Zach Atkinson and Colby Harwell square off in Mid-Amateur Match Play Final
Zach Atkinson and Colby Harwell square off in Mid-Amateur Match Play Final.
Dallas – Colby Harwell, San Antonio, saw himself through to the finals after two tough hard fought matches. In the quarterfinals in the morning, Colby squared off against Dallas’ Andy McCabe. Colby opened with two straight birdies that helped him win the first three holes. However, the momentum switched when McCabe poured in a birdie on the 168 yard par three, 5th. With a par on the difficult 6th, he battled back to just a one-hole deficit. The pair would go on to halve the next seven holes before Harwell’s birdie on the 530 yard, par five, 14th. He closed the match with a birdie on the 17th, for a 3 & 1 victory.
Harwell’s time between his next match and his previous was quite large as his opponent would have to endure a grueling 24 holes before advancing to the semifinals.
Gary Ezmerlian, Fort Worth, squared off against Dallas’ Josh Irving in the other quarterfinal. The match at one point got to where Ezmerlian was three down after six holes. That gap was made up quickly when a couple of pars brought him back to just one down. The two traded victories on the 11th and 12th but it was Gary’s birdie on the 14th that saw him go all square and his par on the 16th that saw him take his first lead of the day. Josh answered right back with a birdie on 17 to begin a stretch of six straight holes in which not one person could outperform the other. Ezmerlian’s par though, on the 6th hole, was just enough to secure his match up with Harwell in the afternoon.
Ezmerlian, undoubtedly exhausted from the grueling playoff with Irving in the heat, halved Colby in the first two holes. However, when Harwell stuck his fairway bunker shot on the third to a few feet for birdie, the San Antonio native stepped on the gas pedal. Pars on the fourth and sixth holes saw his lead go to 3 up. Despite his bogey on the ninth, Harwell turned at 4 up and in command of the matchup. Harwell booked his Championship Match ticket with three straight victories between holes eleven through thirteen.
On the other side of the draw, Zach Atkinson, Colleyville, faced off versus Christopher Wheeler of Addison. The two fast paced players were out in hurry, momentum that Atkinson took advantage of. Atkinson took a 2 up lead through four and looked ready for a semifinals match in the afternoon. Wheeler though parred the sixth and brought the margin to just one. Atkinson though birdied right back on the seventh and took the 2 up lead which he quickly extended to a 6 & 5 victory in just six more additional holes.
James Glenn, Tyler, and Jay Reynolds’, Austin, match featured a ton a swings in momentum and numerous birdies. Glenn drew first blood with just a par on the 2nd hole but Reynolds answered with back-to-back birdies to get the advantage. However, James answered with a birdie of his own to bring the match to all square through five. Despite sharing par victories on the sixth and eighth, it was Glenn’s par on the ninth that got him a 1 up lead at the turn. The two remained at that margin until a par on the 17th for Glenn saw him claim a 2 & 1 victory.
Zach Atkinson and James Glenn’s match featured four holes of victories, with Atkinson taking three of them with just one birdie. His margin of 2 up though was only good for one hole when Glenn birdied the challenging par four sixth. Just as he had done earlier, Atkinson extended his lead to 2 up on the ninth only to have a Glenn birdie on the tenth bring the match back to 1 up. For the third and final time in their semifinal match, Atkinson birdied to bring the lead to 2 up and Glenn answered with a birdie on the 13th. The seventeenth though was the first time Glenn got to All Square first time since the second hole. While there was potential for the match to see extra holes, Atkinson confidently poured in a 12 foot birdie to clinch his berth into the Championship Match.
The final of the 2016 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play between Colby Harwell and Zach Atkinson not only features two of the top Mid-Amateurs in the state, but also represents two-thirds of the winning Texas contingent from the USGA Men’s State Team Championship in 2014. The Championship Match will be contested at 7:30 am off the first tee at Northwood Club. For complete results, please click here
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