After a five-year absence, Joe Hart returned with a fierceness and determination to become a champion. Due to some of life's circumstances,
golf took a back seat, and understandably so. Now his stars are aligning, and his golf game is starting to get some love. Joe took a fourth-place finish at Bay Forest in 2020 but started
this 2021 season strong with two second-place finishes at two-man best balls and the League Opener at Country Place. He has been working on his game extremely hard and focusing on his swing and not
his handicap. Joe always concentrated on his handicap, wondering why it hasn't increased in the last few years. This year not one peep about his handicap, and his confidence and game reflect that.
This week was a prime example; the leader board fluctuated with about five of six players on top at one point in time. Each player was systematically eliminating themself with bad shots and some
unlucky bounces. Jamie Villarreal was hovering on top before he slipped on hole number 11 with a triple bogie.
Vincent Gilmore's fall from the top was on the same 11th hole, but he managed to steady the rest of the way into a fourth-place finish to put a little money in his pocket. Gabe Ramos' tumble bumble rumble stumble came on 14, 15, 16, and 17 plus nine over on the five holes. This blunder knocked him so far down the leader board; he may have broken something. Juan Malave's "fall from grace" was on hole 12, three-shot over par and hole 17 two over par, dropping him down to third place, but at least it was minimal with a 3rd place win.
The final two players were Joe Hart and newcomer Earnest Standley. Joe had the rookie in his rearview mirror and was up five shots on the rookie, but as the saying goes, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Joe lost five shots on the first four holes, and just like that, Earnest had pulled up right beside him on hole 14. They were neck and neck on 15 and 16, but it was down to the wire on the last two holes. Joe, who lost last week by one shot, was familiar with this position. This week he was determined not to let the other player out-play him. Well, Joe's par finish was more than good enough to win. The rookie Earnest was not up to the challenge going bogey on 17 and 18, giving Joe a two-shot victory. Congratulations Joe, you are the 2021 Clear Creek Champion.
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