DALLAS, TX (June 11, 2006)--Paul Haley just graduated frsom Highland Park High School less than a month ago, and is looking forward to continuing his golf career at Georgia Tech in the fall. Now he’ll be able to add 2006 Texas Amateur Champion to his playing resume in the Tech media guide.
On a hot Sunday afternoon at Dallas Country Club, both figuratively and literally, he won what he said was “definitely the biggest, most exciting, most important” tournament of his life. Trailing Terrence Miskell by one shot going to the final hole, Haley calmly rolled in a tricky 20 foot birdie putt to win the 2006 Texas State Amateur Championship. Miskell ended up making a double bogey six on the final hole to finish tied for second with Cody Gribble, who shot the low final round with a five under par 65.
The final round provided plenty of excitement for the hundreds in the gallery cheering on many local favorites, most of them high school and college players. It looked like Haley was going to run away with it after making birdie on three of the first five holes to maintain the four shot lead he had started the day with. He ran into some trouble during the middle of the round, right at the same time Robby Ormand, a runner-up in 2004, and Miskell were making a charge.
Ormand saw his chances all but disappear during a rough patch that started with a double bogey at #9, followed by a bogey at #10, then a four-putt double at #13. He did manage an eagle on the par 5 eleventh hole to help offset the damage a little, but not enough in the end.
Meanwhile 15-year old Cody Gribble, who had been atop or near the top of the leader board throughout the tournament, found a hot putter on the final nine holes, and all of a sudden it was a three-man race to the clubhouse between Haley, Miskell, and Gribble.
After a three-putt bogey on #16, it looked liked Gribble might have seen his chance slip away, but he came back to birdie #18 to finish with a final round of 65 and an eight under par total. Haley and Miskell, playing in the last group behind Gribble, were making birdies on top of each other, matching birdies on #14 and #15 to set up the dramatic finish.
“I learned a lot about myself today,” Haley said. “No matter what happens you never give up. No matter how far behind you are you never give up, you keep trying.” Certainly a valuable lesson to have learned at such a young age.
2006 marks the 100th anniversary of the Texas State Amateur, first played in 1906 at Dallas Country Club. The club itself dates from 1896 and is the oldest in the state; the current course was designed in 1912 by Tom Bendelow, and later updated by Ralph Plummer and Jay Morrish. This is the seventh time the club has hosted the state's oldest and most important championship.
For complete coverage of the Texas State Amateur, visit the TGA website at www.txga.org. Click here
for final scores of the Texas State Amateur.
The Texas State Amateur is an amateurgolf.com Texas Amateur Rankings
points event. With his win, Haley moves into the top 5 in the point standings, while Miskell and Gribble each move into the top 10. Click here
for complete point standings for the 2006 season.