bit and I was just trying to stay steady and really just finish it out.”
Justin Canfield won the B-Flight after shooting a 227 (74, 79, 74), Justin Tarbox took second (229), Dalton Smith third (230) and Ryan Loudon finished fourth after shooting a 231.
John Wright and Bryan Lamey each shot a 231 to lead the C-Flight and Danny Witmer came in third with a 233. The D-Flight went to Jason Richardson, who finished with a 236 after shooting a 74 Monday to overtake Ronnie Larman, who finished in second after shooting a 239.
David Belair shot a 246 to win the E-Flight as Terry Rowe came in second after shooting 252 and Pat Rowe shot a 239 (78, 80, 81) to take first in the F-Flight.