CARBONDALE, Colo. (Sept. 21, 2014) — The Colorado Mid-Amateur Championship was decided by a playoff for the first time in the new millennium. And for the first time in five years, the winner of the event wasn't Keith Humerickhouse.
While Chris Thayer of Bear Creek Golf Club prevailed on the third hole of sudden death in what started as a three-man playoff at River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale, Humerickhouse saw his streak of consecutive victories in the event end at four.
In the 28th CGA Mid-Amateur, a tournament limited to players 25 and older, Thayer parred all three of the playoff holes to prevail, winning with a two-putt from 25 feet on the 18th at River Valley Ranch.
Air Force Academy men's golf associate head coach Chris Wilson matched Thayer's pars on the first two playoff holes, but made a bogey the third time around, failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker. Wilson was also the runner-up in the 2012 CGA Mid-Amateur.
Zack Neiditz of Aspen Golf Club, the leader going into Sunday, was the third competitor in the playoff. But after parring No. 18 the first time in sudden death, he hit into a hazard twice on the second playoff hole and was eliminated.
Thayer, a 34-year-old who relocated from Chicago two years ago, won his first CGA championship. He prevailed despite shooting a 2-over-par 74 in the final round and playing the final six holes of regulation in 3 over par. He finished at 3-under-par 213 overall along with Wilson and Neiditz. But the 2013 U.S. Amateur qualifier was the steadiest in sudden death.
Wilson made just one bogey in his round of 69 on Sunday. Neiditz played the last six holes of regulation in 4 over par en route to a 75 in the final round. He bogeyed his final two holes in regulation.
Meanwhile, Humerickhouse will have to settle for tying an all-time CGA record. The player from Glenwood Springs Golf Club was attempting to become the first competitor in the 114-year history of CGA championships to win five consecutive titles in the same CGA event. But he finished a stroke out of the playoff, in fourth place.
So Humerickhouse will remain one of just three players to have won the same CGA championship four consecutive years. Others to have accomplished that feat are Walter Fairbanks (1902-05 CGA Match Play) and Rick DeWitt (1999-2002 CGA Mid-Amateur).
Humerickhouse, who trailed by four heading into the final round, birdied two of his last four holes to close with an even-par 72, which left him at 214. Another stroke back, in fifth place, was 2009 champion Michael Harrington of Garden of the Gods Club, who carded a 69 on Sunday.
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