Yet another win for ‘Snake’

For a golfer, a successful season would constitute a few top-10 finishes, maybe a couple in the top three, but a victory definitely would give cause to say you had a good year.
Then there’s the kind of year “Snake” Krawchuk had out at Kitchen Creek with not one, not two, but three tournament victories to go along with a second-place finish.
Krawchuk notched his third victory over the weekend by winning the annual Kitchen Creek Club Championship, carding a two-day total of 147 to beat runner-up Greg Ward by three strokes.
“I’m very happy with the season,” said Krawchuk, who also won the Senior Open and the Memorial tournament this year while finishing second in the championship flight of the Kitchen Creek Classic.
“When you can put together three wins and come in second in another, that’s a good year,” he added.
The putting game finally came around for the 52-year-old, which hadn’t prevented him from playing well all season but would have given him better scores if it was working and clicking along with his steady iron play.
“The short game finally came around for me,” said Krawchuk. “When you’re struggling with your putting, you have to try different things, so I borrowed Johnny Lundon’s two-ball putter just to maybe get the other one out of my head and see what I could do.
“So I started using that one and was getting my stroke back, so I went back to my putter and I wasn’t doing that hot at the start, but it was finally coming and this weekend it came,” he added.
Nipping at Krawchuk’s heels was Ward, who was only two shots behind Krawchuk heading into Sunday’s final round. And though he had a tough go of it early on, he came on strong at the end but it was too little too late.
Ward’s shaky start included a triple-bogey on the par-five second hole.
“Today, to be honest, I didn’t want to know the score until around the 16th hole,” Krawchuk said. “I wanted to know where I was so I would know how I should play.
“But the problem with playing conservative is that it can get you in trouble,” he added. “Instead of playing your game and doing what you’ve been doing, you can get yourself into trouble if you play change your game like that.”
Even when Krawchuk bogeyed the par-four 17th hole to cut his lead to three strokes, Ward only had one hole left to make up the deficit. And it turned out to be a moot point as both he and Krawchuk had par-fours on the 18th.
Also in the final foursome on Sunday was Lundon, who had shot a 75 on Saturday, and Steve Pruys, who had opened with a 76.
But only Krawchuk, who was far and away the veteran of the group, maintained a consistent round of golf—carding a two-over 74 to go with his 73 on Saturday on the 6,424-yard course.
“It was fun playing with those guys today, but they didn’t play well, you could tell,” said Krawchuk.
“Wardie just wasn’t there. Johnny was struggling, and Steve was playing good for a while and then he started to struggle,” he added. “And when I bogeyed, they bogeyed, and that meant there are not getting any strokes on me.”
Pruys closed with an 80 to finish fifth in the championship flight with a 156 total while Lundon closed with an 83 to leave him in eighth place at 158.
In the end, it was Krawchuk who was able to put the mental and physical parts of his golf game together to give him a convincing victory—and cement his reputation as one of the better golfers in Fort Frances.
“The mental game is a huge part of golf,” said Krawchuk. “You’ve got to be there, you’ve got to stay focused, and just stay on it. And sometimes when you’re not playing good, it can leave you and then you’re done.”

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