Hoops Wins Fifth Career Arizona Mid-Amateur Championship

by: Kade Peterson
USGA P.J Boatwright, Jr. Communications Intern

Bryan Hoops claimed his fifth Arizona Mid-Amateur Championship Sunday at Talking Stick Golf Club’s O’Odham Course. Hoops shot 66-65-68 to finish 11-under-par, five strokes ahead of Adam Walicki in second place.

Hoops credited improved patience in game management for the win.
“[It is] maturing and not being so aggressive,” said Hoops, the reigning Arizona Golf Association Player of the Year. “I can hit [long] shots, I like to hit long shots. Even if its 288 into a par five I used to rip three wood because I knew I could get it there. Now its just backing up and being less aggressive these days and live on my wedge and short game.”

Hoops got off to fast starts Friday and Saturday, including making birdies on his first four holes Saturday.
“The (opening holes) are shorter holes that you can make hay on early,” explained Hoops. “I have hit the ball well for weeks now, played really well at TPC Scottsdale (in the AGA Stroke Play Championship) but couldn’t make any putts up there. Here I made putts, so it was just about being patient and making some putts.”

Hoops also found success off the tee , also contributing to his success.
“My tee ball was the strongest part of my game,” said Hoops. “I was only in the dirt once in three days. Driver was good, pretty much hit it where I need to, right side, left side, and yardage.”

And even when he found himself out of position, Hoops found a way to score.
“[I had] a tough one on 14 over the bunker – In the right desert,” said Hoops. “I hit a good 8 iron to three feet and made birdie. That was one of the few times I was out of place, they are big, generous fairways.
“But being firm and fast for the most part, you don’t have to hit it very hard, you can just pick it apart, playing a chess game.”

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