N.Y. Mid-Am: Welch wins in playoff

POUGHKEEPSIE, New York (Sept. 25, 2011) -- Just Jimmy Welch drew it up right? Maybe not, but he won’t complain.

After battling through wet weather earlier in the tournament – and a lack of daylight in the final round – Welch emerged victorious. He followed a day one 74 with a one-over 71, and beat a trio of other mid-ams in a one hole playoff at Dutchess Golf and Country Club to win the 28th NYSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

Welch missed the playoff at Dutchess during the 2007 Mid-Am by a stroke, but he has a trophy to call his own now.

“It’s pretty thrilling – I’m really happy,” Welch said. “One of my goals was to have a chance to win one of these New York State Mid-Amateurs, which is probably more suited for me than the Men’s Am. To actually get one is kind of surprising. I thought I could battle – but to win one is a thrill, so I’m really happy.”

Welch was able to get in a full round Thursday before heavy rain rendered the course unplayable. After not playing yesterday, his final day 71 was the lowest round of day two. He played the front nine one-under, making birdies on two and five, with a bogey on four. He played the back nine two-over with eight pars and one double bogey on the par-four 14th.

After the double he didn’t like his chances.

““I thought I could shoot two-under and have a chance, a 68 to end two-over,” said Welch. “I made a double on 14 and thought I was done. I missed the birdie on 18, but then someone told me four-over was leading at that point. “

With the good news, Welch waited to see if his 145 (+5) would hold up. It did – but was matched by Billy Hanes, Mike Fortuna, and Jim Hamburger. What could’ve been a grinding four-way playoff was over after one hole, when Welch made par on the hole one.

“One of the things about being in the playoff was I was happy to be there because I didn’t expect it – so that’s always an advantage,” said Welch, who also played at Dutchess during the 1983 Junior Championship. “I just wanted to keep playing golf and not over think anything – make someone beat me and not beat myself.”

He didn’t, and now he’s a mid-amateur champion.

ABOUT THE New York State Mid-Amateur

Entries will be limited to male amateur golfers who enjoy membership privileges at Clubs belonging to the New York State Golf Association, or are NYSGA Associate Members. Entrants must have attained their 25th birthday by the date of their regional qualifier.

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