Van Zandt holds off defending champ at Houston City
Matt Van Zandt
Matt Van Zandt

HOUSTON, Texas — Matthew Van Zandt successfully fended off the Houston City Amateur reigning champion on Sunday, shooting a final-day, 36-hole total of 1-under par 140. The native of Houston finished the 72-hole event at 2-under par 282 at Memorial Park Golf Course, defeating last year's winner John Hunter, also of Houston, by two strokes.

Van Zandt, who won the Carlton Woods Invitational in 2014, was one of four players to begin the tournament with 69 on Friday. He, along with U.S. Open participant Cole Hammer, 2015 Texas Mid-Amateur runner-up Scott Loving, and Adam Carpenter, held a slim one-stroke lead over Keith Snyder.

Hammer was the lowest finishing player of the other three first-round co-leaders, posting 73-74-76 on his way in to tie for sixth place at 8-over par.

Meanwhile, Van Zandt remained steady, heading to Sunday's 36-hole finale tied with Hunter after he posted his own 69 on day two. His downfall would be a cluster of front-nine bogeys during Sunday morning's third round as he carded 72 while Van Zandt came in with 70.

Taking third place was David Lee of Houston, finishing just a stroke behind Hunter after shooting 72-70 on Sunday. Fourth place went to Pryce Beshoory of Pearland, thanks in part to a Sunday morning 69. Rounding out the top-five was Jess Bonneau at 7-over.

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ABOUT THE Houston City Amateur

72-hole stroke play championship, run by the Houston Golf Association that many people consider Houston's "Major" (with the feel of a PGA Tour event, including a cut to the low 40 and ties). Players must have permanent residency in the Greater Houston area which includes the following counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify.

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