Hodge Captures 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur Championship
(Boerne,TX) After a suspension due to darkness delayed the
completion of Saturday’s second round at the 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur
Championship, players arrived at Cordillera Ranch Sunday morning unsure of what
they might find after a night of torrential rain and thunderstorms. Luckily the course fared much better than the
surrounding area and by 8:00am play had resumed under wet but calm conditions.
With the majority of players only having to complete their last nine holes,
round two was completed at 10:45am giving the TGA staff an opportunity to make
the cut for the final round before play began. In all fifty-four players found
themselves above the cut line of 158 and advanced into Sunday’s final round.
Fast and windy conditions throughout the first two rounds of
the championship provided the players with an extremely difficult test of golf.
Sunday, however, was a different story as the overnight thunderstorms provided
soft and calm conditions which many players were able to take advantage of.
Zach Atkinson, who found himself seven shots back of the lead heading into the
final round, was one of those players. After two birdies on his opening nine,
Atkinson continued his bogey free round carding four birdies on the closing nine
for a round of six under par, 66, placing him in sole possession of third
place. Colby Harwell of Robinson also looked to make a charge at the leader
early in his round carding four birdies and just one bogey on his opening
nine. Making the turn, Harwell kept
pressing. After a birdie on the par-4 tenth, Harwell found himself in a tie
atop the leaderboard with second round leader, Clay Hodge who was two groups
behind Harwell. Additional birdies on the fourteenth and sixteenth put Harwell
one under par for the tournament and just one down of Hodge who was standing on
the eighteenth tee.
Hodge, who had played consistent golf all day, found the
middle of the fairway with his tee shot. After leaving his approach shot forty feet
short of the hole, Hodge was left with two putts to claim the title of Texas
Mid-Amateur Champion. After his first attempt, Hodge was left with an uphill
five footer which he watched painfully slide just past the hole placing him in
a tie with Harwell at one under par for the tournament. Both players then headed
back to the eighteenth for a sudden death playoff in order to crown a champion.
On the first playoff hole, Harwell’s drive found the left rough with his swing
somewhat impeded by a tree. After playing back out to the fairway, Harwell’s
chip shot ran past the flag leaving him a fifteen foot putt to extend the
match. Wasting no time at all, Harwell stepped up and confidently made the par
putt to extend the playoff another hole. The players then headed back to the
eighteenth tee where both now found the center of the fairway with their tee
shots. Harwell was first to play and hit his approach safely to the middle of
the green giving him an uphill twenty-five footer for birdie. Hodge then played
a brilliant second shot which landed ten feet right of the hole and stopped.
After Harwell’s birdie putt narrowly missed the hole, Hodge calmly stepped up
to his ten footer and confidently stroked it center cut to claim the 2013 Texas
Mid-Amateur title. “It feels really good. After qualifying in the Last Chance
qualifier to come out here and win in my first tournament since graduating…it means