Colorado Match Play: Symons the champ

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (July 11, 2008)--Colorado University golf team member Luke Symons of Valley CC defeated CU teammate Derek Tolan of 2 & 1 in the 36-hole final match to win the 108th CGA Match Play Championship at Plum Creek Golf and Country Club. For Symons, who won the 2007 CGA Western Chapter Championship, this was his second overall CGA individual victory.

Tolan took early control of the match taking a 2-up lead through six holes beforeSymons turned it on and incredibly made six consecutive birdies.

Tolan weathered the storm however, and with the help of an eagle on 11 was able to keep a 1-up lead. Symons’ birdie on 12 squared the match, but Tolan answered with a birdie on 13 to regain a 1-up lead.

Tolan ran the lead up to 3 up through 17, but Symons made birdie on 18 to cut it back to 2 up.

On the second 18, Symons made birdies on 2 and 3 to pull the match back to all square through 21. Tolan proceeded to make birdies on 5 and 6 to regain a 2 up lead through 24. Symons once again responded to Tolan by making a birdie on 7 and an eagle on 8 to square the match through 26.

Symons took his first lead of the match on the 31st hole when Tolan made bogey on 13. Perhaps the most crucial moment came on 16 (34th hole of the match), when both players hit their approach shots within five feet of hole. Tolan’s birdie attempt slid past the hole, and Symons was able to rattle his in to take a 2-up lead with two holes to play.

The match ended on the 35th hole (the par-3 17th) when both players made par giving Symons the 2 & 1 victory.

This marks the 22nd time a CU Buffalo has won this event, and the 13th time it was won by an active team member as Symons will be a junior this fall.

Symons’ name will be engraved on the Richard C. Campbell trophy joining past champions such as Brandt Jobe, Hale Irwin and Steve Jones. The trophy will reside at Valley Country Club (Symons’ home club) for the next 12 months.

Tolan’s runner-up finish was his second, as he lost in 2005 to another CU teammate Patrick Grady. Tolan is the current CGA Public Links Champion, and will be a senior this fall at CU. He and Symons, who were classmates at ThunderRidge HS as well, will be sharing a house this fall with three other CU teammates.

--Courtesy Colorado Golf Association

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