THE WOODLANDS, TX (May 5, 2016) - In wire-to-wire fashion Lewis Stephenson has won his first Carlton Woods Senior Invitational. Stephenson finished with a 54-hole 4-under tally at the Club at Carlton Woods Fazio Course.
Stephenson put together rounds of 69-70-73 on his way to a three shot victory over Mike Peck (Irving, TX), Michael Mercier (Rochester, NY) and Carlton Woods club member Mike Booker (The Woodlands, TX). All three golfers ended tied for second and 1-under.
"I was fortunate enough to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open but as far as a win this is tops for me," Lewis Stephenson said. "I grew up a baseball player and I didn’t start playing competitive (golf) until I was about 35 when I was done coaching my kids. This is a huge win for me."
On Thursday with a two-stroke advantage to his name, Stephenson (Mansfield, TX) came storming out of the gates and quickly put the field in chase mode. After beginning the day at 5-under Stephenson birdied No's. 4, 6 and 9 to reach 8-under.
He would remain at that number until his stumbles coming in. On No. 15 Stephenson bogeyed and then he carded another on 17 before closing with a double-bogey on 18. Over the final four holes Stephenson was 4-over but he had played so spectacularly during the first 14 holes that he was still able to hold on.
"I had a (nice par) save on 16 and on 17 I hit a bit of a wayward drive shot so I didn’t try for a hero shot and I played for a bogey," explained Stephenson. "I didn’t really know Mike (Booker) had bogeyed 17 as well until we reached the 18th tee box so I was still leading by two. The six on the last hole was a cautious six because I knew where I was and where Mike was the whole time. The double-bogey looks a lot worse on paper then if you had actually seen it."
To nobodies surprise Mike Booker made the best run at Stephenson on Thursday. The three-time winner, playing alongside Stephenson, got as low as 6-under after a birdie on No. 14 before the wheels fell off.
"It was fun to go back and forth with Mike early on," Stephenson said. "I have played with Mike a bunch of times and he is a gentlemen and he is fun to play with. He is one of the guys you just enjoy to play alongside. The competition part was great too. We were both hitting great shots and complimenting each other."
The downward spiral for Booker began with bogeys on 16 and 17 and concluded with a triple-bogey on No. 18. The triple on the closing hole dropped Booker from 4-under and in a potential playoff to 1-under and tied for second.
In the Senior Division the 18th hole proved to be the second hardest hole on the final day. The 427 yard par-4 played to a scoring average of 4.675. On the day the hole yielded only four birdies while it issued 15 bogeys, five double-bogeys and two others.
Herb Fisher (The Woodlands, TX) completed the top-five finishing in fifth at even-par. Defending champion Lee Sandlin (Dallas, TX) was tied for 10th at 9-over.