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Haugen, Marriott win AGC club titles

Alexandria's Connie Freeman hit out of the sand on the 10th hole during the Senior Division club championship at AGC on Sunday. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)1 / 2
Scott Marriott (left) and Chris Haugen won the Senior and Men's Division club championships, respectively, at the Alexandria Golf Club on Sunday. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)2 / 2

The Alexandria Golf Club saw the 2012 men's club champions repeat this past weekend as Chris Haugen and Scott Marriott both wrapped up the tournament season with a championship in some cool and rainy conditions on Sunday.

Haugen outlasted Derek Swedberg in a one-up match to secure his second straight men's title. Marriott had to overcome a guy he called "an icon" at AGC as he outlasted Connie Freeman 4-3 for the Senior Division title.

Haugen's putter kept him close before the rain became strong enough to delay things for about an hour in the early afternoon. He and Swedberg were even going into 17 when Swedberg opened the door a little bit after his first shot on the par three found the bunker. Haugen took advantage of it, sinking an easy par putt for what turned out to be the win after both players parred 18.

"It's an honor," Haugen said of winning another club title. "It's a great club, and it's an honor to win the championship. I have played probably more this summer than I have, and I actually would say it's probably the worst this summer that I've ever played. It's nice to end on a little bit of a positive."

Haugen knew he needed to play well to edge a player like Swedberg. Haugen was two down early but a birdie putt on seven gave him his first lead of the day. He got to two-up before Swedberg battled back to tie things up on the back.

"You got to make some birdies because he's not going to make a lot of bogeys," Haugen said of Swedberg. "You have to hit some shots and make some putts. I was fortunate to make some putts early to keep me in the round and then made some shots at the end. You know he's not going to beat himself, so you have to play well."

Marriott felt the exact same way in his bid for a championship in the Senior Division. Freeman, now 76, is an AGC member of 43 years who has won eight club championships during that time. His steady play helped him take down 2012 and 2013 Resorters Masters Division champion Tom Eidsvold on Saturday before upending Larry Novotny in the semifinals.

"He's an icon," Marriott said of Freeman. "I was nervous playing against Connie because he hits the ball down the middle every time, on the green and makes the putt."

The rain and cool conditions affected Freeman throughout the day. He played better on Saturday and wasn't intimidated going against a younger opponent who he knew would be able to outhit him off the tee.

"I figured I would play decently," Freeman said. "But I didn't play decently today. That rain threw me off. I was shivering all day."

Freeman became a member at AGC in 1970 and won back-to-back club championships his first two years in the club. His last title came in 1995. Freeman still plays golf about four times a week and golfing in another championship match never gets old.

"It was fun again," he said. "It was working good [Saturday]. Today, it wasn't working so good...Scott hits it long and hits it nice."

Marriott beat Dave Berg and Randy Johnson in the first two rounds to advance to the championship. He hit it well off the tee and overcame those jitters of playing Freeman to secure his second club championship in his sixth year at AGC.

"I drove the ball well and hit a couple key putts," Marriott said.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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