Arkansas Match Play: Maintenance worker wins

BRYANT, Ark. (April 30, 2011) -- Juan Gonzalez, a member of the maintenance staff at Hurricane C.C., edged UALR Golfer Nicklaus Benton 1-up in 19 holes today to win the ASGA Match Play Championship at Hurricane C.C.

The match see-sawed back and forth with birdies on the final six holes by both players. Benton birdied #17, a 200-yard par 3, to lead 1-up heading into 18. Juan Gonzalez drove it just off the green on the 300-yard par 4 and two putted for birdie. Benton, after laying up short of Hurricane Creek fronting the green, knocked his approach to 12 feet and had that putt for the victory, which slid just past. On the first playoff hole, #1, Benton hit his approach to 15 feet and just missed the birdie putt. Gonzalez hit his approach to 12 feet and rolled the putt in for the victory! The championship match in the amateur division was scheduled to be played at 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning. With the impending storms headed to central Arkansas tonight, with possible amounts of rainfall up to 4 inches, both players mutually agreed to play the championship match today, teeing off just after 3:00 p.m.

It is the second consecutive year a member of the Gonzalez family puts his name on the Roy Wood Trophy. Efren Gonzalez, 29, won it last year defeating Chris Jenkins in the finals. Juan, Efren’s 26-year-old brother, made sure the Roy Wood Trophy stayed prominently on dsiplay at Hurricane. Benton birdied holes 13, 15 and 17 down the stretch while Gonzalez birdied 14, 16, 18 & 19.

ABOUT THE Arkansas Match Play

Must be a resident of Arkansas, and a member of the Arkansas State Golf Association. 18-hole stroke play round to determine brackets for match play. Separate divisions for open, mid-senior (40+), senior and super senior golfers.

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