MONROE, La. (July 29, 2018) – Two years ago at the Australian Amateur, Victorian Blake Collyer
cemented a reputation for taking down players in match play no matter what the difference in ranking. He survived a playoff to slide into the 64-man match-play bracket, then took down the No. 2 seed in the first round.
Collyer, it seems, will do anything it takes to win a match. In the W.E. Cole Cotton States final, that meant an ace.
Collyer was the No. 13 seed at Bayou DeSiard Country Club, but he played his way through four rounds of matches to reach the final against Paul Gonzalez
, a member of the Texas-Arlington golf team.
When it came down to Saturday’s final, Collyer seemed to be playing catch up for most of the front nine. He went 1 down when Gonzalez birdied the second hole, but made up for it with a birdie at No. 3. Bogeys at Nos. 6 and 9 also cost him.
Collyer played the back nine brilliantly, however – and flawlessly. A birdie at No. 10 brought the match back to all square, and two more birdies at Nos. 12 and 14 gave Collyer the 2-up lead.
The real heroics came at the par-3 15th, however. Collyer made an ace to go 3 up and dormie. A birdie at the par-5 16th sealed the championship, even though Gonzalez matched him there. Collyer effectively played those seven holes on the back nine in 6 under, and it earned him the victory.
Entering the Cotton States, Collyer was coming off a T-30 at the Southern Amateur and a T-33 at the Players Amateur. He won the 2017 Dunes Medal. Two years ago, Collyer advanced to the semifinals at this event.
Gonzalez, the Waxahachie, Texas native, continues to put himself in contention in summer events. He took the lead into the final round of the West Texas Amateur last week and came out with a top-5 finish, and this week threw a string of pars and birdies at Collyer to make a run at the Cotton States title.
In the end, Collyer’s fireworks on the back nine were just too much.
ABOUT THE Cotton States Amateur
Originally played in 1949 as the Bayou
DeSiard Labor Day Golf Tournament, the
name was changed to the Cotton States
Invitational in 1951 by the club's young head
professional, W. E. "Winnie" Cole. He felt that
name better reflected the main states that the
tournament's players originated from (and a
mid-summer made the name a necessity later
anyway). Little did Cole know that 27 years
1978, the event would be renamed again,
be known as the W. E. Cole Cotton States
Invitational Golf Tournament.
Past champions of this highly competitive, yet
tournament include Don January and Hal
Toms and many other PGA Tour players have
competed. The tournament field field is limited
having a verified USGA Handicap Index not
exceeding 0.0. Long a match play event, the
format was changed in 2021 to 72 holes of
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