Alabama Mid-Am: Coghlin hangs on
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Sept. 29, 2013) -- Torrie Coghlin must really like the closing holes at Canebrake Club in Athens.

Sunday he captured the 25th State Mid-Amateur Championship after rounds of 64-70-71–205 for an 11-under-par total and a one shot win over 2011 State Mid-Amateur champion Matt Johnson of Dothan who shot 68-69-69–206.

Coghlin, who will play in the U.S. Mid-Amateur starting Saturday at the Country Club of Birmingham, is 28, caddies at Shoal Creek and lives in Irondale. He hails from Saskatoon in Saskatchewan in Canada and played golf for the University of Montevallo.

Coghlin played the last five holes a total of 10-under-par for the three days, going four-under in Friday’s opening round 64, followed by three-under both Saturday and, when it really mattered, on Sunday.

Johnson, playing in the group ahead of Coghlin, made birdie on the closing hole, a par five, to briefly catch Coghlin, but Coghlin matched his birdie to win his first state title.

Two-time State Mid-Amateur and two-time State Amateur champion Will Swift of Vestavia Hills shot 67-69-73–209 to finish in a tie for third with multiple State champion Stan Sherlin of Montgomery (70-70-69).

“I hit horribly on the front nine (on Sunday), a lot of heavy shots. However, my chipping and putting was good and kept me in it. I figured someone must have come past me and had a different mindset heading to the back (nine).

“I told myself it was time to go for it and things got a lot better.”

Birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 brought him back and after a good drive on No. 18 he found out he needed a birdie to win.

“I had zero idea until that point, but my caddie told me that was the case.”

His hybrid approach found a greenside bunker, but he splashed out to five feet and made the putt to avoid a playoff.

“This gives me a lot of confidence (heading into the U.S. Mid-Amateur). I came here as a warm up, then shot 64 and things got very real. Then I really wanted to win this state title.

“It’s my first win in a couple of years and it’s great to have that feeling of being in contention and winning. It’s a rush.”

He’s not the only player from this field heading into the U.S. Mid-Amateur with confidence as Swift, Steve Hudson and Bo Farlow all posted top 10 finishes that they will hope to follow up with more strong play.

ABOUT THE Alabama Mid-Amateur

54 holes of gross individual stroke play. The field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. Entries are open to any male amateur golfer who is a legal resident of Alabama, has an active GHIN USGA Handicap Index at an AGA member club that does not exceed 8.4 and is 25 years of age.

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