Texas South Regional: Final Results
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.
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