Texas (TGA) Public Links Championship: Smith Defeats McKay Three and Two

SAN ANTONIO, TX (June 4, 2011) -- Perfect scoring conditions greeted the finalists of the State Public Links Championship early Sunday morning. Brackenridge Park Golf Course played host to this year’s championship and provided an exciting atmosphere. Finalists Justin McKay and Michael Smith had to battle fatigue, as the final match was their sixth round in the past four days. After an exciting finish, Smith claimed his first state championship victory.

The final match opened in exciting fashion with Michael Smith hitting his approach shot within inches of the hole to take a 1up lead. After McKay failed to get up and down on the second hole, Smith quickly jumped in front 2up. McKay then found tree trouble on the fifth hole and Smith tapped in for par to claim a 3up lead. Not wanting to let up, Smith holed a lengthy birdie putt from off the green to win the sixth hole and increase his lead to 4up. McKay was able to cut Smith’s lead to 3up at the turn, but failed to gain any momentum.

The back nine was much of the same story, with Smith holding on to a comfortable lead. McKay made bogey on the eleventh hole allowing Smith to recapture his 4up lead. McKay finally got things going by winning the twelfth and fourteenth holes to cut Smith’s lead to 2up with four holes to play. Feeling some pressure for the first time in the match, Michael Smith responded with spectacular shots. After both players missed the green on the 15th hole, McKay played first and his chip shot lipped out. Playing from nearly the same spot, Smith stepped up and holed his chip for birdie and a 3up lead. Justin McKay responded on the sixteenth hole, hitting his approach within feet of the hole for a conceded birdie. Needing a birdie to win the match, Smith rolled in his 25 foot putt to claim an impressive 3 and 2 victory.

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ABOUT THE Texas Public Links

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers with a USGA Handicap Index of 8.4 or less and who meet the USGA definition of a public golfer. Players may not have held privileges of any course which does not extend playing privileges to the general public, or privileges of any private club maintaining its own course. Please reference “TGA State Championship Eligibility” on www.txga.org for additional eligibility details.

Format: Scheduled for 36 holes of stroke play qualifying, 18 holes each of the first two days. The low 16 players advance to match play.

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