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Stunning comeback for Fleming

Going into round four of the Sun Life Financial Alberta Amateur golf championship one would think it was all but over.

Going into round four of the Sun Life Financial Alberta Amateur golf championship one would think it was all but over.

Holding a commanding nine-stroke lead, Calgary's Evan Holmes led the field from the start with impressive rounds of 68-69-68 the first three days, and the 18- year-old was looking for another good day on the Sundre Golf Course to complete the win.

But last year's champ, 19-year-old Riley Fleming of Crossfield had other ideas. Holmes dropped a couple of strokes early in the final round, suffering a double bogie on hole 2 while Fleming was starting to heat up carding birdies on the first five of six holes, narrowing the lead to just two after just six holes.

Fleming picked up another stroke on hole nine when Holmes found tree trouble with his drive and had to settle for another bogie. Fleming then was able to pick up three more strokes on the back nine to complete an amazing comeback and the win.

Fleming knocked in his birdie putt on hole 18 while Holmes missed his par putt and a chance to send the match into a three-hole playoff.

In a release by Alberta Golf, Fleming said he knew he was going to hole his birdie putt on hole 18.

"It took me two days to figure out these fast greens, and I just needed to get the proper line. Once I found it, I knew I was going to make it." he said. "Being five under after six holes really gave me the confidence to feel I could pull it off," added Fleming. "Evan was playing really well, I just wanted to give myself a chance."

Local golfers that competed in the event included Innisfail's Ron Harder, Olds' Jason Thiels and Sundre Golf Club's Dane Thorogood and Ryan Swelin. Harder has an impressive four-round score of 298, good for a tie in 18th position, while Thiels settled for a tie in 28th position with a score of 303. Thorogood finished the competition with a four-round total of 315 while Swelin missed the two-day cut by just a single stroke.

Tournament chairman and Alberta Golf former president Les Swelin was very pleased with the entire event, giving extra credit to the staff at the Sundre course for the condition of the course and all aspects of the event.

"We've had a great week here. The whole Totem group staff from maintenance to pro shop to food and beverage did really good. The players were commenting on the conditions; they haven't seen one (course) this year in Alberta that is better. The greens are lightning fast and true. They're really good.” he added.

A total of 400 golfers in the province vied for a spot at this year's Alberta Amateur with only 120 making the open cut. The field is then trimmed to the top 60 for the final two days. While the majority that makes up the field is under 25 years of age, golfers as young as 16 and as old as 65 competed in this year's event.

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