Mike Booker Wins Mid-Amateur Match Play
San Antonio — Mike Booker and Ron Kilby returned to Oak Hills Country Club
on Sunday morning for the final match of the 2013 Mid-Amateur Match Play
Championship. To make the match a little more exciting, there is a bit of history
between the two finalists. Booker and Kilby were roommates at the University of
Houston where they played on the golf team together. Kilby said, “It is great
to play against a friend that I have played so much golf with.”
The final match got underway at 7:30am with the two players starting
on the first hole. Kilby’s drive ended up out of bounds to the right side of
the hole and Bookers par was enough to give him the early 1-up lead. They went
on to halve the 2nd hole with bogeys, moving the match on to the 3rd.
Booker would go on to make two solid pars on holes 3 and 4 to win each hole and
take his lead to 3-up through 4. The players halved the 5th with
pars, but with another par on the difficult 6th hole, Booker’s lead extended
to a commanding 4-up through six. Matching shot for shot, Kilby and Booker went
on to halve the next three holes with pars to send the match to the back nine
with Booker 4-up.
As was proven throughout the week, par was the score to make
and would win a lot of holes for players. With Kilby making a bogey on the
par-5, 10th, Booker made yet another par to take his lead to 5-up.
At this point, most thought that it would only be a few holes until Booker
would close out the match, Ron Kilby had a different idea. On the 11th,
Booker’s drive went down the left side of the fairway and ended up in the rough
behind a tree. Taking advantage of his shot from the fairway, Kilby hit his
approach shot on the green and made a dent in the deficit cutting it to 4-down.
On the 12th, Kilby hit a beautiful approach that settled within
three feet of the hole. With Bookers birdie putt just missing the hole and
Kilby making his, the players would move on to the difficult par-3, 13th,
with Booker 3-up. The two would halve the 13th with pars before
Kilby got another hole back on the 14th with a par to move to 2-down
with four holes to play.
Kilby and Booker proceeded to match pars on the 15th
and 16th holes before arriving at the 17th tee with
Booker maintaining his lead of 2-up. Booker’s approach shot on the 17th
flew over the flag and nestled in the rough leaving him a very difficult pitch
that ultimately led to a bogey. With Kilby’s approach safely on the green, he
made a routine two-putt for his par to move to 1-down and send the match to the
par-3, 18th hole. Needing a win on the 18th to extend the
match to extra holes, Kilby took an aggressive line at the hole and left
himself with a 15 foot birdie putt. Booker took a similar line at the hole and
left his shot about 18 feet behind the hole, also for birdie. Booker’s putt
trickled down the slope and settled about 2 feet from the hole. Kilby now had a
putt to extend the match. Kilby’s putt started on a beautiful line but slid
just past the hole giving him a conceded par. After finishing off his short
putt on the 18th, Mike Booker was greeted by his opponent and friend
to congratulate him on his Mid-Amateur Match Play victory.
When asked what it meant to claim the victory at this
prestigious event, Booker said, “It meant a lot to win the Texas Mid-Amateur
stroke play event in 2003, but to follow it up with the Mid-Amateur Match Play
10 years later feels amazing.” The win closes out a memorable month for Booker
that also included the wedding of his daughter.
For full results, please visit WWW.TXGA.ORG.