Lupton Invitational Mid-Am Champion Clay Homan
OOLTEWAH, Tennessee (May 28, 2017) -- For a while, it looked like the final round of the Lupton Invitational would be a washout. That would have been interesting, because two players (Clay Homan and Todd Burgan) were tied at even-par after 36-holes.
Honors Course Director of Golf Henrik Simonsen, as well as champion Clay Homan, were both glad that didn't happen.
"It was a miracle that we got the round in," said Simonsen, who noted that the expected rain dumped on Saturday night, not Sunday as expected.
The course was wet, and the players were given the opportunity to play lift-clean-place, but the round went on as scheduled with light winds drying things out as the day went on.
Homan, the recently retired Mississippi State golf coach and 5-time Mississippi Amateur champion, had opened with a bogey free round of 68 in the first round Friday, but he lost his driver accuracy on Saturday and "scratched out" a 76 which left him tied with Todd Burgan at even par heading into Sunday's final round.
And while Homan was playing much better on Sunday, it's not easy to draw up another perfect round under final round conditions. He turned at 2-over, and when he made a bogey on No. 11 was as high as 3-over on the day.
"I came back with a birdie on the 12th, and then almost aced the 16th," said Homan in a phone interview. "The hole was playing 181 yards but it's downhill and downwind -- I wanted to hit something good and firm over water so I hit 8-iron and was left with a tap-in."
The 16th, by the way, is no joke. Facing the classic Pete Dye water-carry (as in there isn't much room for error) with the pressure of the tournament on the line could make many players weak in the knees. Almost acing it with an 8-iron, after factoring the wind and downhill into the equation is quite remarkable.
The lead was then three, and good drives that found the fairway on the par-5 17th and the gorgeous par-4 18th led to solid pars and a final round of 73 and a tournament total of 1-over 217. That score was good for a 2-stroke win over Andrew Lawson of Dallas. Playing in front of the leaders, Lawson did his best to catch them with birdies on the final two holes.
New Jersey Mid-Am standout Mike Stamberger finished in third at 4-over while second round co-leader Todd Burgan finished in a four-way tie for fourth at 5-over with Parker Smith, Thad Hudgens, and Scott Kammann.
The round of the day was posted by Ryan Greer. He vaulted up the leaderboard into a tie for 10th with a final round of 3-under 69, just one shot more than Homan posted in round one. Event with lift, clean and place in play, at the Pete Dye-designed Honors Course, that's a fine way to finish indeed.
As for Homan, after 18 years of coaching Division I golf (4 at Rice and 14 at Miss. State) he's going to spend more time with his three children and work with his family's 50-year-old lumber business. Mid-Amateur golfers, beware.
Those five state amateur titles he's recorded? The first one was at age 22, and the last one was at age 44, and that was last year.
ABOUT THE Lupton Memorial Invitational
This event, named after club founder John T.
debuted in 2005 on a spectacular Pete Dye
near Chatanooga. Mitch Voges won the 1991
Amateur here, and Tiger Woods won the
Championship here despite a final round 80.
individual event with a 36 hole cut. Stroke
for the Championship division and Stableford
for the Senior division. Committee will invite
ams and 54 senior ams. The field will be cut to
approximately 75% in each division following the
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