Right to left, Young golfs to titleAaron Young won his first-ever Cloquet Country Club league championship, capped with a 6-and-4 match play victory over Steve Gault on a partly sunny Sunday in Cloquet.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET — Standing above his ball, Aaron Young looks like your typical right-handed golfer. That is until the 41-year-old grabs his putter, goes to the green and sets up left.
Young left everyone behind this past weekend, as his unorthodox style helped him win his first-ever Cloquet Country Club league championship, capped with a 6-and-4 match play victory over Steve Gault on a partly sunny Sunday in Cloquet.
A former hockey player and longtime social studies teacher at Cloquet Middle School, Young explained, entering the eighth green Sunday, that opposed to the swings from his right, he has a little better touch when putting from the left.
Young buried a 10-foot birdie on the par-3 seventh hole Sunday to square the match with Gault, never looking back. Down two holes after the first five, Young won eight of the last nine — including all five on the back nine — before the 60-year-old Gault conceded the par-4 14th and shook hands.
“Aaron was the best golfer out there this weekend,” said Gault, who was unable to defend his 2012 club championship in the end. “There are lots of good golfers up there, but Aaron was just the best. He is a very deserving champion.”
“Since working up there as a young kid, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed watching,” said Young of the championships. “It’s fun to have the game to be able to compete. I was basically even-par for four rounds. I was fortunate to catch some breaks, but I played some good golf.”
Before Gault, Young golfed past Ron Miller Sunday morning, as well as both Paul Munson and Rick Stowell Saturday, explaining he was privileged not to play in any of the championship flight’s six extra-hole matches in two days.
“I’m just glad there wasn’t a third day,” Young laughed.
Gault, of Carlton, had marathon matches against Tom McFarlane — 22 holes — Saturday, as well as Dave Cran — 19 holes — Sunday morning before facing Young. Gault barely edged Connor Stowell 2-and-1 in his opener, as well.
“I had three tough matches and just ran out of gas,” Gault said. “I was 2-up and all of sudden it turned. I got behind and Aaron was just consistently very good. The best all weekend.”
“He didn’t even play holes 17 and 18 because his matches were already done,” said CCC assistant general manager Matt Carlson, noting 72 golfers competed in eight total flights throughout the weekend. “He kind of took care of business.”
“My boys played on Monday,” added a tired Young of his sons, Collin, 6, and Peter, 5. “I watched and drove the cart.”
A right decision, leaving the left-handed putter at home.