Zach Atkinson picked up his second overall state championship with the win
DALLAS, TX (July 24, 2016) -- Zach Atkinson won the
2016 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play over Colby Harwell
by a 1 up victory at Northwood Club. It was Zach’s first
Mid-Am Match Play title and second overall state
championship to go with his 2004 Texas Amateur title.
Zach Atkinson, Colleyville, came into the
Championship Match having played a tight match in his
semifinals but knew that his opponent in the final would
be a much tougher fight. Colby Harwell, San Antonio, is
a good friend of Atkinson and the two have played
numerous rounds together.
The championship match commenced at 7:30 am
on the first tee at Northwood Club in Dallas. With the
sun rising into their eyes, both players missed the
fairway and scrambled right out of the gate. Despite
giving themselves a look at birdie after their approach
shots, both birdies tries slide by and the pair we’re
square after the first.
Despite reaching the greenside bunker in two on
the par five, 5th hole, Atkinson couldn’t convert a short
birdie opportunity to take a lead early. Both players
recorded pars on the third before Harwell drew first
blood when he converted a 10 foot downhill putt for
That lead didn’t last long as Atkinson’s par on the
5th, was good enough to get back to even ground. The
467 yard, par four, 6th hole saw both players having to
escape the trees on opposite sides of the fairway. Just
as the day had started, their scrambling proved to be on
point as both would record pars.
On the seventh hole, Atkinson flared his tee shot
right into the eighth fairway but an excellent punch shot
allowed Zach the chance to make birdie. Harwell
though, knocked his approach to just under 10 feet to
press Zach to make his birdie. When it slide by, Harwell
drained his and took a 1 up lead.
Zach though, had short memory and blasted his
drive on the par four 8th. His approach was even better
though when he only had a foot for birdie. Harwell’s
approach landed about 15 feet out and his putt slide by
to bring the match back to all-square.
That didn’t last long as Zach’s shot into the 201
yard par three, 9th hole clipped a tree and fell well short
of the green. Harwell, trying to reapply the pressure,
knocked his tee shot in tight setting up another birdie.
Atkinson had to navigate around a greenside bunker to
front hole location but failed to do so. His long putt
teased the hole, but when it missed, he conceded the
birdie and Harwell was back to 1 up.
Steady play continued as the opponents made the
turn, which saw both par the 10th hole before Atkinson
made up ground with a birdie on the 11th, bringing the
match back to all-square.
Atkinson had the honor on the par three 12th but
his shot found the left bunker. Harwell reached the back
of the green but was 20 feet away still for a birdie.
Atkinson blasted out of the bunker to 10 feet and
converted a clutch putt to keep the match level.
Zach had the advantage when he nearly drove the
13th green, however he missed a short birdie try in an
effort to gain an advantage over Harwell.
Players stepped on the 506 yard par five, 14th level
with just five holes to go looking to break the deadlock.
The player that stepped up was Atkinson, when he
dropped a ten foot birdie from the back of the green to
gain his first lead of the day.
They parred the par four 15th hole before they
reached the difficult uphill par three 16th hole. Still with
the honor, Atkinson had the tee and missed the green
by 20 yards right in the trees. Harwell, looking to
capitalize on a window of opportunity hit his approach
on the green and knew that a two putt might just be
good enough. Atkinson chipped out and left himself 15
feet for par but watched it miss on the high side.
Harwell left himself five feet for par and victory on the
hole but his putt lipped out on the right side and
Atkinson maintained his 1 up lead headed to the 17th
The players both missed the green on the 17th hole
but their chips ran around five feet past in opposite
directions. Atkinson converted his first leaving all the
pressure on Harwell to stay in the match. When
Harwell’s putt dropped, it sent the match to the 18th
tee, with Atkinson dormie.
Zach took iron off the tee and found the right hand
side of the fairway while Colby’s iron hit a tree and
settled into a tough lie in the rough. Zach hit first and
landed 15 feet right of the flag on the safe side of the
green. Colby knowing that it was time to make
something happen, punched from the lie only to watch
the ball sail to the rough behind the green. Needing to
make his chip, Colby nearing jarred it but it slipped by
and was in for four. Zach just needing a two putt,
almost got it done in one but with just inches
remaining, Colby removed his hat and congratulated
Zach on this title.
The final match featured great golf from two great
players. Both players were one-under-par for the day
despite scrambling from the rough outside the fairways
View results for Texas Mid-Am Match Play
ABOUT THE Texas Mid-Am Match Play
Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers
with a GHIN handicap index of 5.4 or less, and who
are 25 years of age or older as of the first round of
Format/Field Size: Scheduled for 18 holes of stroke
play qualifying on Thursday. The low 32 players
advance to match play beginning on Friday. Round of
32 and 16 played on Friday, Quarter and Semifinal
matches played on Saturday, and Final match on
Sunday morning. The field is limited to 84 players.
View Complete Tournament Information