Texas North Regional: Bearrie wins 1st

GARLAND, Texas (Aug. 10, 2008)--John Bearrie of Arlington fired his fourth competitive round in the sixties this week and has plenty to show for it.

It all began with a 69 at the USGA Mid Amateur local qualifying at Las Colinas C.C. where Bearrie was the co-medalist and earned a trip to Milwaukee Country Club for the US Mid Am. He followed it up with a blistering 65 in the first round of the TGA North Texas Amateur held at Firewheel Golf Park in Garland to lead by four shots.

He refused to let anyone make a big move during the second round on Saturday by carding a near perfect 68 with four birdies and no bogies, yet the overnight lead was still cut to three after Rick Houston shot a 67.

Bearrie played steady for most of the final round on Sunday and was even through 16 holes. An eagle on the 17th hole was followed by a “seal the deal” birdie on 18 for a 69 and his first TGA Championship victory, a spot on the North Shoot Out team, and Player of the Year honors for the North Region.

Rob Couture of Dallas needed to go low and or have Bearrie drop a few shots to have a chance of overtaking the lead on Sunday. Couture did his part, shooting a 4-under-par 68, Bearrie wouldn't let up giving Couture runner-up honors, five strokes back.

Steve Galko, another familiar name near the top of a North Texas leaderboard, finished third at 8-under-par for the week. Galko, of Dallas, was one of three players to fire three rounds under par.

Lewis Stephenson, of Mansfield, shot 68 on Sunday to finish fourth, and earned a spot on the North Shoot Out team with Bearrie and Couture. Bill Jackson made the biggest move on Sunday with a 6-under-par round of 66. Jackson, of Dallas, moved all the way up to a fifth place finish with his excellent final round.

Nine players finished the week under par thanks to great scoring conditions throughout. Sunday had plenty of Player of the Year implications on the line with the top five players in the points race all in the hunt and chasing the coveted Shoot Out team invitations along with various exemptions at stake.

This was the last Regional Championship for 2008 and the last chance for players to earn Regional Player of the Year Points as well as a spot in the State Mid-Amateur.

Provided they are otherwise eligible, both the North Amateur winner and runner-up will earn an exemption into this year’s State Mid-Amateur to be played from September 19-21 at Lakewood County Club in Dallas, site of the 1997 State Mid-Amateur and 2000 Texas Amateur. --Courtesy TGA

ABOUT THE Texas North Amateur

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers who are 25 years of age or older by the tournament start date and residing in the North Texas region as defined by the Texas PGA Sections (North of 31 degree parallel, Salado TX and north is break point). Applicants must have a certified USGA Handicap Index of 8.4 or less.

Format: 54 holes Stroke Play. No Cut.

Field limit: 81 players

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