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Missouri Am: Berkmeyer Wins Rematch

ST. JOSEPH, MO (June 28, 2009)--Ten years ago, Skip Berkmeyer finished business he started in 1998 when he lost in the Missouri Amateur Final by winning his first Missouri Amateur Championship at Highland Springs Country Club.

Last year, on the 10 year anniversary of Berkmeyer's first trip to the Missouri Amateur Finals, he lost again, this time to fellow Chaminade graduate Justin Bardgett.

As fate would have it, Berkmeyer found himself making another run at Missouri Golf History and in his way was none other than Justin Bardgett as the two would meet in the 2009 Missouri Amateur Championship Final. It marked the first time in the hundred plus years of Missouri Amateur history that two players would compete in consecutive finals against each other.

While the 2009 version of Berkmeyer vs. Bardgett started much like the 2008 version did, the ending was much different. En route to winning the title in 2008, Bardgett got off to a great start with birdies on the first two holes of the 36 hole final. Bardgett did that one better in 2009, making birdies on the first three holes of competition, building a 2up lead in the match. But unlike 2008, when Berkmeyer struggled to get the putter going and the match ended in a comfortable victory for Bardgett, the 2009 version of Berkmeyer vs. Bardgett was going down to the wire. Past the wire to be exact.

Thirty six holes wasn't enough to decide this year's final match. Neither player held more than a 2up lead during the match and no 2up lead lasted for more than one hole as the two players traded birdies and solid pars during both the morning and afternoon sessions. Bardgett had a stretch of 7 holes where he was leading the match. Berkmeyer enjoyed a 6 hole stretch in the lead. The match was just that competitive and that close all day long.

So when Berkmeyer entered the 35th hole with a 1up lead, nobody was surprised when Bardgett made eagle to square the match for the 7th time. Nor were spectators enjoying the competition surprised when Berkmeyer holed an eight foot putt for birdie to halve the 36th hole, extending the match to extra holes.

So on a hole that each player had birdied in the final match, the match would be decided. The short par 4, 1st hole offered players a choice of club selection that could ultimately make or break their chances at a 2nd Missouri Amateur Championship. Both players elected to stay aggressive, hitting driver at the green. After Bardgett hit his approach shot to the back of the green and missed from 30 feet, Berkmeyer stood over a 3 foot putt for birdie and the Missouri Amateur Championship. Berkmeyer holed the 3 foot putt and in doing so, joined the small fraternity of players to win multiple Missouri Amateur Championships.

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