AUSTIN, TX (June 7, 2009)--The first cloud cover of the week brought cooler temperatures and much stronger winds for the Final match of the State Public Links Championship. Falconhead Golf Club in Austin was a great test for the players all week, but Sunday might have been the toughest day of the championship. The Final matched Shane McDonald of Mansfield against Craig Cyr of Austin in a battle with plenty at stake. With different weather conditions than the players faced all week, both finalists had to change their games when it mattered the most.
Both players had to conquer some nerves in the first few holes of the match and it was evident in the scores. Each player took two out of the first four holes to keep the match at all square. McDonald, a member of the New Mexico University Golf Team, made an incredible up and down from a bunker ten feet below the level of the green to keep the match all square through five holes. The match would go back and forth yet again, as Cyr won the 6th hole with a twenty foot par putt and McDonald took the eighth hole with a par. Cyr gained control of the match by winning the 9th hole for a 1 up lead.
As the match moved to the back nine, both players were still very much in the hunt for the title. Shane McDonald converted multiple up and downs to keep the match as close as he could, but two costly double bogeys were just too much to overcome. Cyr was patient throughout the match and never made any big mistakes. Cyr won the 11th hole to go 2 up and then seized control of the match by going 3 up after 15 holes. Faced with an uphill battle, McDonald went for the green on the reachable par four 16th hole. His drive carried the green and bounded into a hazard. Cyr played a wedge shot to the middle of the green and that was all he needed for a 4 and 2 victory.
Craig Cyr is new to Texas Golf Association championships, and even new to the state. He has lived in Austin for just seven months, and this week was his first ever TGA event. However, Cyr does have more experience than that would lead you to believe. The 25 year old Cyr played on the Quinnipiac University Golf Team in Connecticut and has played in high ranking amateur events such as the Sunnehanna Invitational. For his efforts, Cyr earned an exemption into the 2009 State Mid-Amateur as well as the 2010 Texas Amateur. With such success in his first TGA championship, who knows what the future holds for the talented newcomer Craig Cyr.
The State Public Links is scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on Thursday, June 4, with the low 32 players advancing to the match play portion of the championship. First and second round matches will be played on Friday. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Saturday, with the finals on Sunday. Entries are open to male amateur golfers who are members of the Texas Golf Association, are residents of the state of Texas, and have a GHIN Handicap Index of 8.4 or less. Additionally, all applicants must meet the USGA definition of a public golfer (i.e., applicants may not have held privileges of any course that does not extend playing privileges to the general public, or privileges of any private club maintaining its own course as of January 1st of 2009).
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