Firecracker Open: 2-Day, 8-Hole Playoff

AUSTIN, TX (July 7, 2009)--The tournament that seemed to never end on Sunday was over in 30 minutes Monday morning at Lions Municipal, as Scott Roudebush outlasted Matt Smith in a playoff to win the 64th Firecracker Open.

On Sunday, Roudebush and Smith finished tied at 13-under par 200. They went toe-to-toe for six holes in a sudden death playoff before the match was suspended due to darkness just before 9 p.m.

Roudebush and Smith, along with about 50 fans, returned to Muny on Monday to resume the playoff at the No. 1 tee.

After matching pars on the par-4 first hole, the playoff went on to the par-5 second. Roudebush put his second shot on the front left of the green, some 60 feet from the pin, while Smith's second shot found the bunker short and right of the green.

Smith blasted out to 20 feet from the pin, but he missed his birdie putt. Roudebush lagged his putt to one foot and holed out for the birdie and the victory.

"This place, Muny, and this tournament have always been special to me, growing up and playing golf in Austin," said Roudebush, an Austin High graduate preparing for his junior season at TCU. "It was really special to have friends and family here. And to win against an old friend like Matt, who played great, is pretty big.

"Winning the Firecracker is on a list of things I want to accomplish in golf," Roudebush added. "Preparing for this tournament the last few weeks, I would have a practice putt and say to myself, 'This is to win the Firecracker.'"

Smith, an Anderson graduate who will be a senior at St. Edward's, has played with and against Roudebush since they were young teens.

"Scott deserves it and he deserves to have his name on the list of winners here," Smith said. "I'm glad for the way it turned out, that one of us won it instead of somebody losing it.

"I have no regrets," Smith added. "I played really well. Only one bogey in the last 30 holes. And it's definitely one of the most exciting tournaments I've been part of."


AUSTIN, TX (July 6, 2009)--Sunday's final round of the Firecracker Open was as good a display of amateur golf as you could see anywhere. It was so much fun that Scott Roudebush and Matt Smith decided to make it last by going into extra holes. And then into darkness.

After a marathon day at Lions Municipal when any a dozen players looked like potential champions, it was Roudebush and Smith who finished 54 holes of regulation play tied at 13-under par 200, the second lowest score in the 64-year history of the tournament.

Roudebush finished with a 7-under par 64 for his 200 total, and then waited for Smith, playing in the final group behind him. Smith made par on the par-4 18th for a 65 to tie Roudebush and force the playoff.

Roudebush and Smith matched each other through six holes of the playoff: par, birdie, par, par, par and par. Darkness crept in over the last holes and finally caught up when the two putted out for pars on No. 6.

Play was halted at 8:58 p.m. Roudebush and Smith agreed to return to Muny today and will resume their playoff at 10 a.m. on No. 1.

"I've never experienced anything like this," Smith said. "I'm not sure how to approach it other than take it as a new day and just go out and play golf."

Roudebush added: "It was obviously a long day, but I'm just glad to be in it. This is unique and pretty fun. I had no idea all day what else was going on around me, and how close it was."

Sunday's final round began with 15 players within five strokes of the lead shared at 7-under par 135 by Smith, Nathan Erwin and Trey Schroeder. Roudebush was one shot behind at 136.

None of the contenders backed away Sunday. Westlake graduate Jonathan Alden stayed within a stroke or two of the lead all day. He closed with a 4-under 67 to finish alone in third place at 204.

Julio Vegas, the promising University of Texas player, shot 65 Sunday to tie for fourth at 205 with Andrew Workman, a St. Edward's player, who shot 68 Sunday.

David Kite, with his dad Tom as caddy, got to 10 under for the tournament at one point Sunday. He finished with a 68 to tie at 206 with Collin Mayer, another St. Edward's player who shot 68 Sunday, and former Pflugerville High School star Trey Schroeder, who shot 71 Sunday.

Almost lost in all of Sunday's low scoring was the 7-under-par 28 on the back nine by former Firecracker Champion Robby Ormand. He closed with a 64 to tie with former St. Edward's standout Nick Cristea at 207.

A group of a half-dozen contenders stayed close throughout most of the day, but Roudebush and Smith distanced themselves down the stretch.

Smith played flawlessly most of the day, making the turn at 3-under for the day to take the lead at 10-under for the tournament. He birdied the 11th and 12th and then got to 14-under for the championship with an eagle on the par-5 14th.

Roudebush kept pace with a 5-under par 30 on the back nine.

Each player had a chance to win the tournament in regulation but fell short. Smith had a one-stroke lead over Roudebush when he missed a four-foot putt for par on No. 17. At the same time, Roudebush was missing a six-footer for birdie on the 18th to stay at 13-under. When Smith failed to make birdie on No. 18, the match went into overtime.

ABOUT THE Firecracker Open

54-hole individual stroke play tournament that draws a strong local and college field. Past winners include Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, and Omar Uresti. Qualifying tournaments are held prior to the event. A putting tournament is typically held after the first round, with 32 two-person teams playing nine- hole best ball matches.

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