Pierceson Coody (L) with Mike McCoy of the Trans-Miss (TMGA photo)
Second in 2018, first on every hole in 2019, University of Texas golfer Pierceson Coody
fulfilled his Trans-Mississippi Amateur destiny with a two-shot victory Friday at Maridoe Golf Club in the 116th Championship, joining a winners list including Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and Bryson DeChambeau.
The win, with a fourth round score of 2 over 74 and 284 (-4) total over University of Texas Arlington golfer Paul Gonzalez who finished with a 71-286 total, didn’t come without out plenty of anxious moments on the back nine. He took a six-shot lead into the back nine, only to see it shrink to two by the time he had bogeyed the par 4 15th hole.
“You just have to relax and be patient, the worse thing in the world you can do when the lead shrinks is just to force it and make a birdie and you make another bogey,” he said.
“This is such a redemption after finishing second last year and such a thrill. They are so many great golfers who have won this, who have gone on to do great things in golf and I want to do the same.”
He became the first Trans-Mississippi Amateur Champion since at least 2010 to lead solo wire to wire all four rounds.
Scott Harvey, 41, captured low Mid-Amateur honors with a final round score of 73 and 72 hole total 293, another lofty title in his glittering amateur golf career which has included a US Mid-Amateur, a Masters Appearance, and multiple Coleman wins at storied Seminole Golf Club.
SMU golfer McClure Meissner shot the low final round, 67, and tied for third with Rhett Rasmussen, 72-287.
“I still like playing with the kids because they can hit it so good,” Harvey said. “It’s still fun to play out here, this is a great and tough course and there is disaster at every turn.”
Harvey said he made the Trans-Mississippi Amateur trip a working vacation because his wife’s parents live in nearby Highland Village and his son was celebrating a 10th birthday, so he came early to have fun, relax and played some competitive golf.
“I’m not done yet (with golf), but I don’t have the free time I’ve had in the past.”
Gonzalez, who played in his first Trans-Mississippi golf tournament, said he relished the chance to play against some off the top college golfers in the country. He remained steady all week long, with his fourth-round score of 71, but still faced a six-shot deficit at the turn.
Coody made three straight bogeys to open the back nine, including two three putts. But the UTA junior was unable to apply any pressure missing two birdie putts of 10 feet or less on the back nine.
“I was playing my game and being conservative, giving myself chances, but at the end of the day you make some of those birdie putts and I just didn’t do that.
“I still think this was a 100% percent positive for me for my career and I’m glad to see all the hard work I have put in has paid off.”
Coody put his drive into the bunker on the par 4 15th and was unable to get up and down for par, but his closest challenger once again missed a makeable birdie putt and the lead remained at two shots.
“I just told Pierceson to just reset and relax,” said his caddy, longtime family friend Joe Diska. “I reminded him the other players had to make birdies, we’re good with where we are.”
Coody two-putted for par on the 17th hole and two-putted for another par on 18 to clinch the win. He joins a long and distinguished list of former UT golfers who have taken home the Trans-Mississippi Amateur title include Ben Crenshaw, Mark Brooks and Bob Estes, all PGA Tour winners. Coody is the grandson of former Masters Champion Charles Coody, who was unable to make the final round to see his family major tournament winning legacy continued.
“This is another step in the process and getting to the where I want to be as the No. 1 amateur in the world and achieving other things,” Coody said. “It was a fun day, with some scary moments in the back nine,” he said.
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