Bolen defends West Texas Am title in playoff
David Bolen (TGA photo)
David Bolen (TGA photo)

AMARILLO, Texas (July 22,2018) – After a two-hole playoff, David Bolen won the West Texas Amateur for the second consecutive time. Bolen of Lubbock, Texas, shot a 3-under 68 on Sunday to force a playoff with Tripp Wallace. Wallace, who is also from Lubbock, forced his way to the top of the leaderboard by posting a 66, the lowest round of the tournament. Ralph Ellis captured the Senior Division after shooting 4-under 67 in the final round. Ed Brooks expanded on the commanding lead he built in the second round to cruise to the Super Senior Division title.

“I started off the day great with a birdie putt on one, and had a great feel for my putter,” said Bolen. That definitely rang true as he birdied three of his last eight holes to force the playoff.

For the first playoff hole on 18, Wallace attempted to reach the green on his second shot and bounced into the water as Bolen laid up after finding the left rough off the tee. Wallace went on to save par after hitting his fourth shot to 4 feet. Bolen’s birdie putt unfortunately went all the way around the cup to just fall out and force a second playoff hole.

Bolen again found the left rough on the second playoff hole and was forced to lay up. This time around, Wallace decided to lay up to a comfortable yardage. Both competitors found themselves with a birdie putt. Bolen was up first this go around with a slippery 12 footer down the slope to a tricky back left hole location. He redeemed himself after missing his last two birdie putts going back to the final hole of his round. After Bolen drained his birdie putt, the pressure was on Wallace as he had no more than 5 feet left to force another hole. Wallace left his putt short and made Bolen a back-to-back championship.

“I couldn’t believe my putt stayed out on the first playoff hole, but I still trusted and felt good with my putter to sink the birdie the second time around.”

Ralph Ellis, an Amarillo Country Club member, started the day 2-over and tied with Chuck Palmer in the Senior Division, which has featured a crowded and competitive leaderboard all weekend. Ellis shot 2 under on the front nine and never looked back as he went on to shoot 4 under on the day and finish 3 under overall.

“This is a big win, and I am really glad I could help represent this beautiful course in a good way,” Ellis said.

Ed Brooks of Fort Worth stayed in the lead for all three rounds of the West Texas Amateur. Brooks, last year’s Texas Senior Amateur Champion, shot a 73-70-71 to win the Senior Division by a whopping 17 strokes.

“I wasn’t happy with my putting all week, but again, my ball striking was excellent,” said Brooks. “It was one of those weeks where everything clicked and I stayed consistent hitting the fairways and greens, so I am happy with how I finished.”

The defending champion, Patrick Pritchett of Lubbock, finished in second shooting a 77-74-80 231 overall.

ABOUT THE West Texas Amateur

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers who reside in either region (North/South) of the state of Texas. Applicants must have a certified GHIN Handicap Index of 10.0 or less. Senior division players must be 55 years of age as of the first round of tournament play. Super Senior players must be 65 years of age as of the first round of tournament play.

Format/Field Size and Cut: The championship will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play with three (3) divisions; Championship, Senior and Super Senior. Each division will play from separate tees/yardages and separate champions will be recognized in each division. At the conclusion of 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 72 players (and ties), with a pro-rated representation from each division. The pro-rated allocation of players making the cut from each division will be reflective of the number of players in each division, relative to the total field size. The determination of total field size, number of players in each division and pro-rated representation of players making the cut (before ties) will be announced in conjunction with pairings being posted.

The field is limited to 144, as outlined below:
Championship: Open (84 players)
Senior: 55 & Over (42 players)
Super Senior: 65 & Over (18 players)

View Complete Tournament Information

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