By the time the Alberta Amateur Match Play Championships were one round old, Edmontonians we're practically extinct.
But Windermere's Barrett Jarosch went from the endangered species list to the sole survivor, leaving a trail of southern Albertans in his wake at RedTail Landing.
TOP 16 FINISHERS
The field began with 16 of the top finishers in this week's Alberta Open (13 of them from the south), and finished with Jarosch as the last man standing. After wins over Billy Shepley (Calgary), Ryan Swelin (Sundre), and Mitch Evanecz (Red Deer), Jarosch sank a 20-foot birdie putt on 18 for a one-up victory over Calgary's James Love.
"I thought it was short all the way,'' Jarosch said of the winning putt. "But it sat on the lip for about three seconds and finally fell in.''
Despite the wind, both players shot the lights out in the final - Jarosch shot a bogey-free 67 and Love, runner-up in the Alberta Open, was 68.
"This feels awesome,'' said Jarosch, who recently competed for Canada at the Four Nations Championship in Japan. "It feels good because both of us played unreal, it was a great match.''
Love actually jumped out to an early lead, two-up through seven holes, but Jarosch climbed back with a bird on eight and a rules violation by Love on nine.
"He was walking across the trap to his ball, raking his footsteps behind him,'' said Jarosch. "So the referee called him over and told him that's considered testing the surface, and in match play it's a loss of hole.''
Jarosch didn't want to win a hole that way, but the decision was final.
"I went to the rules official and said, 'Isn't it up to me whether or not we make that call, because I don't think we should.' But he said that as the referee, if he notices something that results in a loss of hole he has to call it.
"So we were all even after nine.''
The match stayed neck and neck through the back nine and they were all square heading to the tough, 467-yard par 4 18th. Jarosch hit driver-lob wedge and left himself with a pin-high 20-foot putt for bird.
ON TEAM ALBERTA
As the match play winner, Jarosch, along with Alberta Open winner Kris Wasylowich, will play for Team Alberta at the Pacific Coast Amateur championship in Oregon. The host Bandon Dunes course is one of the most prestigious courses in the U.S. The third member of Team Alberta will be the winner of the upcoming Glencoe Invitational in Calgary.