PEQUOT LAKES -- Josh Bargfrede was saving his best putt for a rainy day.
The Rochester senior entered the final round of the American Junior Golf Association IZZO/Compaq Junior Championship at Grand View Lodge's Preserve course Friday in a three-way tie with Kane Hanson of Fargo and Brian Brodell of Appleton, Wis.
It took a six-foot putt on the 18th hole to finally decide the winner and that was Bargfrede. After hitting his approach shot right of the green, the 17-year-old chipped to within six feet.
Brodell had a 15-foot putt to force a playoff but it lipped out, giving Bargfrede an open opportunity to end the tournament with a one-stroke win.
"I don't know. I still don't know what type of break was in the putt," said Bargfrede. "I thought it broke a little bit to the right, then I walked up to it and then I thought maybe it didn't break. I just decided to hit it right in the middle and it didn't turn much.
"There were a lot of things going though my mind. Whenever I get in a nervous situation I really don't think about anything. There's usually a 100 different things running through my mind."
Bargfrede and Brodell were neck and neck through the entire back nine with Bargfrede taking a one-stroke lead after the 10th hole. Brodell came back with a birdie on the 12th to tie it.
On the 16th, Bargfrede birdied the par 5 to again take a stroke lead, only to see Brodell birdie the par 3, 17th to set up the wild finish.
After both players knocked their drives in the middle of the fairway, both hit their approach shots right of the green. Brodell's third shot hit the green but didn't release as he had hoped, leaving him with a long birdie putt, which he missed.
"This is my fourth or fifth AJGA and I've played decent," said Bargfrede. "I just kicked myself after each one thinking why couldn't I have done better.
"This just feels unbelievable; 220 for a total is not the lowest score but it won and I'm happy with that. This is a hard course."
On the girls' side Jane Lee took the lead after the first round and never looked back as she shot a three-round total of 227 to win by one stroke over Eden Prairie's Laura Olin (228).
"My putting was better, my iron shots were fine and I had a decent mental game," said Lee, who's from Torrance, Calif. "I thought the weather made me play better. After we had to wait I started to birdie and that helped."
With lingering showers throughout the day, golfers often found relief under an umbrella. The tournament was even delayed a few minutes. It didn't seem to affect Lee as she shot a 77 to win.
Pequot Lakes' Liz Meschke shot a 259 for 12th place and Jackie Heslop, also of Pequot, had an 88 in the final round for a 267 and a 16th-place finish.
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