Hak and Hoff: 11 years later

BROOKINGS – An unlikely Brookings duo won the SDGA Two-Man Championship in 2007 at Bakker Crossing in Sioux Falls.

Hak Steen and Todd Hofland battled outrageous elements and a stacked field to bring home the trophy.

“Unlikely is probably the kindest thing they’ve called us,” Hofland said with a laugh earlier this week. “I’ve always said that. You go down and look at the accomplishments of the guys there were behind us; yeah, we’re not in that group. We needed some special help and we got it from the weather that day. It’s fun to talk about.”

“Absolutely,” Steen added regarding the unlikeliness. “We were both 41.”

Steen and Hofland shot 2-under-par 140 (68-72) and beat Sioux Falls’ Eric Lindquist and Matt Pridey in a playoff to secure the title.

“No doubt, the thing that stuck out was the weather conditions,” Hofland noted. “I mean, we always talk about the fact that we weren’t in that elite territory of golfers with the Lockwoods, the Amundsons and the Mattys back then. We were kind of second tier; we needed help and it came in the form of a monster wind.”

How windy was it?

“30; howling,” said Steen.

Added Hofland, “Flagsticks were tipping over. We needed that because the guys we were playing with were all studs. We tried to use that to our advantage and just tried not to make a mistake because that’s what that day was about. The one thing that stuck out is we didn’t have a three-putt all weekend and in the wind, that was tough.”

Twenty-two teams finished within five shots of the lead.

Steen and Hofland shared the first-round lead with two other teams after carding a four-ball score of 68 on Saturday.

Sunday is when the weather arrived and the Brookings group – paired with Michael Martin and Tom Carlson – got off to a slow start in modified Chapman with bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3.

But they didn’t give another shot back the rest of the day and made a birdie 3 on the seventh hole.

“I was hitting my driver great and (Hofland) hit a lot of greens; this is when I was a good putter and he was average,” said Steen. “But that weekend, I was an average putter and he was a great putter. He hit most of the greens and I was very tentative and hardly got any putts to the hole and he had to make them all.

“Until the 17th (on Sunday), we had about a 20-footer and we knew we were tied, and I said all right, I’m going for this. I knocked it 8 feet by; he makes (the comebacker). We get on the next hole; I hit it down the middle, he knocks it on the green, I hit it 6 feet by and he has to make it. So he had to make the two putts at the end.”

The Brookings tandem ended up making a routine par on the 18th in the playoff to seal the deal.

“Again, the things that stuck out, we needed a big wind to blow to be competitive, because we weren’t going to be competitive with those guys without it,” added Hofland. “And that happened.

“We got done, we get into a playoff and it was getting dark because there was a weather delay. They asked if we wanted to come back and play tomorrow, and we said ‘hell no, we’re going to play these guys in the dark.’ And that’s what we did.

“We needed that, too. So we had the wind and we had to play in the dark; that was perfect.”

Steen and Hofland will likely never be SDGA Hall of Famers, but they will forever have their first-place hardware. And all the stories that go along with it.

“For us, it’s just a lot of fun that we get a chance to have one of those; and I think we semi-retired right after that,” Hofland said.

The field is full – 100 teams – for the 32nd annual Two-Man Championship, to be contested Saturday and Sunday at Brookings Country Club.

“I think it’s cool,” Hofland said of the big field. “Back in these days (2007), Brookings used to have 10-12 teams that went to every tournament. So it’s nice seeing a bunch of guys coming out and playing just to have fun, because that’s what we used to do it for. It was a social event for most of us. … The bottom line is we never went into these with the expectations of winning, we went up there to have some fun and drink some beer.

“That’s the cool thing about seeing a full field. … I think the thing that’s changed now, when we won this thing in 2007, it was just kind of the beginning where South Dakota collegiate golf was starting to come around. There were some college golfers in here (in 2007) obviously, but you look at the fields today, I mean, they are so tough. The opportunity for a recreational golfer to go win one of these is (unlikely); and that’s what we were. It’s neat seeing it fill up out here.”

Hak and Hoff tee it up in the first round at 1 p.m. Saturday.

“We need it to blow 35 at 7:30 in the morning when all the good golfers are going out and then we need it to lay down about 11:30,” Hofland joked. “No expectations for this weekend.; it’s another beer-drinking event.”


At Bakker Crossing, Sioux Falls

Top 20

1, (won of first playoff hole) Todd Hofland/Hak Steen, Brookings, 68-72—140; 2, Eric Lindquist/Matt Pridey, Sioux Falls, 70-70—140; 3, (tie) Chris Collins, Sturgis/Tyler Rachetto, Rapid City, 73-68—141, Joel Harrington, Sioux Falls/Dustin Krueger, Hartford, 75-66—141; 5, (tie) Julean Michels/Nick Weets, Sioux Falls, 70-72—142, Brandon Sigmund/Jim Wilson, Mitchell, 74-68—142; 7, (tie) Tim Kalil, Rapid City/Brodie Hullinger, Brookings, 70-73—143, Todd Skyberg, Sioux Falls/Matt Kees, Hartford, 69-74—143, Danny Amundson/Mark Amundson, Sioux Falls, 73-70—143, Ryan Jansa/Steve Jansa, Sioux Falls, 75-68—143; 11, (tie) Tim Begeman/Dick Fawbush, Madison, 72-72—144, Jeff Meyerink/Ryan Huber, Mitchell, 72-72—144, Adam Peterson/Chris Schaefer, Sioux Falls, 69-75—144, Nick Driscoll/Jeff From, Hartford, 74-70—144, Andy Bednar, Sioux Falls/Michael Keeton, Hartford, 75-69—144; 16, (tie) Brett Bennett/Chad Kasten, Sioux Falls, 72-73—145, Tommy Reynolds/Rainey Reynolds, Sioux Falls, 70-75—145, Scott O’Brien, Brookings/Scott Hiltunen, Yankton, 70-75—145, Chad Dubisar, Sioux Falls/Matt Einspahr, Brookings, 69-76—145, Adam Anderson, Sioux Falls/Ben Irlbeck, Mitchell, 68-77—145, Alex Schaack/Brad Schaack, Vermillion, 68-77-145, Kyle Cooper/Trevor Mathison, Sioux Falls, 74-71—145, Steve Loge, Sioux Falls/Jack Hieb, Aberdeen, 73-72—145, Kody Kriech/Paul Logan, Brandon, 75-70—145.

Courtesy photo: Todd Hofland (left) and Hak Steen pose with their first-place trophies after winning the 2007 SDGA Two-Man Championship, contested at Bakker Crossing in Sioux Falls. The Brookings duo battled the weather and a talented field to take the title.

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