Hayden Springer, the 115th Trans-Miss champion (TMGA photo)
By Art Stricklin
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- TCU senior Hayden Springer
used an incredible hole in one on the par-3 16th hole late Friday to claim the 115th annual Trans-Mississippi Golf Championship in dramatic fashion at historic Brookside Country Club.
Springer was in a tightly-bunched group including third round leader Justin Tereshko
, Jake Marriott
and Pierceson Coody
when he stepped to the 16th tee on the 148-yard uphill par 3 trailing both Marriott and Coody.
He saw his ball in the air and watched it spin back 35 feet into the hole for an ace which lifted him past Coody and tied him with Marriott. After a Marriott bogey on 17, Springer was in the lead by himself and brought home the oldest non-USGA amateur title in the country with a par on the par 4 18th hole.
The red-haired Springer said he was momentarily in shock when he saw the ball settle in the cup under such dramatic circumstances.
“That was incredible. I was not expecting it,” said Springer. “That was my first hole-in-one in competition. It kind of felt like things were going my way after that.”
Springer finished the 72-hole competition with a 273 total, 15 under par, one shot better than both Coody and Marriott, who turned in scores of 68 and 69 respectively.
“I was excited to be in the hunt on the back nine and was happy with how I played under pressure,” Marriott said about his second place finish.
He was playing in the second to last group with Springer directly behind him when the dramatic winning shot was struck.
“I heard the roar of the crowd behind me, but didn’t know at the time what it meant. The only thing I could think of was when Jonathan Byrd made a hole in one in a playoff to win a PGA Tour event a few years back.”
Playing in the same group as Springer, Coody, already the winner of two top prestigious junior events this summer, was even more disappointed as he rolled in a nice birdie putt on the 16th only to lose a stroke, and the lead, to Springer with his ace.
Springer had a bogey-free final day at Brookside, once the childhood home of Jack Nicklaus, with nine straight pars to open his round, two birdies and the one 16th hole ace he will long remember.
Springer now adds his name to the Trans-Miss Amateur Championship trophy next to the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw.
“It’s surreal,” Springer said. “I can’t even believe it.”
The Trophy Club, Texas native has already proven he was used to pressure, as he qualified for the PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic as a sophomore before transferring closer to home to TCU for his junior senior. He fired his career low score 4-under 212 and a second round 67 in the NCAA Regionals for the Horned Frogs this year.
Tereshko, who led by two shots going to the final round, was trying to win one for the mid-amateurs
but slumped to a closing 73 and finished tied for fourth. Also tied for fourth was LSU golfer Jacob Bridgeman
, Texas A&M golfer Brandon Smith
and Australian golfer Haydn Barron
all at 12-under 276 for 72 holes.
Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby
was in attendance for Friday’s final round, trying to get to know some of the new and promising golfers for next year’s American team and seeing if he can find a little more Springer dinger drama for a U.S. victory in 2019.
ABOUT THE Trans-Miss Championship
The Trans-Miss is one of the oldest and
most storied golf tournaments in the United
For 106 years the championship
was played in a match play format.
Past champions include Jack Nicklaus (1958
and 1959), Charles Coe (1947, 1949, 1952 and
1956), Deane Beman (1960), George Archer
(1963), Ben Crenshaw (1972), Gary Koch
(1973), Bob Tway (1978), Mark Brooks (1978)
and other professional tour notables. In
1987 the championship was changed to a mid-
amateur age requirement, and a senior division
was also added. Starting in 2010, the Trans-
Mississippi Championship, returned to its roots
open amateur tournament, and immediately
established itself as a "must-play" among
top collegiate and mid-am players, while
a 72-hole stroke play format. The field size
144 players from Trans-
Mississippi Golf Association member clubs (or
players receiving a special invitation from the
Championship Committee). After 36 holes, a cut
made to the low 54 and ties who play the final
View Complete Tournament Information