WATERLOO | Nobody ever really loses the Waterloo Open.
You won't find many meltdowns or collapses at Irv Warren Memorial Golf Course. Instead, it's about who can make the most birdies.
Donald Constable was under par on his final three holes of the 2014 tournament -- the final two were playoff holes against Jeffrey Kellen -- and he took home the top prize after firing a 16-under-par 200 over three days.
"I've been fighting my swing a little bit, but things clicked today, I made some birdies and that's always a nice way to finish," Constable said.
On the second playoff hole Sunday -- the par-3 17th -- Kellen stuck his tee shot within 12 feet. Moments later, Constable put his inside, about six feet away, and sank the putt after Kellen's curled just past the cup.
"I hit a really good shot in there earlier, a little bit short, but the wind had died down a little bit so it was a good club for me," Constable said about his tee shot. "That's a hard pin for me to get at usually, but with the wind coming off the right, I could use it. And I put a good move on it, it was a good swing."
Both players took four strokes for birdie on the first playoff hole to set up Constable's win on the second.
"I hit a great shot on 17. From the tee, I thought it was about four feet away," said Kellen. "Donald just hit a better shot to six feet and my putt barely missed."
Both players made great shots in regulation to get in position for the playoff. Kellen nearly sank a hole-in-one on the 320-yard par-4 16th. He tapped in for eagle, and it moved him into a tie with Constable's clubhouse-leading 16-under.
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"I didn't really think I was anywhere close to the lead. When I got (to No. 16), I heard the clubhouse lead was 16. We're sitting there, my dad was caddying, and we said I might as well just make a one here," said Kellen. "I fired a bullet cut out there to try to take a little yardage off, I heard the people scream up by the green and I thought it was in. Turns out, it hit the center of the stick and was an inch away."
Constable moved into position with his tee shot on No. 18. Over the pond, the Excelsior, Minn., native rolled his ball up the back of the green and it came back down for a five-foot birdie putt to, at the time, get into the lead by himself.
The 18th green wasn't as kind to the group of four players who finished one shot back. Andre Metzger, Kevin Dougherty, Chris Thompson and Nate Barbee were all in a tie atop the leaderboard at some point, but each played the final two holes at even par and couldn't get to 16-under.
Barbee started the day one stroke back and got to 15-under after six holes Sunday, but couldn't find another birdie after he did it on No. 16.
"They're both tough holes where par is not a bad score," he said about the final two par-3s. "You have to make really good shots to come close. On 18, I had about a 20-footer and left it short. I knew what I had to do, I just couldn't quite get it done."
Constable started the day three strokes back, but his six-under 66 was bested by just one other golfer.
"With the wind picking up today, I wanted that or rain or something if I'm trying to chase someone," said Constable. "I thought the leaders would post a five, six or seven (under par) so I would have to throw a pretty good one up. I thought if I got to 16 (under par), I'd give myself a chance. Turns out, it worked pretty good."
Riley Arp held a one-stroke lead entering the final round, but shot one-under-par 71 and finished two strokes off the lead. That's also where Mark Blakefield, the 2013 champ who had the tournament-low round of 62 on Saturday, finished as he fell victim to three bogeys in Sunday's final round.