Osborne, Irving Hold Slim Lead at Texas Four-Ball
CARROLLTON – In pursuit of a second consecutive Texas Four-Ball Championship, Will Osborne and Josh Irving battled through 25-30 mph winds Friday morning and posted a 1-under-par 71 in the second round at Maridoe Golf Club. Combined with their 4-under 68 on Thursday, Osborne and Irving sit at 5-under 139 overall.
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They hold a one-shot lead over Maridoe members Marcus Jones and Tyler Thomas, who’ve posted two rounds of 70 to reach 4-under 140. Two shots back of the leaders are Jace Moore and Jordan Woolf, who shot 1-under 71 in the second round. They’re 3-under 141 overall. They’re all chasing Osborne and Irving for the 2018 Texas Four-Ball Championship, but the 36-hole leaders’ team will not look the same during the final round.
Irving won’t play Saturday, and he’s known that for a few days. Instead, he’ll be in Midland to attend a family member’s funeral. That means Osborne will go at it alone and try to finish off what he and Irving started on Thursday. It’s a somber scenario, but both Irving and Osborne remained upbeat and optimistic.
“When this happened with my family, I called Will and asked him what he wanted to do,” said Irving, the Texas Player of Year in 2015 and ’16. “It made me really proud to be his partner when he said he still wanted to play and would play by himself on the last day. I know he can pull it off. I think he can beat any two-man team out here.”
For his part, Osborne said he looks forward to the challenge. After a six-birdie effort in the first round, Osborne made two more on Friday. He added an eagle on the par-4 13th hole in the second round when he holed out a wedge from 140 yards.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Osborne said of the prospect of going solo Saturday. “I won’t have anyone to rely on, so it’ll kind of be a different thought process. I’ll be a lot more conservative and just try to make a couple birdies here and there. I won’t be going at as many pins. I’m just going to try and post a number and see what happens.”
Jones and Thomas, the home club members, said they were disappointed to hear Irving won’t be playing with Osborne.
“We wish that wasn’t the case,” Thomas said. “We’ve heard about those guys; they’re some unbelievable players. We wish we had a straight up match against them tomorrow, so it was unfortunate to hear that.”
Thomas and Jones haven’t been shy to admit their local knowledge around the brutally tough Maridoe course has helped them. They said they plan to stay patient in the final round and would love to win the Texas Four-Ball on their home course. Yet at the same time, they understand the overall tenor of the championship.
“This event is about having fun,” Jones said. “We’re going to have a good time with Will tomorrow. We’ve known him a long time, and I hope he posts a great score.”
Moore and Woolf, just two shots out of the lead, said they don’t plan to alter their aggressive strategy on Saturday. They’ve attacked Maridoe head-on and refuse to play it safe.
“We’re kind of a ‘Risk-It, Biscuit’ kind of team,” Woolf said. “We both hit driver on pretty much every hole. We don’t like to lay up very much. If you’re not aggressive here, you’re just going to make bogeys.”
A total of 31 teams in the Championship division (ages 25 and older) made the 36-hole cut at 9-over 153.
In the Senior division (55+), John Pierce and Craig Hall combined to make six birdies in the second round. They finished the day with a score of 2-under 70, which gave them a 36-hole total of 2-under 142. That’s good for a four-shot lead over John Stark and Bobby Baugh.
“We had it to 5-under through eight holes,” Hall said. “It was just tough bringing it home. This golf course is terrific. It’s mean, and you can’t let up for one shot. Even when you hit good shots into the green, you’re going to have a 50- or 60-footer, and you have to bear down on every putt. Just a fantastic golf course. It’s a pleasure to play, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Twelve teams in the Senior division made the cut at 9-over 153.
In the Super Seniors division (65+), John Grace and Bill Holstead separated themselves from the pack with a stellar 1-under 71 in the second round. Overall, they sit at even-par 144.
Grace and Holstead lead Maridoe owner Albert Huddleston and his partner Michael Stengle by six shots. Huddleston and Stengle posted a tidy 1-over 73 to get to 6-over 150 overall. Joel Eastman and Woody Thames comprise the third and final team to make the cut in the Super Senior division at 8-over 152.
The final round of the 2018 Texas Four-Ball Championship begins Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.