MONTGOMERY, TX (March 26, 2006)--Ron Schroeder closed with a 73 for a 220 total and a one shot victory over defending champion Jonathan Mathias in the TGA South Regional Amateur. Schroeder started slowly with a 4-over-par 40 on the front nine, but came back with a brilliant 3-under 33 on the back nine.
Still, it looked like it wouldn't be enough for Schroeder as he stood one behind on the 18th tee. But Mathias' approach found the water, leading to a double-bogey which allowed Schroeder, who found the green, to two-putt for the win. Mathias finished with a 74 and a 221 total.
Entering the final round, Schroeder, Mathias and Stephen Paterson shared the lead at 147 (+3). Paterson, however, faded early and never factored into the final result.
All three past champions of the event earned top-10 finishes. In addition to Mathias' runner-up finish, Mike Booker (2004) and Andy Cooper (2003) finished tied for eighth at 229.
Once again, Walden on Lake Conroe CC proved to be a stern test. The course has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the most difficult and best championship venues in the state, and the scores certainly reflected it. Only three players--Schroeder, Mathias, and third-place finisher Marshall Piper--finished in single digits over par, and only 25 of the 80 finishers shot in the 70's on Sunday. Piper and John Beatty, who finished tied for fourth, both had the low final round at even par 72.
The famed par-5 11th lived up to its reputation as one of the most difficult par 5's anywhere, with players averaging a remarkable 6.152 shots there for the tournament. For three rounds, there were 37 double-bogeys and 41 triples or higher at #11.
"I think Walden is the most challenging course in south Texas," Schroeder said. As the two time defending champion of the Devlin Trophy
, a top amateur event hosted by the club each year, he should know. "Most of he time if you are four over par you don’t think you have much of a chance, but here you are going to be in the hunt."
Schroeder, who finished 11th in the 2005 amateurgolf.com Texas Amateur
, earned 160 points for the win and moves to the top of the point standings for 2006.
The TGA South Regional Amateur is the first individual championship of the year conducted by the Texas Golf Association. Entries are open to male amateur golfers that reside in South Texas as defined by the Texas PGA Sections (South of 31 degree parallel, Salado TX and south is break point), with a certified USGA Handicap Index of 8.4 or less. Please reference "TGA State Championship Eligibility" and "Regional Eligibility" on the TGA website at www.txga.org
for additional eligibility details.
for complete results of the TGA South Regional Amateur