AUSTIN, Texas (June 2, 2013) — The final match at the 2013 Public Links Championship was delayed 30 minutes on Sunday morning when rain and lightning decided to make an appearance. Thanks to the hard work of the Maintenance Staff at Avery Ranch Golf Club, the course was cleared for play much sooner than could have been expected. The 18-hole match finally got underway at 8:00 AM with Craig Cyr and Lance Ester battling for the title of Public Links Champion.
Ester, a student at Texas A&M, proved he was ready to play and birdied the first hole to take a quick 1-up lead. After halving with pars on the second, Ester made birdies on the third and fourth holes to extend his lead to 3-up through four holes. On the seventh hole, Cyr hit his tee shot left into the hazard. Ester took advantage of the opening and hit his approach shot from the fairway to 10 feet. Cyr conceded the hole giving Ester the 4-up lead through seven holes. Cyr cut into the lead on the par three, eighth hole, when Ester pulled his tee shot left of the green and made bogey. The players proceeded to the ninth tee with Ester leading 3-up. Both Cyr and Ester hit great drives on the difficult ninth hole. Ester was first to play and sailed his approach shot over the green. Sensing a small opening, Cyr hit a solid approach to about 20 feet beyond the hole for a birdie chance. Ester hit a beautiful chip from over the green that ended up within six inches of the hole earning him a par. Cyr then hit a great putt that just stayed out on the left edge securing the half. After the opening nine, the match stood with Ester leading 3-up.
On the 10th hole, Ester made yet another birdie extending his lead to four-up through 10 holes. The 11th hole is the longest par 3 on the course at 227 yards, and any player is happy to walk away with a par. Cyr had other plans and birdied the challenging hole to cut back into the lead. The players would go on to halve holes 12 through 15 with pars. On the 15th hole, Cyr managed a birdie to move to two-down in the match. On the drivable par 4-16th, Cyr missed his 6-foot birdie putt to win the hole and would move on to the 17th still 2-down. All Ester needed to secure the championship was a half on the 17th, and that is exactly what he got. With both players making pars, Lance Ester of Magnolia, Texas was named the 2013 Public Links Champion by a margin of 2 and 1.
When asked what it meant to be the champion of the 2013 Public Links Championship, Ester said: “It means a lot. I haven’t played tournament golf in three years and wanted to test myself. It felt great to be competitive again.”
As champion and runner-up, both Ester and Cyr have earned exemptions into the 104th Texas Amateur being held at Lakeside Country Club in Houston, June 13-16.