HORSESHOE BAY, Texas (August 1, 2014) -- Zach Tracy's sand save on the second playoff hole won him the 88th Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch. Tracy shot 1-over-par 72 in the final round and finished with a three-day total of 215, which tied him with first and second round leader Dalton Hankamer, who shot 3-over 74 on Friday.
"I was hoping for a playoff, I like the pressure," said Tracy following his victory at Horseshoe Bay Resort's Ram Rock Course.
The Houston native found the left rough on the first playoff hole and noticed a twig behind his golf ball, saying, "I didn't want to touch it because I thought the ball would move." Tracy hit his second shot to just in front of the green and got up and down for par to force a second playoff hole.
Tracy found the right bunker with his tee shot on the 180-yard, par-3 17th hole, but dug in and blasted his ball to within a foot of the hole. Hankamer two-putted after his bunker shot to record a bogey. Tracy tapped in his par putt and enjoyed the applause after his hard-fought victory.
Hankamer held the lead in this Legends Junior Tour Major for most of the week, racking up nine birdies and playing the par 4s at 1-under.
"This place was great, they do a really good job to keep the course in good shape," said Hankamer about the conditions at Ram Rock.
Last year's winner in the Boys 14 & Under Division, Garett Reband, fired the low score in the tournament on Friday, shooting 5-under-par 66 with eight birdies.
"I had nothing to lose today," said Reband, who finished third in his first year playing in the Boys 15-18 Division, "I knew I had to keep focused and play hard."
Sam Bennett of Madisonville finished fourth with a three-day total of 219, while Blaine Hale Jr. of Dallas finished fifth at 221.
Tracy has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Houston next fall and is the second Cougar in four years to win the state championship. Curtis Reed won this LJT event in 2010 and is a member of the Houston golf team.
Tracy finished 38th here in 2012 and tied for eighth last year, but his win in 2014 puts his name on the Felix McKnight trophy along with notable names Ben Crenshaw, Jeff Maggert, Bruce Lietzke and Scott Verplank.
"It means a lot to win this tournament and I love my name being on the same trophy as Ben Crenshaw," Tracy said.
With his win Tracy earns 2,000 points on the College Golf Camps of America Points List and is eligible for the Jackie Burke Cup in November after playing in his second LJT event.
Hankamer earned 1,600 points in his first Legends Junior Tour event this year, while Reband, who began the week with 1,753 points, earned 1,400 points.
Horseshoe Bay Resort will host the Texas State Junior Championship for a sixth-straight year in 2015. "We're excited to return to Horseshoe Bay for a sixth year," said LJT Director of Operations Dave Prinz, "They are a great host, who really support junior golf."
The Legends Junior Tour would liek to thank our presenting sponsor Merrill Lynch, the staff and membership of Horseshoe Bay Resort and the numerous college coaches who were in attendance. The next event on the Legends Junior Tour schedule is the George Hannon Junior Invitational August 17-18 at The Hills of Lakeway.
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