Despite winning the Quad City Amateur Tour Championship on Sunday, Callen Smith was in no mood to celebrate.
That's because the former Erie prep standout was partially responsible for a strange ending that occurred at the end of the golf tournament held at the Arsenal Island Golf Course.
The only sure thing that did emerge was Greg Rios winning his second-straight overall season championship by taking sixth in the weekend event.
The situation arose after the initial final scores had been tallied and it appeared that Smith, who was the first-round leader after shooting a 2-under par 69 on Saturday, was headed for a playoff with Jamie Hallstrom. Smith shot 73 on Sunday while Hallstrom, it appeared, had shot 71 on both days leaving both golfers with a two-day total of 142.
But just before both golfers were set to tee off on the first hole of the playoff, a further review of the scorecards and a discussion between the players revealed what had happened.
According to both Smith and Hallstrom, Hallstrom had birdied the par-3 ninth hole, which should have been recorded as a '2' on his card. However, Smith wrote down the number '3' on the scorecard and circled it, the symbol on a golf scorecard for a birdie.
However, neither Smith nor Hallstrom were able to catch the error before signing and turning in the cards. Although by rules Hallstrom was not disqualified for the mistake, he did have to take the higher score on his card which left him with a 72 for the day and one shot back of Smith for the tournament title.
A visibly shaken Smith said it was hard to accept that his mistake had cost Hallstrom a chance at a playoff. To Hallstrom's credit, he was not angry and accepted responsibility for not fully reviewing his own scorecard before submitting it.
"I feel pretty terrible right now," Smith said right after accepting his trophy for the tournament title and also finishing second overall in the season points race. "I actually played pretty well (Sunday) but I really feel terrible but it really shows how much integrity Jamie has. He is a great guy and I would not expect anything less from him.
"I am happy with how I played this weekend for the most part and I finished the season really strong ... but this is not the way I wanted things to end."
The ironic part of this is Smith has already suffered from a mistake on a golf scorecard last season, though this mistake cost him a chance at the overall season championship.
Smith said he had signed an incorrect golf scorecard after an event at Short Hills in East Moline. That time, however, he was disqualified and the points he lost cost him the overall season title that went to Rios.
Smith said this feels worse because the mistake last season only hurt him — not another golfer.
"I kind of ... need to change my attitude a little bit," Smith said. "I just need to accept that we are not perfect and I have to learn from my mistake. Last year, I could accept it because I did it to myself and I own it. But when you do it to someone else, especially a good person like Jamie, it's tough."
As for Rios, his steady play throughout the season led to his third overall championship. He also claimed the season points title in 2005. Rios said he did not win any individual tournaments but he was top five in most events, including a second-place finish at an event at TPC Deere Run earlier this season.
"I play a lot of events and I had few decent finishes," Rios said. "I go through the same thing everybody does, a week here or a week there where nothing is working. It's nice to get a trophy but the best part is playing with this group of guys, we have a lot of fun."
In the senior division, Mark Drenth edged past Tim Flaherty for the tournament title. Drenth finished with a two-day total of 145 while Flaherty came in one stroke back. Flaherty, however, did earn senior player of the year honors with the most points.