THE WOODLANDS, TX (May 5, 2016) - Colby Harwell has gone wire-to-wire and won his second Carlton Woods Invitational. Harwell, the 2013 winner, won with a final score of 2-under.
"I definitely did feel the pressure playing with the lead but I had an advantage because I had won in 2013," Colby Harwell said. "All day I kept telling myself that there was no pressure to win again. It helped keep my adrenaline down a bit which helped."
The now two-time champion began the third round leading by one-stroke and thanks to a final day 2-under-par 70 he was able to end the day still ahead by one. Brady Exber and Edward Fryatt finished 1-under and tied for second place.
In the final round at the Club at Carlton Woods - Fazio Course, Harwell got off to a blazing start with four front nine birdies as he opened in 4-under 32.
"It was really important making those earlier birdies because it helps get your confidence up," said Harwell.
Through the first seven holes on the back nine the Robinson, TX resident played steady golf with a bogey and a birdie. However, as he came down the stretch Harwell began to falter a bit, with bogeys on the final two holes.
On the par-5 17th, Harwell pushed his drive into the foot long native grass and the situation quickly escalated when Harwell arrived at his ball and realized there was a sprinkler box six feet in front of him. Unable to get relief, all Harwell could do was get the ball back into play. Lying two and still 200 yards out Harwell did well to bogey the hole.
Despite the bogey on 17, Harwell was still in control of the tournament and his bogey on the par-4 closing hole was more of the cautious variety. He hit the fairway off the tee and then got an unfortunate break as his second shot hit the green, but bounced 45-feet away from the hole. Harwell knowing his situation, didn't force the matter and ended up tapping in a one-foot bogey putt to close out his second Carlton Woods Invitational.
"The Carlton Woods Fazio Course is one of my favorite courses," Harwell said. "The course is beautiful and the people running the tournament, Marty (Benson) - the tournament director and Jason Alexander - their PGA Professional, are great and I can't say enough about getting to play in the event every year."
Brady Exber, of Las Vegas, NV, started the day 1-over and made a valiant effort as he tried to chase down Harwell. Exber put together the low round of the tournament firing a 3-under 69. Like Harwell, Exber shot an opening nine 32 with three birdies, a bogey and an eagle on the par-5 4th hole. Back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15 proved to be to much for Exber to overcome as he completed likely his final Carton Woods as a mid-amateur.
Another Las Vegas, NV resident, Edward Fryatt also finished a shot behind. Fryatt was impressive all day and finished his 2016 tournament with a bogey-free 2-under 70.
Rounding out the top-five are Kyle Maxwell (The Woodsland, TX) in fourth at 2-over while Mark Mance (Whitefish, MT) and Christopher McKay (Dallas, TX) shared fifth with a 54-hole tally of 3-over.
Harwell, Exber and Fryatt were the only players to finish the tournament under-par. When Harwell won the event in 2013 he finished 3-over.
Defending champion Derek Meinhart (Matton, IL) was 19th and 10-over.