West Texas Amateur: Calef takes it
Abilene, TX (July 22, 2012)– After blistering temperatures and substantial winds set the stage for the Senior and Super Senior divisions this morning, severe storms moved into the area causing the final round of the Championship division to be shortened to 36 holes. It was a tale of two totally different weather patterns as the morning wave battled the heat and sun to cap off their West Texas Amateur Championship and the afternoon had players dodging lightning. In the end a champion was crowned in each respective division and the 2012 West Texas Championship is in the history books. Nine holes are all that could get completed in the Open division as severe weather reared its ugly head. At 5:25PM lighting invaded the fifteen mile radius surrounding Diamondback Golf Club and play was immediately suspended. With the final group set to hit their approaches into ten green, the TGA staff knew that at least two hours would be needed to complete the round. At 6:45PM the storms that had caused the delay were only intensifying and had decided to remain stagnant in their current position. The Tournament Committees priority was to maintain the safety of the players and to do so meant the decision to cancel the final round. Due to the cancelation the championship reverted back to the 36 hole standings and Mike Calef was crowned champion. In the Senior division it was Tim Carlton who looked to hold on to his one shot lead going into Sunday. Carlton’s start was consistent and mistake free. After starting his round with three straight pars, Carlton stepped up to the short par four 4th looking to strike. After a well placed drive and approach, Carlton made his birdie putt. Five straight pars heading in gave Carlton an opening round nine of one under par, 35. It was more of the same on the back as he continued his par streak through the first five holes. His lone bogey of the day came on the par 4, 15th, and was bookend by two birdies. Carlton’s final round of two under par 69 was good enough to hold off Phil Austin of Arlington by two strokes. Austin’s final round was an up-and-down adventure as he carded three birdies, one bogey, and a double on his way to a front nine 36. Things calmed on the back as Austin made two birdies and one bogey on his way to a final round 70. John Grace rounded out the top three after posting a final round 71, giving him a three day total of 210. Mike Gooden of Dallas held on to his lead and captured the Super Senior title. Gooden, who opened up with two straight rounds of 72, found trouble early in his round making three straight bogeys to start the day. Birdies on #4 and #8 quickly got Gooden back on track and a final birdie on #13 stretched Gooden’s lead. Gooden once again found trouble coming in though. After a double bogey on #17 and a bogey on #18, Gooden found his way to the scoring area unsure of his finish. His final round of three over par, 74, was still good enough for a two stroke victory of Mansfield’s Harold Speer and Georgetown’s Dale Fell. Speer rocketed up the leaderboard after firing a final round 66 which included seven birdies and two bogeys as Fell lost ground after a final round 75.