Hansen battles back, wins 74th Herman Sani Tournament

Waverly’s Hogan Hansen (right) turned a three-stroke deficit into a three-stroke victory at the 74th Herman Sani Tournament presented by Coppola Enterprises, held at Hyperion Field Club. Trumping a field of amateurs and professionals, Hansen adds another title to the list of Hawkeye winners this summer. After strong performances throughout the season on the IGA circuit, Hansen finally broke through with a victory at his last tournament of the summer.

A (-10) 68-69-69, three-round total of 206 was sufficient to win with Hyperion playing more difficult than expected. Hansen was neck-to-neck with Solon’s Isaiah Zoske throughout most of the round. Although he never checked the leaderboard until he was signing his scorecard, he could tell that he was in the running.

A late bogey on Hole 17 threatened a possible playoff, but Hansen kept his cool with a par on Hole 18 and let things take their course. Zoske, who was tied for the lead heading into Hole 16, finished bogey, double, bogey and fell to T4.

Hansen, known as a long hitter, made the most of his power with Hyperion’s short Par 4s and reachable 5s. Several drivable Par 4s gave Hansen short chip shots into the green and helped to avoid the worst of the greens. Hitting second-shot irons into Par 5s and “not having to hit long clubs into the greens” obviously gave him an advantage.

Although Hansen (left) wasn’t satisfied with his putting performance, simply surviving Hyperion’s fast and tricky to read greens was enough of a challenge and essential to scoring.

“The greens are always a great test,” Hansen reflected. “I use Aim Point. Everybody says the greens break towards camp dodge, but I just stuck to feeling my feet.”

With solid putting, Hansen cracked a hot start during his final round with three birdies in his first five holes.

Zoske deserves credit for a terrific overall performance. Even after an early double on Hole 3, he found his footing and went -2 on his next twelve holes. The high school junior and long time competitor hit a growth spurt this past year and his distance reflects it, as he rivals his collegiate counterparts off the tee. While his consistency is still being refined, his performance at the Sani is auspicious despite his last-minute falter. Leading a field of collegiate, high-level amateur, and professional players deserves high praise.

Former Panther golfer Thomas Storbeck, of Ventura, tied with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) golfer Anthoney Ruthey, of Port Byron, for runner-up at (-7) 209. Professionals Andrew Petersen, of Bondurant, and Charles Jahn, of Sperry, tied for the low-professional score at (-6) 210. Overall, they joined Ankeny’s Connor Peck, Zoske, and Norwalk’s Patrick Hall at T4.

In the Senior Amateur Division, Adel’s Jon Brown triumphed over Lineville’s Jay Gregory (both pictured right) in a one-hole playoff. The pair finished at (-6) 210, seven strokes ahead of the field. Gregory, whose approach bounced over the green on Hole 17 in the playoff, drained a bomb of a putt to save par, but Brown outdid him with a birdie. Brown won the Herman Sani Tournament in the Open Overall Division back in 1993, with the exact same score.

Des Moines’ Rob Pomerantz took over the Super Senior Amateur Division with a (+2) 218 total, seven strokes ahead of runners-up West Des Moines’ Bob Brooks, Marshalltown’s┬áRob Christensen, and Polk City’s Joe Ward at (+9) 225. Pomerantz improved every round, carding 76-72-70.

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