William T. Martin/courtesy of The Decatur Daily
DECATUR, Ala. — Two weeks ago at the
State Amateur, Henderson State senior Brice
was disappointed to post a final-round 78. In
hindsight, despite trailing by four entering the
day, Howard could have shot just 72 at the
Club of Little Rock and captured his home state's
amateur championship by a stroke.
So when Howard, a native of Hot Springs,
two-hole, three-way playoff at the Spirit of
Championship on Sunday afternoon at
Country Club, a bit of redemption was had.
"That was kind of going through my head a
little bit coming into the tournament," Howard
said of the missed opportunity at the Arkansas
Amateur two weeks earlier. "Going into the last
round, knowing what happened last time, I just
to put myself in a good spot. I tried to really just
Howard posted rounds of 69 and 72 in the
two rounds to trail fellow playoff-mates Reed
and Jimmy Reist by two at the par-71
On the back nine of the final round, Howard
three-putted the par-5 16th hole and made a
disappointing par. Trailing by two, Howard
may have lost his chance.
"On 16 I had an eagle putt and I three-
putted for par and that's when I kind of thought I
out of it," Howard said. "I knew I needed
to birdie the next two so I tried to play
his biggest win
William T. Martin/courtesy of The Decatur
Reist made an unfortunate double bogey at
par-4 17th, while Lindsey made bogey. The trio
headed to 18 deadlocked at the top of the
leaderboard. Howard, who hadn't bogeyed since
eighth hole, made his fifth par in a row as the
headed back to 18 for a three-way playoff.
After all players parred the first hole, an up-
down out of the bunker on the second playoff
secured the win for Howard.
"It's probably the biggest win I've
got," Howard said. "I feel good."
The rain-shortened event, which had
second round cancelled due to heavy rains and
lightning, was scheduled for 72 holes and was
defended by John-Michael O'Toole, a graduating
senior from the University of Cincinnati.
O'Toole, a native of Pinson, Ala., tied for
place, shooting rounds of 69, 73, and 75 in his
One of two runners-up, Reist of Decatur,
member at the host club and at 52-years-old,
have been an impressive winner at the 48th
Lindsey, a Delta State University senior
Ripley, Miss., got back into the tournament with
second-round 67 before posting 73 on the final