Texas Mid-Amateur: Mathias Cruises to Win
17 Sep 2006
see also: Texas Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, Royal Oaks Country Club


Thanks to the Texas Golf Association for this report.

HOUSTON, TX (September 17, 2006)--Jonathan Mathias was tied for the lead after each of the first two rounds of the 2006 TGA State Mid-Amateur Championship. He didn’t want to be in that position when the third and final round was completed, so he went out and promptly birdied two of the first four holes on his way to a final round of five-under-par 66 on the Jackrabbit Course at Champions Golf Club in Houston. That allowed the Air Force Captain from San Antonio to separate himself from the field and claim his first TGA state championship. Mathias posted a 54-hole total of seven-under-par 206 to finish five shots clear of runners-up Darin Newhouse of Tyler and Seth Thornton of Houston. Thornton had a final-round 67 to move into the second place tie, while Newhouse, one back to start the day, had a final round of 70.

“Everything fell into place for me this week,” Mathias said. “My ball striking was awesome. It is the best I’ve hit the ball in a long time, and what a great place for it to happen here at Champions with all of the history and tradition of this place.”

The low round of the day came from Montgomery’s Ron Schroeder who had a 65 to move into fourth place alone at one-under-par 212. The 65 matched the tournament’s low round, which John Bearrie of Arlington shot in Saturday’s second round. Bearrie had an even-par 71 in the final round to finish fifth. John Dowdall of Houston, who was one shot off the lead starting the final round, tied for sixth with Kip Guidry of Missouri City at one-over-par. Scott Loving of Conroe, who started the day tied for the lead with Mathias, had to a three-over-par 74 in the final round to drop back into eighth place.

The weather again was a factor, but only for the final group of the day. Shortly after hitting their tee shots on the 18th hole, play was suspended due to lightning. The storm quickly passed and the last three players completed the final hole, with Mathias appropriately capping his week off with a birdie.

Click here for complete final results.

Of the 132-players in the starting field for the 23rd State Mid-Amateur, 96 earned their way in through one of eleven qualifiers that were held across the state during the months of August and September. Click here for qualifying sites and results. A total of thirty-six players were exempt from qualifying.

A number of former champions competed this year including two-time winner Alan Hill (1999, 2004) of Spring Branch, Mike Booker (2003) of The Woodlands, Kyle Coody (2001) of Dallas, Bob Kearney (1998) and Champions member Robert McKinney (1996), both of Houston, and Mike McClung (1987) of Marble Falls.

Co-founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke, Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret (shown right), Champions boasts two outstanding courses, Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit, and is considered by many to be one of the preeminent championship sites in the country.

Designed by George Fazio in 1963, Jackrabbit underwent a major renovation in 2001 by acclaimed golf course architect Tom Fazio, who was an apprentice in his uncle George’s design company when the course was first built. Cypress Creek, which was designed by Ralph Plummer and opened for play in 1959, has hosted some of the biggest amateur and professional events in golf including the 1967 Ryder Cup, 1969 U.S. Open, 1993 U.S. Amateur and 1998 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, and the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship.

The Texas Mid-Amateur is an amateurgolf.com Texas Amateur Rankings Points Event
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