LEAGUE CITY, Texas (March 25, 2007)-- Michael Whitehead of Sugar Land started the final round of the 2007 TGA South Region Amateur six shots behind leader Rodney Thompson of Katy. The 18-year-old, who is home schooled, shot the low round of the tournament with a 6-under-par 66 to catch and pass everyone in front of him and earn a three-shot victory. Whitehead finished the 54-hole championship at 6-under-par 210, easily outdistancing veteran Robert McKinney of Houston who had his second-straight 69 to finish second at 213.
Last year’s runner-up and defending TGA State Mid-Am Champion Jon Mathias of San Antonio shot 72 to come in third at 2-under-par 214. First and second round leader Rodney Thompson of Katy struggled a bit during the final round with a 77 to finish fourth at 214.
Whitehead, who plans to enroll at Rice University and play on the golf team this fall, caught an early break with a chip in birdie on No. 4, then followed that up with birdies on both front nine par five’s and added a fourth at the ninth hole for a 4-under-par 32. With Thompson falling out of the lead behind him, Whitehead got frustrated with himself after a bogey on the par-5 15th. He had no idea he was actually leading the tournament, and thought he needed to make something happen to have a chance. He did just that with an eagle on the short par-4 17th when he holed out from a greenside bunker after trying to drive the green.
Asked when he knew he was leading, Whitehead replied, “When I got finished someone told me. I had no idea. I figured Rodney was eight or nine under.”
With the victory Whitehead earned an emption into this year’s Texas State Amateur, which will be played June 7-10 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity. The top three finishers earn exemptions, but both McKinney and Mathias were already exempt.
For full results click on the "see also" link at the top of the article and use the results tab.