After picking up extra spending money, Matt Gogel's next stop won't be on a golf course, but in Colorado.
On Tuesday, Gogel won the Stephens Real Estate Open and $2,500 at Lawrence Country Club. The former Kansas University golfer fired a 69 for a two-day score of 140, edging Brad Bruno who shot 143.
Gogel avenged a rough outing at the Midwest Golf Tour's last event at Heritage Park in Olathe after competing in the U.S. Open two weeks ago.
"Everything was gearing up to the Open," Gogel said. "After that I was exhausted and I played at Heritage last week. I wasn't mentally in it then or the last two days. But I was fortunate to hit good enough the last couple days to stay in it and on holes six through 18, I eventually played well."
Gogel will be going on vacation to Aspen, Colo., this weekend and will miss the MGT's fourth event at Alvamar.
"It figures that the one I wanted to play the most on the tour is the one I don't get to play," Gogel said. "But I'm really ready to go and ready to put the clubs down for a while. I'm trying to get ready for the end of the summer and it's not as important to play well now, but later in the fall. That's when I'll try to get my tour card, which is basically your livelihood."
Gogel shot 12-over at the U. S. Open, good enough for 51st place and $5,000.
"I can't put a price tag on the experience at the U. S. Open," Gogel said. "I went to compete and Saturday I saw myself on the leader board at fifth and sixth. I shot a poor last round, but a weekend on a major you're going to learn more than anywhere about golf."
Gogel was at the U. S. Open in 1992, but this outing was more enjoyable.
"The locker room was more intimate and small," Gogel said. "Everybody was sitting next to each other and I was sitting next to (Nick) Faldo. They were pleasant and knew I was one of the guys on the tour."
After his trip to the Rockies, Gogel will play the MGT's events in Nebraska, two Nike events and two tournaments in Korea before going to tour school.
"I feel like I'm getting to the point where I belong out there," Gogel said. "It's easier to schedule when you're on a tour."
Gogel and Bruno were reunited after golfing together at KU in the early 1990's. Bruno shot a 71 Tuesday to join Gogel as the only golfers to crack par during the two-day event.
"It was a good time out there, but he played better coming in," Bruno said. "He played great and was fun to watch."
Gogel, Bruno and Jeff McMillian entered the day separated by one stroke. But McMillian, who finished first and second in the MGT's first two events, faded on the back nine.
"I thought a couple times that I was going to break loose, but (Brad) hit a lot of good golf shots to stay with me," Gogel said. "His putts just didn't fall for him when he needed them."
Bruno trailed Gogel by only two strokes with three holes left, but Gogel birdied 16 to seal the victory.
"Hit hit a great shot that hit right there close to the hole and got the birdie," Bruno said. "I knew I had to too and it didn't fall."