Cordell, Lach finish off eight-shot Champions Cup victory
Bryant Lach and Matt Cordell flank Jack Burke Jr.
Bryant Lach and Matt Cordell flank Jack Burke Jr.

HOUSTON – Matt Cordell may be member No. 203 at Champions Golf Club, but he and partner Bryant Lach were clearly No. 1 Sunday as they rolled to an eight-shot victory in the 52th annual Champions Cup Invitational.

The Houston twosome certainly made the most of their home-course advantage on a sunny Sunday afternoon, for their second win in the last three years in the prestigious mid-amateur better ball event.

The pair took a five-shot lead going to the final day at the par-71 Champions GC and while they saw their lead cut to three shots on the front nine, they never wavered and turned on the afterburners on a back nine they have played hundreds of times.

“We weren’t really playing bad on the front nine, but we just needed a few putts to go in to get the momentum going,” Cordell said.

After finishing with a 1-over 37 on the par-36 front nine, Lach rolled in a short birdie putt on the par-4 10th hole at Champions and then Cordell stuck his approach to a foot on the long par-4 11th for another tap-in birdie and the rout was on.

Cordell capped the romp by knocking in a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to win in style.

They shot rounds of 65-68-66 with a closing 68 for a 17-under 267 total.

“Our wives just both had kids, so this may be the last meaningful golf we are going to play for a while,” Lach said, “so I told Matt, let’s get it going and that’s what we did.”

Lach, 31, played college golf at Texas A&M and LSU while Cordell, 35, attended Oklahoma State, but did not play golf there.

“To win at a tournament with Mr. Burke’s name on it and to see how he embraces amateur golf and how the club embraces it, it means a lot to win here again,” said Cordell. “I guess I’ll stick with Bryant as my partner until he wants to make a change.”

“Not a chance,” Lach countered.

There was a three-way for second place between the two-man teams of Ty Comerford and Dustin Sloat, Shane Heise and Justin Kaplan plus Bowen Osborn and Nick Ushijima. All three shot 9-under 275.

The team of Eric and Gary Durbin were alone in fifth place at 8-under 277. They had the second-lowest team score of 67 on Sunday.

The teams of B. Baker and Matt Van Zandt plus Russell Chabaud and Scott McAlpine each shot final round low 66 Sunday on the historic course which will be the site of the 2020 U.S Women’s Open.

“With the number of good mid-amateurs we have there, there isn’t a lot of places for them to play so that’s what (Jimmy) Demaret and I wanted to do in founding the tournament,” said club founder and president Jack Burke, Jr. “As a result, we had 16 teams we couldn’t get in this year because of the great demand for a tournament like this.”

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ABOUT THE Champions Cup Invitational

Champions is Jack Burke's club, and the Champions Cup is his invitational tournament. This is a special place, full of history and worthy of the championships it has hosted, which include the Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, U.S Amateur, U.S. Mid- Amateur and multiple Tour Championships. The Champions Cup is a 72-hole four-ball event with no cut. It is a very popular tournament that attracts a very strong, competitive national field. To be considered for entry, players must maintain a maximum USGA handicap of 3, be at least 25 years old and submit playing accomplishments to be considered. Walking is required but long pants are no longer mandatory. Contestants are urged to stay at the homes of Champions members (at no cost), but can arrange their own accommodations if desiring to do so. The tournament formerly required both contestants to be from the same state but has since waived that requirement.

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