GARDEN CITY, Kansas (August 24, 2014) -- Alex Tiong, a recent University of Colorado Pueblo graduate and golf team member captured the High Plains Amateur today by one shot at The Golf Club at Southwind.
And here's the thing. He nearly let it get away from him.
After blistering through the front nine with birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 9 to shoot 33, Tiong (who opened with a 71 and was 3 shots back of leader Bradley Lane) got even hotter. The Malaysian native parred the first four holes on the back nine, then birdied back-to-back again, this time at 14 and 15 to get to 4-under on the day.
With the first round leader struggling to a 76, the tournament belonged to Tiong, but after a par on 16 disaster struck on 17 in the form of a triple-bogey 7 on the 452-yard par 4. With two players in the leading groups (Grant Vollertsen and Zach Kirby) playing solid golf behind him, Tiong surely knew he had given away a cushion, and faced with another 450 yard par 4 he was up to the task, closing with a par for a round of 70 and tournament total of 1-under 141 on the 6907 yard layout.
Tied for 2nd were Southwind member (and 2012 High Plains Amateur champion Grant Vollertsen) and Dodge City Community College golfer Zach Kirby. Ryle Haas of Lawrence (a former KU golfer) shot 1-over to finish solo fourth, while first round leader Bradley Lane finished with a 76 to post 2-over (he shot the tournament low round of 68 on Saturday) and take 5th place.
In the Masters Division, Southwind member Shawn Audrain held on for a one shot victory over Holcomb's Carlos Prieto. Senior Division top honors went to Nashville's John Bailey who finished one shot ahead of KGA veteran Steve Newman of Wichita. Bailey finished the championship at 4-over par 146 total.
View results for High Plains Amateur Golf Championship