It’s not often you’re able to close out a golf tournament bogey-bogey-bogey for the win, but that is all Andrew McCain needed to claim his second Minnesota State Open title at Bunker Hills Golf Course. McCain finished three shots ahead of Ross Miller who was looking for his second Major victory in 2018 after winning the Tapemark in early June. Two-time defending champion Ben Greve was the low amateur as he tied for third with Eddie Wynne at 4-under.
“Today was good and I got off to a solid start. I hit a bunch of good putts today,” said the two-time champion McCain. “I tried to keep it in position because I knew that if you’re going to make some pars, you’ll make some birdies—you just try and play the par 5s well.”
McCain began the day with a three-shot lead over Miller and his lead never wavered. He made a 10-foot birdie on his first hole of the day and would make the turn at 1-under for the day—four shots clear of the field.
Greve was lurking after posting a 3-under 33 on the front but couldn’t keep it together and finished 1-over on the back for a 2-under 70.
The highlight of the day came at the par-5 11th when McCain made an eagle from 85 yards out to take a five-shot lead. From there, he cruised to his second State Open victory in four years and his first as a professional.
“I ended up getting a nice little break on Hole 11 when I holed out for eagle which really helps kickstart the round a bit because it was flat from what it felt like. It was nice and pretty stress-free coming down the stretch.”
Miller couldn’t find a groove early and parred his first seven holes. He also bogeyed the 8th before making the turn 1-over. He would birdie three of his last four holes but not before the title was out of reach.
“This one was significantly different because I felt that this was the first three-day event that I was in the lead from start to finish,” said McCain in response to what makes this different than his victory in 2015. “Especially, like last night when you have a bit of a bigger lead and you’re not just tied for the lead or one-shot ahead, so trying to figure out how I would handle that situation. We just wanted to come out and do the same things that we have been doing and try to be aggressive and hitting a lot of drivers and making putts—and that’s what we did today.”
McCain wasn’t able to compete last year because the Sunday of last year’s tournament fell on his wedding day. Being able to win this year has a special meaning for him.
“Honestly, that’s what makes this win special was because last year my wife and I got married on the Sunday of the State Open. She said that I could play as long as I made the wedding, and I kind-of vetoed that because I felt that it might be a bad idea. So, to come back this year and win and have her here while being able to celebrate our anniversary together is really awesome.”