Bendetti / Swanson Capture State Four-Ball
(Horseshoe Bay, TX) The final round of the State Four-Ball Championship has historically been full of excitement and nail-biting finishes and the final round at Summit Rock Golf Club was nothing different. Through three days teams from all over Texas have battled stout winds and strong competition in their chase to capture the first state title of the year. While there was no need for extra holes in the Senior and Super Senior divisions, the Championship division ended in stellar fashion as three teams found themselves tied at the completion of 54 holes.
Heading into Sunday three teams sat atop the leaderboard in the Championship division and defending back-to-back champions, John Bearrie and Aaron Hickman, were not one of those teams. Looking to catapult up the leaderboard and remain in contention, Bearrie and Hickman got things started early with two quick birdies out of the gate and added two more in their opening nine to give put them four under par through their first nine holes. Their back nine was more of the same as they added an eagle and three birdies on their route to a closing round 64, giving them a tournament total of sixteen under par, 200. Second round co-leaders Chris Davis and Russell Helson also started out quickly posting three birdies on the front nine but found trouble on the tenth leading to their lone bogey of the day. On the seventeenth hole needing birdie to tie the clubhouse leaders, Davis drained an 80 foot putt from the front of the green sending a charge through the course. Playing with Davis and Helson in the final pairing was round two co-leaders Joe Bendetti and Josh Swanson. After opening with a three under par 33 on their opening nine, Bendetti and Swanson played steady golf carding eight straight pars before draining a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a three team playoff at 200. In the playoff Bearrie and Hickman found trouble on the first hole and their bid for a three-peat ended as they made bogey while the other two teams carded pars. Heading to the par 5, second hole, both teams played aggressive going for the green in two but neither were successful. With all four players starring at birdie it became a putting contest for victory. After Helson and Davis both missed their birdie attempts the door became wide open for the team of Bendetti and Swanson to claim the title. Swanson was first to putt and his five footer just slide past the edge of the hole leaving Bendetti to stare down his four-footer for victory. After taking some time to view the putt, Bendetti stepped up and confidently rolled it in to give his team the victory and title of 2013 State Four-Ball Champions.
In the Senior division, the team of Bob Kearney and Gary Durbin were able to hold of the charging Warren Huddleston and Lee Sandlin to capture the Senior title by one stroke. A collective seven birdies and no bogeys on the day gave Kearney and Durbin a final round score of seven under par, 65, leading to a tournament total of eighteen under par 198. Sandlin and Huddleston gave it their best shot but after a hot front nine which included four birdies the team struggled to make putts on the back allowing for only a single birdie on the seventeenth. Rounding out the top three was Craig Rumora and Hill Adams who fired a closing round of 66 which gave them a 54-hole total of fourteen under par, 202.
Super seniors Bob Hullender and Mike Arnold took charge and never looked back during their strong final round which included eight birdies and just one bogey. Their final round of 65 gave the team a three day total of thirteen under par, 203. Good enough for a ten shot victory over second place finishers Don Grider and Darrell Haney. Capturing third place in the Super Senior division was the brother team of Patrick and Mickey Cooper who posted a final round of 75, giving them a tournament total of 215.