Playing in the Pepsi Amateur wasn’t exactly on Mitch Oswald’s radar during the summer.

The Aurora native didn’t sign up for the event until the start of this past week.

Oswald is glad that he did. He captured the tournament Sunday at Indianhead Golf Club with a two-day total of 134, seven strokes better than Glenn Bills.

“It was a late decision,” Oswald said. “One of my good buddies talked me into playing in it and I’m glad I did because it was a fun weekend to play golf.”

And he was in total control throughout the tournament. After firing a 68 on the first day for a three-stroke lead over both Bills and Zach Rouzee, Oswald followed that up with a 66.

Bills shot a 70 on the second day to finish with a 141, while Rouzee recorded a 72 second-day score for a 143 total.

“I felt confident going in just because I golfed very well yesterday,” Oswald said.

His short game was a reason for his success this weekend. He didn’t have a single bogey during Sunday’s action. In fact, the only bogey he had during the two days was on his very first hole of the tournament on the par-4 hole.

After firing five birdies on Saturday, Oswald followed with four birdies and had an eagle on the par-5 hole No. 4. He said the short game is starting to be a strength for him.

“I was making 10 to 15 footers for pars this weekend, last weekend and at the Mayor’s Cup,” he said. “I had to make a couple of those for par today. Those saved me today. You can get away with a lot of things but you can’t get away with being a bad putter. If you can get that going, it changes around for sure.”

And it’s been a good last couple of weeks for Oswald. He grabbed one-stroke wins in both the KRGI Mayor’s Cup at Jackrabbit Run on June 22-23 and the Hastings Open at Lochland Country Club last weekend.

“It’s a been fun last couple of weeks,” Oswald said. “It’s been a slow start to the year with the weather that we’ve had. I got to play in the last few weekends and it’s been fun. I like playing in the local courses.”

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Sports writer, mostly in volleyball, cross country, wrestling and track and field, for the Grand Island Independent for seven years.

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