Justin Shluker made just one mistake Sunday before his final round of the Salt Lake City Richard C. Kramer Amateur Golf Tournament at Bonneville Golf Course.
The 27-year-old accountant showed up to the course for his mid-afternoon tee time wearing slacks when nearly every other competitor on the course wore shorts on a beautiful 78-degree day on the bench east of Salt Lake City.
His self-confessed sartorial blunder notwithstanding, Shluker was mostly spot-on as he carded a second straight 5-under 67 round and took the win in only his second appearance at the revered and historic City Am.
His 134-under-10 total was three strokes better than Ryan Brimley, who closed with a 66 on Sunday to make things slightly interesting down the stretch.
“I had no idea where things were. I figured if I could hit double digits, I had a shot. If someone came in and beat me and I did that, then all the props for them. — Justin Shluker, SLC Amateur Champion.
“It’s a really big win,” said Shluker, a former Park City High star who played collegiate for Sonoma State in California and now resides in Murray. He does accounting and finance work for a California-based biotechnology company to earn a living.
Murray’s Brimley, a former college basketball player, said it was his third or fourth runner-up at the tournament.
Devin Tovey and University of Utah golfer Braxton Watts tied for third at 6-under 138, while Evan Lawrence and Cameron Howe tied for fifth.
BYU’s Tyson Shelley placed sixth.
Pete Bennett won the Alta flight with a 138 and Troy Porter won the Brighton flight with a 155.
Playing in the Brighton Flight, Nicholas Katsanevas holed a hole-in-one on the No.9, the tricky downhill par-3 with a two-tiered green, but that day belonged to Shluker, who was level with Nason Jones , a senior from Highland High. at 5-minus when the day started.
Jones quickly lost momentum with a tough front nine, but Shluker says he never quite knew where he stood in relation to the lead.
There was no on-course leaderboard and few players posted their scores electronically, so everyone was pretty much in the dark.
“I had no idea where things were,” Shluker said. “I figured if I could hit double digits, I had a shot.
If someone came in and beat me and I did that, then all the props for them.
Brimley, who said he ‘left a few there’ on Saturday which ultimately prevented him from winning the trophy, felt he needed at least 65 to qualify for the playoffs.
It didn’t happen and wouldn’t have mattered.
Shluker was that good; Defending champion Cooper Jones, the youngest winner in SLC Am history, shot 12 under last year to claim the title but was unable to play this year as he competes in a qualifying event at the ‘US Open Monday.
Shluker said his plan on Sunday was to keep the ball in the fairway, avoid downhill putts and take advantage of accessible par-5s in two.
“The course is just awesome,” he said. “Like, they did such a good job of setting it up. I just stuck to my game plan and made a few putts.
“Honestly, that’s what made the difference.”
Shluker rolled in a 50-footer on the par-5 14 for a birdie to reach 9 under, then birdied another on the par-5 16 to seal the deal.
“I knew I still had holes to play (after the birdie bomb),” he said. “It’s not over until it’s over. I had to have some good shots and again, give myself as many chances as possible.
“That was basically it.”
Shluker said the win was probably his biggest in Utah — he’s won college tournaments — and sets him up for a decent summer.
“Over the years of maturing and stuff like that, I was able to find a way to score in tournament golf and stuff like that,” he said.
“Yeah, I don’t train a lot. I just play a lot and play the best I can. »
Even in long pants.
Richard C. Kramer Salt Lake City Amateur
At Bonneville Golf Course, Salt Lake City
134—Justin Shluker (67-67)
137—Ryan Brimley (71-66)
138 – Devin Tovey (71-67), Braxton Watts (70-68)
140 – Evan Lawrence (72-68), Cameron Howe (70-70)
141—Tyson Shelley (70-71)
142 – Steven Croft (71-71), David Timmins (71-71), Spencer Schindler (70-72), Oscar Mayfield (69-73)
144 – Masen Ward (74-70), Dan Horner (73-71), Boston Watts (72-72)
145 – Zack Neff (76-69), Kurt Owen (74-71), Stephen Lindsey (74-71)
138—Pete Bennett (67-71)
147 — Austin Green (76-71)
149—Brady Watkins (75-74)
136—Pete Bennett (66-70)
144—Troy Creer (71-73)
145 — Austin Green (75-70)
155 — Troy Porter (76-79)
159 – Geremy Hand (80-79), Rajeev Balasubramonian (79-80)
147 – Geremy Hand (74-73), Troy Porter (72-75), Rajeev Balasubramonian (73-74)
148—Brett Wilson (71-77)