Lance Ester is the 2013 Public Links Champion
The final match at the 2013 Public Links Championship was
delayed 30 minutes on Sunday morning when rain and lightning decided to make an
appearance. Thanks to the hard work of the Maintenance Staff at Avery Ranch
Golf Club, the course was cleared for play much sooner than could have been
expected. The 18-hole match finally got underway at 8:00 AM with Craig Cyr and
Lance Ester battling for the title of Public Links Champion.
Lance Ester, a student at Texas A&M, proved he was ready
to play and birdied the first hole to take a quick 1-up lead. After halving
with pars on the second, Ester made birdies on the third and fourth holes to
extend his lead to 3-up through four holes. On the seventh hole, Cyr hit his
tee shot left into the hazard. Ester took advantage of the opening and hit his
approach shot from the fairway to 10 feet. Cyr conceded the hole giving Ester
the 4-up lead through seven holes. Cyr cut into the lead on the par three,
eighth hole, when Ester pulled his tee shot left of the green and made bogey.
The players proceeded to the ninth tee with Ester leading 3-up. Both Cyr and
Ester hit great drives on the difficult ninth hole. Ester was first to play and
sailed his approach shot over the green. Sensing a small opening, Cyr hit a
solid approach to about 20 feet beyond the hole for a birdie chance. Ester hit
a beautiful chip from over the green that ended up within six inches of the
hole earning him a par. Cyr then hit a great putt that just stayed out on the
left edge securing the half. After the opening nine, the match stood with Ester
On the tenth hole, Ester made yet another birdie extending
his lead to 4-up through 10 holes. The eleventh hole is the longest par three
on the course at 227 yards, and any player is happy to walk away with a par.
Cyr had other plans and birdied the challenging hole to cut back into the lead.
The players would go on to halve holes twelve through fourteen with pars. On
the fifteenth hole, Cyr managed a birdie to move to 2-down in the match. On the
drivable par 4 sixteenth, Cyr missed his 6-foot birdie putt to win the hole and
would move on to the seventeenth still 2-down. All Ester needed to secure the
championship was a half on the seventeenth, and that is exactly what he got. With
both players making pars, Lance Ester of Magnolia, Texas was named the 2013
Public Links Champion by a margin of 2 and 1.
When asked what it meant to be the champion of the 2013
Public Links Championship, Ester said: “It means a lot. I haven’t played
tournament golf in three years and wanted to test myself. It felt great to be
As Champion and Runner-Up, both Ester and Cyr have earned
exemptions into the 104th Texas Amateur being held at Lakeside
Country Club in Houston, June 13-16.
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