Greater Houston City Amateur

HOUSTON, TX (September 24, 2006)--Seth Thornton led from wire-to-wire en route to an 8-stroke victory in the 2006 Greater Houston Men's Amateur Championship at Memorial Park. Thornton, a 31-year-old youth minister at Bethel Independent Presbyterian Church, was the only player in the field to break par in the 72-hole competition promoted by the Houston Golf Association.

For the record, Thornton shot 69-66-72-70 for a 3-under-par 277 total. The former University of North Texas player also recorded a second-round hole in one, acing the 200-yard, 11th hole with a 3-iron.

John Dowdall, a one-time PGA TOUR player who has been re-instated as an amateur, finished second at 285. Dowdall closed with a 67 to finish a stroke better than defending champion Ron Schroeder of Montgomery. Schroeder, a 5-time winner of this event, was 10-over par after 36 holes but closed with rounds of 67-69.

Two-time champion Gary Durbin and 1999 winner Robert McKinney shared fourth place at 286. The Top 10 finishers earned exemptions into the 2007 championship. Joining Thornton, Dowdall, Schroeder, Durbin and McKinney are C.W. Mallon (289), David Leiss (290), Sandy Pierce (292), Kip Guidry of Missouri City and Dwayne Morley (293).

Morley, who played college golf at Texas A&M, scored his first hole-in-one in the final round. He used an 8-iron on the 175-yard second hole.

Memorial Park played to a 7,144-yard, par 70 for the competition because two short par-5 holes were played as par-4s. It took a score of 12-over-par 152 to survive the 36-hole cut. More than 550 golfers attempted to qualify for the championship in a series of tournaments conducted by the Houston Golf Association.

Click here for final results.
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