Hogan, VanSistine claim first place at Rockford Men & Women's Golf Classic

Rockford, Ill. (WIFR) The 2017 Greater Rockford Men & Women's Golf Classic brings out the area's top golfers each year to see who can claim the title. Former and reigning champions brought some tough competition to the course in Sunday's final round at Aldeen Golf Club.

After three rounds of play at Rockford courses Sandy Hollow, Ingersoll and Elliot, Kyle Slattery held the two-shot lead going into Sunday's final round at Aldeen, hoping to win the title for the third straight year. However, it's eight-time champion Jamie Hogan who stood out this year. Slattery held the lead through nine holes, but triple-bogeyed on 15 to lose the lead and landed in the water on 18. Therefore Hogan was able to claim the win with a putt for par on 18, earning his ninth-ever city championship.

"Golf is a great sport with a lot of great ingredients in it, whether you're young or you're old, you can play it your entire life, you can play it as a competitor, or you can play it for enjoyment," said Hogan. "Years past, I've competed but I didn't feel like I had the complete tools to win. This is a game where you've just got to keep on keeping on and I was able to do that with a lot of work and a lot of classy individuals competing against you."

For the first time ever, the women's final was played during the same weekend as the men's tournament, and this year the winner was determined by match play.

Throughout the two-week long tournament, two-time champion Melissa VanSistine led the competition. The Boylan grad faced another Titan in the final match against Jessica Slattery. VanSistine led for the majority of the day, but Slattery kept her edge long enough to force all 18 holes of play. With VanSistine up by one on the final hole, Slattery could have forced a playoff if she birdied the hole, but VanSistine once again took the first place title, winning her third city championship.

"I love match play, it's my favorite thing, I love the competitiveness of it and I love the idea of standing up on a new hole and thinking I have another chance," said VanSistine. "Honestly, the most important thing to me is having my brother on the bag, he's a rock. He's always there to crack a joke and bring me back to reality."