He's a young man, winning an old man's game.
Adam Hober, a 19-year-old Washington State student, claimed the 69th Don Barnett Memorial golf tournament Monday at the Missoula Country Club, becoming possibly the youngest golfer to win the prestigious event.
"Who woulda thunk it, that I'd come out here at age 19, after red-shirting and win my first tournament back?" said a WSU-clad Hober. "It feels great."
Hober, who hasn't competed in a tournament since last year's State Am, fired a 3-under-par 68 to win the 54-hole tournament by one stroke over Doug Brown.
The two golfers were tied heading into the final hole, but Hober birdied the par-5 18th for the second consecutive day to pull out the victory.
The former Missoula Sentinel star actually had a long eagle putt attempt which he put within inches of the cup.
"I made sure I got it close," Hober said. "My speed control has been really good all week, but my heart was beating so fast on that long putt I was scared I wasn't even going to hit the ball."
Hober's three-day total of 206 was 8-under par. He also had rounds of 66 and 71 to become the first golfer to lead the Barnett start-to-finish since Jon Hesselwood in 2000, when he shot a 204.
"Adam is a great competitor," Brown said. "He's fun to play with, the whole field up here, they're just great players."
Brown, from Greer, S.C., finished with a 68 as well, but came up short on the 18th for the second straight day. The gregarious golfer from the south double-bogeyed the hole on Sunday to leave him one stroke back.
On Monday, the 18th hole played out much the same for the two leaders.
Hober reached the green in two shots, yelling "get home" when his 3-iron from 245 yards away reached the front edge of the putting surface. He said that was the clinching shot.
"It was probably the biggest 3-iron I've hit in my life," Hober said. "It was just a good shot."
Hober also said he was proud of his tee shot, because the box was in a tough position - where the old No. 17 box used to be.
"It's a little bit tougher hole when it's back there, it's a real par-5," said Hober of the last hole. "I knew I had to hit my two best shots to get it there."
Brown, on the other hand, found trouble off the tee at No. 18. His drive hit a fairway bunker and came to a rest in the grass just before dropping into the driving range.
Brown's second shot, from roughly 250 yards out, was hindered by a tree. He used a cut, 3-wood to punch the ball down the middle of the fairway.
"That was funny," Brown said. "I told everyone that was on the fairway to get outta the way cause I'm gonna wrap this club around the tree and hit somebody. I knew I couldn't get it to the green, but I was going to give it hell, you know hit it as hard as I could."
From 75 yards out, Brown sent his chip over the green thus giving Hober an easy two-put for victory.
Brown did manage to put some pressure on Hober with his back-nine putting. He made two birdies and a monstrous 65-foot eagle putt on hole No. 10 to climb back in contention.
It wasn't until a birdie on the temporary par-3, 17th that Brown finally tied Hober for the tournament lead.
"Dougie came up strong on the back," Hober said. "He put the pressure on me, he definitely did."
Brown then stepped to the tee on No. 16 and told the growing crowd of on-lookers "somebody pop a top, it's too damn quiet."
It turned into a two-man affair once Missoula's Bill Dunn bogeyed the makeshift 17th and then double-bogeyed the 16th. Dunn, who finished sixth at 213, was just two back at one point.
Missoula golfers Dirk Cloninger and Dave Johnson tied for third place, five strokes back. Cloninger, the defending Barnett champ, scored well for a second straight day. He finished with a 69. Johnson, who had a 67 on Sunday, double-bogeyed No. 10 after going in the pond and never could regain his momentum. Bill Leach of Bozeman was fifth at 211.
Spokane's Lisette Fey-Carter continued her steady dominance en route to winning the women's flight. Fey-Carter had a final-round 76 to finish nearly 20 strokes ahead of her competition.