Texas Mid-Am Match Play: Finals set

HORSESHOE BAY, Tex. (July 23, 2011) --The quarterfinal matches got under way this morning at the Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship which is being held at the Fazio designed Escondido. Beautiful and breezy conditions once again welcomed the players as they prepared to compete for a spot in the afternoon semifinal matches. After a day full of upsets the higher seeds were once again looking to stake their claim at the title.

The opening match of the day paired the 10th seed, Derek Brown, against the 31st seed, Jess Bonneau. Bonneau continued his stellar play which placed him 3-up through the first six holes. Brown answered back and cut into Bonneau’s lead only to be answered by the hot putter of his competitor. With wins on holes 13, 14, and 15, Jess Bonneau closed the match with a 5 and 3 victory.

The next match paired Randy Lance against Trevor Hyde. The 32nd seeded Lance set out to make his run as the highest seed but quickly fell two-down to Hyde through the first four holes. Hyde then extended his lead with wins on holes 10 and 11 before draining his birdie putt on 14 to close the match 5 and 4.

Competing in his very first TGA event was the 29 seed, Adam Lowe. Lowe was welcomed to the Quarterfinals with a match against two-time state player of the year, Rob Couture. Couture took control early as Lowe found himself down three through the first five holes. Lowe, needing a shift in momentum, stayed patient and battled his way back into the match. Birdies on 16 and 17 brought the match back to all square as the two men headed to the par 5 eighteenth. Lowe dialed in on his approach and gave himself a four-foot birdie attempt while Couture’s third found the hazard left. When Couture failed to make his next shot the hole was conceded; Lowe winning by a margin of 1up.

In the final quarterfinal match Clark Kincaid met Manny Bhatka, the lowest seed still remaining in the tournament. Bhatka took a 1up lead after a birdie on four but Kincaid quickly flipped that lead after wins on 6 and 7. The match remained a back in forth battle as Bhatka birdied the ninth to head to the back nine all square. The two players then traded pars before Bhatka found trouble. After bogeys on twelve, thirteen, fifteen, and sixteen Bhatka’s run at the title fell short. Kincaid moved on to the semifinals with a 4 and 2 margin of victory.

Semifinal matches paired Trevor Hyde and Adam Lowe and Jess Bonneau against Clarke Kincaid. In the first match Hyde took an early lead as he made the turn 2-up. When Lowe’s tee shot found the left hazard on the tenth hole, Hyde took a 3-up lead. In what seemed to be a repeat of the quarterfinal comeback, Lowe birdied the sixteenth and then stuck his approach on the seventeenth to five feet. With Hyde in with a par Lowe looked to extend the match to the eighteenth. Lowe’s putt barely slide by the edge and the comeback was over. Hyde had earned his spot in tomorrow’s final with a 2 and 1 victory.

In the other semifinal match Bonneau looked to continue his run as the 31 seed against the 29 seed, Clarke Kincaid. Both players started out slow trading pars through the first three holes before Bonneau took a 1-up lead after birdieing the par 4 fourth. After a Kincaid bogey on the fifth he quickly found himself down two.

Momentum quickly shifted back into Kincaid’s favor after wins on 6 and 7 which brought the match back to all square. Heading into the back nine Bonneau had taken back his 1up lead. The two players went back and forth before Kincaid found the hazard on the fifteenth to drop to two down with three holes to play. After trading pars on the par four sixteenth, Jess Bonneau stuck his approach shot within three feet on the par three seventeenth and the match was over. The 31st seeded Bonneau claimed his place in tomorrow’s final with a 3 and 1 victory over Kincaid.

ABOUT THE Texas Mid-Am Match Play

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers with a USGA handicap index of 5.4 or less, and who are 25 years of age or older as of the first round of tournament play. Please reference “TGA State Championship Eligibility” on www.txga.org for additional eligibility details.

Format: Scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play qualifying, with the low 32 players advancing to match play.

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