BOERNE, Texas (Sept. 29, 2013) -- After a suspension due to darkness delayed the completion of Saturday’s second round at the 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur Championship, players arrived at Cordillera Ranch Sunday morning unsure of what they might find after a night of torrential rain and thunderstorms.
Luckily the course fared much better than the surrounding area and by 8:00am play had resumed under wet but calm conditions. With the majority of players only having to complete their last nine holes, round two was completed at 10:45am giving the TGA staff an opportunity to make the cut for the final round before play began. In all fifty-four players found themselves above the cut line of 158 and advanced into Sunday’s final round.
Fast and windy conditions throughout the first two rounds of the championship provided the players with an extremely difficult test of golf. Sunday, however, was a different story as the overnight thunderstorms provided soft and calm conditions which many players were able to take advantage of.
Zach Atkinson, who found himself seven shots back of the lead heading into the final round, was one of those players. After two birdies on his opening nine, Atkinson continued his bogey free round carding four birdies on the closing nine for a round of six under par, 66, placing him in sole possession of third place. Colby Harwell of Robinson also looked to make a charge at the leader early in his round carding four birdies and just one bogey on his opening nine. Making the turn, Harwell kept pressing. After a birdie on the par-4 tenth, Harwell found himself in a tie atop the leaderboard with second round leader, Clay Hodge who was two groups behind Harwell. Additional birdies on the fourteenth and sixteenth put Harwell one under par for the tournament and just one down of Hodge who was standing on the eighteenth tee.
Hodge, who had played consistent golf all day, found the middle of the fairway with his tee shot. After leaving his approach shot forty feet short of the hole, Hodge was left with two putts to claim the title of Texas Mid-Amateur Champion. After his first attempt, Hodge was left with an uphill five footer which he watched painfully slide just past the hole placing him in a tie with Harwell at one under par for the tournament. Both players then headed back to the eighteenth for a sudden death playoff in order to crown a champion. On the first playoff hole, Harwell’s drive found the left rough with his swing somewhat impeded by a tree. After playing back out to the fairway, Harwell’s chip shot ran past the flag leaving him a fifteen foot putt to extend the match. Wasting no time at all, Harwell stepped up and confidently made the par putt to extend the playoff another hole. The players then headed back to the eighteenth tee where both now found the center of the fairway with their tee shots. Harwell was first to play and hit his approach safely to the middle of the green giving him an uphill twenty-five footer for birdie. Hodge then played a brilliant second shot which landed ten feet right of the hole and stopped. After Harwell’s birdie putt narrowly missed the hole, Hodge calmly stepped up to his ten footer and confidently stroked it center cut to claim the 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur title. "It feels really good. After qualifying in the Last Chance qualifier to come out here and win in my first tournament since graduating…it means a lot.”