Gant Bills (TXGA photo)
WESTLAKE, Texas (July 28, 2018) – Gant Bills and Anthony Estorga advanced to the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play finals with commanding victories in their quarterfinal and semifinal matches. For both players, it will be their chance to claim a Texas Golf Association’s state title.
The day started with Scott Abbott of Dallas facing off against No. 1 overall seed Rick Sulzer of Carrollton and pulling off the upset. The match went to the 17th hole where Abbott won, 3 and 1, to make it to his third straight semifinal in the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play. In 2016, he lost to Colby Harwell in the final four, and in 2017, he was runner-up in the Mid-Amateur Match Play after losing to Colby Harwell in extra holes for the championship. Abbott and Sulzer combined for 15 total birdies in their match.
Anthony Estorga of Dallas advanced to the final four after winning his match over Michael Samp of Irving, 4 and 2.
Gant Bills of Plano continued his impressive play as he advanced to the final four with an exclamation point when his birdie putt on No. 16 did a full circle around the cup before it fell to the bottom. Bills won his match over Kip Estep of Rockwall, 3 and 2.
The last player to make it to the final four was Jake Istnick of Dallas, who came back from 2 down against Aaron Hickman of Tyler to win the match, 1 up, on 18. Istnick cemented his spot in the final four when his birdie putt on No. 18 dropped.
Anthony Estorga used a hot putter to help end Scott Abbott’s dream of reaching the championship match in back-to-back years. Estorga won the match against Abbott, 5 and 4.
“I wouldn’t say I have been hitting the ball well,” said Estorga. “My putting has saved me this weekend, and I actually decided to use this putter last Saturday. It looks like I have made the right choice.”
Continuing his clutch putting, Bills did not cool down, sinking back-to-back 25-footers in his semifinal match against Jake Istnick. Bills won the match, 3 and 2, and will be moving on to the championship match.
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