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Coody maintains lead, goes for history at Trans-Miss Amateur
Pierceson Coody (Texas Athletics photo)
Pierceson Coody (Texas Athletics photo)

Week-long leader Pierceson Coody stayed steady while others around him struggled Thursday at Maridoe Golf Club in Dallas. Coody's finishing kick on the final holes helped him grab a commanding five-shot lead entering the final round of the 116th Trans-Mississippi Amateur.

Coody took a two-shot overnight lead in the second round, which was interrupted by a rain delay, but expanded his lead from two to five shots with a third-round 71. Paul Gonzalez, a University of Texas Arlington junior, and BYU Senior Rhett Rasmussen are tied for second at 215 after rounds of 71 and 74 respectively. Wake Forest golfer Cameron Young is alone in the fourth place at 68-216.

“I playing well and putting well and giving myself a lot of confidence,” Coody said of his third-round surge. “The key for tomorrow is to continue to give myself chances for birdies.”

He is chasing a number of records in the Friday finale, including the first golfer since at least 2010 to have a solo, wire-to-wire lead over four days. He is also seeking to join a long burnt orange list of Texas champions including PGA Tour winners Ben Crenshaw, Mark Brooks and Bob Estes.

“The only motivation is to continue to play well and keep it going,” Coody said. “I’ve just got to continue to keep doing it.”

At the turn on another warm Thursday, Coody had allowed Rasmussen to creep to within three shots of the lead, but then responded with birdies on Nos. 15 and 17, the final one coming on a twisting 15-foot birdie putt.

“I was pretty disappointed with the way I played on the front nine, but in the middle holes on the back, which I consider the meat of the course, I was able to turn it on and put some separation between me and the others and that’s what I wanted.”

Gonzalez, who is playing in his first Trans-Miss tournament, and one near his college home, said he had a simple plan to try and catch Coody on Friday.

“You have to be conservative out here and focus on making pars,” he said. “I’ve played here a fair number of times and know that pars can mean a lot on this course. Get it in the fairway, get it in the green and give yourself a two putts for par and if the putt goes in for birdie so be it.”

While Coody and most others have been up and down in their rounds this week at Maridoe, the UTA golfer has been rock steady with rounds of 72-72-71.

“Being conservative is the key out here.”

Rasmussen said he was disappointed he didn’t close the gap further, but felt he said had a chance to play better in Friday’s final round.

“I’ve just got to play better and putt better and see what happens,” he said.

Nearly half of the Trans-Miss field had to return early Thursday morning to finish the second after a brief, but violent storm forced play to be halted late Wednesday.

The 36-hole cut as made Thursday mid-morning at 6-over-par, and the third round was played without delay.

“I didn’t handle the rain delay really well because I birdied one hole when I came back, but mess up two others. But others had it a lot worse than I did. It’s an outdoor sport, so you have to be ready for this,” Coody added.



Results: Trans-Miss Championship
1TXPierceson CoodyPlano, TX120066-73-71-74=284
2TXPaul GonzalezWaxahachie, TX90072-72-71-71=286
T3TXMac MeissnerSan Antonio, TX70075-73-72-67=287
T3UTRhett RasmussenDraper, UT70070-71-74-72=287
5CAKaiwen LiuSan Diego, CA70078-72-69-69=288

View full results for Trans-Miss Championship

ABOUT THE Trans-Miss Championship

The Trans-Miss is one of the oldest and most storied golf tournaments in the United States. For 106 years the championship was played in a match play format. Past champions include Jack Nicklaus (1958 and 1959), Charles Coe (1947, 1949, 1952 and 1956), Deane Beman (1960), George Archer (1963), Ben Crenshaw (1972), Gary Koch (1973), Bob Tway (1978), Mark Brooks (1978) and other professional tour notables. In 1987 the championship was changed to a mid- amateur age requirement, and a senior division was also added. Starting in 2010, the Trans- Mississippi Championship, returned to its roots as an open amateur tournament, and immediately established itself as a "must-play" among top collegiate and mid-am players, while changing to a 72-hole stroke play format. The field size starts at 144 players from Trans- Mississippi Golf Association member clubs (or players receiving a special invitation from the Championship Committee). After 36 holes, a cut is made to the low 54 and ties who play the final two rounds.

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