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Hollytree Azalea Invitational: Dunkelberg and Ledingham Win in Six-Hole Playoff

By Phil Hicks, Tyler Morning Telegraph

TYLER, TX (May 2, 2010)--Fifty-four holes just weren't enough for the golfers in the 26th Annual Azalea Invitational.

The Fort Worth duo of Dan Dunkelberg and Les Ledingham won a marathon six-hole playoff to conclude one of the top amateur events in the state Sunday at Hollytree Country Club.

It appeared the playoff was headed for a seventh hole when Dean Brown's putt from off the fringe on No. 15 rimmed around the hole and settled on the edge of the cup.

"I told Dan to get ready for No. 16 because I knew he was going to make it," said Ledingham, who played collegiately at Texas Wesleyan University and achieved a No. 4 national ranking in 2002.

But the putt stayed up as Brown fell to the turf as his partner, Brian Holcomb, could only look on in disbelief.

It was the second Azalea win for Dunkelberg, who played a year collegiately at Texas Tech. He won the title in 1997 with Gary Hardin.

For Ledingham, who was the Heartland Conference medalist in 2001, it was his first time to compete in the Azalea.

Dunkelberg and Ledingham, who play out of Ridglea Country Club, fired a final round of 71 to go with previous rounds of 66-67.

When regulation was complete, four teams were knotted with three-day scores of 204.

Competing along with Dunkelberg-Ledingham and Holcomb-Brown (68-65-71) were second-round leaders Ryan Hill-Steve Bodenheimer (65-67-72) and Mike Schrade-Ryan Slaughter (69-66-69).

The playoff began on the par-4 No. 10 as all four teams scored birdies, but Hill-Bodenheimer bogeyed the par-3 No. 11. The trio continued with pars on Nos. 12 and 13 before Schrade, who aced the No. 4 hole earlier in the day, and Slaughter bowed out on No. 14.

Then there were two. Both Dunkelberg and Ledingham found the green in two on No. 15, but Holcomb missed short and Brown was right of the green near the cart path.

While Dunkelberg, the 1998 Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion, and Ledingham two-putted, Brown made a go of an up-and-down. The Jacksonville golfer chipped above the hole onto the fringe. He then came so close to continuing the playoff.

The Lufkin pair of John Kennedy and Ford Cartwright, who play out of Crown Colony Country Club, won the seniors title with a 208 (73-67-68).
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