THE WOODLANDS, TX (May 26, 2006) – Andy Cooper of The Woodlands, TX posted a 1-under 71 for a 218 total and a two-stroke win the Inaugural Carlton Woods Invitational over Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel, CA. In the Senior Division, Bob Hullender of San Antonio, TX shot his age (69) to post the low round of the tournament and a two-shot win over reigning US Senior Amateur Champion, Mike Rice of Houston.
Despite enjoying near-perfect weather and course conditions all week, players were faced with the challenge of negotiating the hazard-filled Nicklaus and Fazio courses at Carlton Woods, which combined with the firm and super-fast undulating greens, sent many scores soaring. In the end, only 4 under-par rounds were recorded and many fine players failed to break 80.
Cooper got off to quick start to overcome Ledzinski’s two stroke lead by making birdie on the 1st hole for a two-shot swing. “I got off real fast. I hit a really good drive on 1 and hit it about 6 feet and made the putt. The flow of the round went well for me early. Jerry made bogey and we were even after 1”, said Cooper. From there, Andy built a seemingly comfortable 5 stroke lead by making pars on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes, followed by a birdie at number 5, while Ledzinski played the same holes at 4 over par. But Jerry birdied the 8th hole to cut the lead to 3 and followed up with a birdie on the 12th to pull within 2.
After playing the first 12 holes 2 under, Cooper stumbled with a bogey on the 13th and made double bogey on the 15th to fall back into a tie with Ledzinski. But he came right back with a birdie on 16 and a par on 17 to take a two stoke lead into the 18th after Jerry missed his par putt on 17. With a two stroke lead, Cooper went for the par 5 18th hole in two and landed it softly on the green about 20 feet from the hole to two-putt for the birdie and the win. Said Cooper, “I had every intention of laying up on 18 but when I got up there I had the absolute perfect yardage. The wind was a little in my face and I had a five wood which I had been hitting well all week. So I went for it.”
Cooper's win is the latest in a string of tournaments that has seen him pair with Sandy Pierce to win the Champions Cup, win the Carlton Woods Club Championship, and now take the Carlton Woods Invitational against a strong field of regional and national amateurs.
In the Senior Division, Bob Hullender started the day 1 shot back and quickly pulled into a tie with Mike Rice after making birdie on the 2nd hole. Rice responded with a birdies on the 3rd and 4th to open up a two stroke lead which he held until making bogey on the 9th to turn with a 1 shot advantage. Hullender turned the match in his favor with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to go up by 1 stroke and added another stroke to his margin with a par on the 17th. Heading into the 18th with a two stroke lead, Hullender birdied the hole as did Mike Rice but it was not enough to over take Bob’s tournament record score of 69. “I really enjoyed the day. When you are playing against a quality player like Mike Rice who is our National Senior Amateur Champion you know you have to play well to stay in the game,” said Hullender. “Fortunately, I was able to shoot my age today and beat him but if that’s all I can do in a couple of years, I’m going to be in trouble.”
The Carlton Woods Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event held on both the Nicklaus and Fazio Courses at The Club at Carlton Woods. The field is comprised of a Mid-Amateur Division and a Senior Division. The field was cut to the low 50% and ties after Round Two, with the remainder competing in a Consolation Event on the Nicklaus Course.
The club’s stated goal is to develop the Carlton Woods Invitational into one of the most prestigious events in amateur golf, while providing an unparalleled experience to its competitors. “We want to give our players a pure, traditional golf experience”, said Mark Steinbauer, Director of Golf at The Club at Carlton Woods. “We intend to make this tournament the finest of its kind in the U.S., a very prestigious tournament to win.”
Final results and course statistics of the inugural Carlton Woods Invitational are available in the Results
section of the Carlton Woods Invitational website, www.carltonwoodsinvitational.com
The Carlton Woods Invitational is an amateurgolf.com
ABOUT THE Carlton Woods Invitational
A 54-hole stroke play golf
played at The Club at Carlton Woods in the
Houston community of The Woodlands,
golf is one of the top activities. Entry into the
Woods Invitational is strictly
by invitation from the Tournament Committee. The
90-player field will be
comprised of two tournament divisions, a Mid-Am
Division for players aged 25-54,
and a Senior Division for players aged 55 and above.
View Complete Tournament Information