JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (June 28, 2015) – Mitchell Mather has won the 108th Missouri Amateur Championship and in doing so, spoiled Joey Johnson’s chances at winning the event three times in a row.
Mather, a senior at Missouri State, got plenty of play on the golf course this morning as his semifinal match went 25 holes against Teddy Jones. Mather had Jones 2-down going into hole 17 when Jones birdied the par-3 17th and made par on the 18th to force extra holes.
After exchanging birdies on the first playoff hole, the pair made five consecutive pars until a bogey on the 25th hole by Jones gave Mather the match.
Johnson’s route to the final was not as strenuous as he was able to close out Alex Springer 3-and-2 with two consecutive birdies on holes 14 and 15. That victory not only put Johnson in the finals, but increased his winning streak in Missouri State Amateur match play to 17 consecutive match wins.
Not only was Johnson playing for his third consecutive title, a feat never accomplished in the history of the tournament, he was facing his teammate and former roommate in Mitchell Mather.
Mather would not budge, getting 2-up through his first two holes and never surrendering the lead all match. Johnson won two consecutive holes to bring the match to 1-down after eight but Mather answered right back with a par and a birdie to bring the lead back up to three.
Mather held on after that for a 4-and-3 victory and credited his fast start as key to his success.
“That was huge, because Joey is such a good player, you have to get to him fast,” Mather told Springfield News-Leader. “We’ve played together for so long, I know he can just get real hot with the putter and just make everything. It was huge to get off to a fast start.”
While Johnson did not make history with the three-peat, he can take great pride in the fact that he has achieved such success in an event with past winners such as Tom Watson and Payne Stewart. And to lose to his teammate, there are worse things.
“He’s a great guy, on and off the course,” Johnson said to News-Leader. “If I was going to lose, I wouldn’t want it to be to anybody else. We had a lot of good play from our team all week. Mitch is a great player, and he deserved to win it after the week he had.”
Mather and Johnson will have plenty of time to reminisce over there match as both players have one remaining year at Missouri State.
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