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KERRVILLE, TX (September 24, 2017) – Colby Harwell rode a scorching hot putter for three days on his way to winning the 2017 Texas Mid-Amateur Championship at Comanche Trace. Playing on his home course, the San Antonio native pulled away from a pack of the best mid-amateurs in the state on Sunday and scored a 5-shot victory at 9-under-par 207.

After opening with a 1-over 73 in the first round, Harwell shot 10-under on the weekend. His back-to-back 67s on Saturday and Sunday earned him his first TGA major championship. It is, however, his second statewide title this year. In July he won the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship at San Antonio Country Club.

A former USGA National Champion, Harwell needed just 25 putts in the final round. He mastered Comanche Trace’s bentgrass greens with 27 putts in each of the first two rounds.

“That’s about as good as I’ve ever putted for three days,” said Harwell, who along with TGA stalwarts Zach Atkinson and Aaron Hickman represented Texas and won the 2014 U.S. State Team Championship. “It means a lot to me to win it here. I’m glad that I came out here and played well. Hopefully I performed the way everyone expected to me to.”

Starting the day one shot behind 36-hole leader Chris Wheeler from Addison, Harwell promptly bogeyed the first hole as a brief rain shower soaked the competitors for about 40 minutes. The final group of Harwell, Wheeler and Brad Gibson from Lewisville caught the tail end of the rain, but it hit them while they played the first hole.

Once the rain stopped, however, the wind dropped. It created perfect playing conditions. Harwell took advantage and birdied the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth holes to get to 9-under by the turn. The rout was on at that point. Harwell, a two-time Carlton Woods Invitational Champion, hung on with two birdies and two bogeys over his final four holes to close it out.

“Once the rain stopped we just had ideal scoring conditions,” said Harwell, who also won the 2013 Crane Cup at the Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Fla. “I hit it right down the middle of every fairway and went flag hunting after that.”

Gibson finished in second place at 4-under 212. He balanced four birdies in the final round with a pair of bogeys to shoot 2-under 70. Tim Hamm from Austin finished third at 1-under 215.

Stephen Paterson from Austin won the Mid-Master Division for players aged 40 and older. After an opening round 74, Paterson put together consecutive rounds of 1-under 71s to win by two shots over Plano’s Rick Sulzer and Randy Lance from Spring. Paterson’s three-day total of even-par 144 was also good for a share of fourth place overall with Dallas resident Scott Abbott, who won the 2015 Texas Mid-Amateur.

Comanche Trace President Trevor Hyde, who also played in the championship, said it meant a lot to him and the membership to have one of their own win the 2017 Texas Mid-Amateur.

“I had a ball watching him today,” Hyde said. “He’s a tremendous player. Anytime you have one of your best friends win a State Championship right in front of you on your own turf, that’s as good as it gets.”

Over the years, Comanche Trace has been a mainstay on the TGA major championship rotation. Including the 2011 Texas Four-Ball and 2009 Texas Senior Amateur, the proud TGA Member Club has hosted six majors.

This week the state’s best mid-amateurs played the Hills Course-Creeks Course routing. Tom Kite, the 1992 U.S. Open champion, along with Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell, designed Comanche Trace’s Hills Course and Valley Course in 2000. Jay and Carter Morrish added the more difficult Creeks Course in 2008.

A classic Hill Country design, Comanche Trace challenges golfers with dramatic elevation changes dotted with mature live oak trees and thick, hip-high heather grass just off the edges.

For the championship, Comanche Trace boasted a 76.35 scoring average. The Creeks Course (38.9) played about a shot and a half more difficult than the Hills Course (37.4). The 54 players who advanced past Saturday’s 36-hole cut played the course to an average of 75.10 in the final round.

View results for Texas Mid-Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE Texas Mid-Amateur

Eligibility: Entries are open to male golfers with a USGA Handicap index of 5.4 or less, and who are 25 years of age or older by the first day of championship qualifying.

Format: Scheduled for 54 holes of stroke play. Non-exempt players must attempt pre- qualifying.

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