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David Bolen Repeats as West Texas Amateur Champion in Dramatic Fashion
Amarillo, Texas – David Bolen wins West Texas Amateur back to back years in a two hole playoff. David Bolen of Lubbock, shot a 68 on the day to force a playoff with Tripp Wallace. Wallace, who is also from Lubbock, forced his way to the top shooting the lowest round of the West Texas Amateur tournament with a 66. Ralph Ellis captured the Senior Division after shooting 4-under 67 in the final round. Ed Brooks used a demanding lead after the second round to cruise to the Super Senior Division title.
“I started off the day great with a birdie putt on one, and had a great feel for my putter” said Bolen. That definitely rang true as he birdied three of his last eight holes to force the playoff.
For the first playoff hole on 18, Wallace attempted to reach the green on his second shot and bounced into the water as Bolen laid up after finding the left rough on his tee shot. Wallace goes on to save par after hitting his fourth shot to four feet. Bolen’s birdie putt unfortunately went all the way around the cup to just fall out and force a second playoff hole.
In the second playoff hole, Bolen again found the left rough and was forced to lay up. This time around, Wallace decided to lay up to a comfortable yardage in which both competitors found themselves with a birdie putt. Bolen was up first this go around with a slippery 12 footer down the slope to a tricky back left hole location. Bolen redeemed himself after missing his last two birdie putts going back to the final hole of his round. After Bolen drained his birdie putt, pressure was on Wallace as he had no more than five feet left to force another hole. Wallace left his putt short and gave Bolen the back to back championship.
“I couldn’t believe my putt stayed out on the first playoff hole, but I still trusted and felt good with my putter to sink the birdie the second time around.”
Ralph Ellis, an Amarillo Country Club member, started the day two-over tied with Chuck Palmer in the Senior Division, which has been a crowded and competitive leaderboard all weekend. Ellis shot 2-under on the front nine and never looked back as he went on to shoot 4-under on the day and finish 3-under overall.
“This is a big win, and I am really glad I could help represent this beautiful course in a good way,” Ellis said.
Ed Brooks of Fort Worth stayed in the lead for all three rounds of the West Texas Amateur. Brooks, the Texas Senior Amateur Champion last year, shot a 73-70-71 214 overall, to win the Senior Division by a whopping 17 strokes.
“I wasn’t happy with my putting all week, but again, my ball striking was excellent”, said Brooks. “It was one of those weeks where everything clicked and I stayed consistent hitting the fairways and greens, so I am happy with how I finished”.
The defending champion, Patrick Pritchett of Lubbock, finished in second shooting a 77-74-80 231 overall.
Amarillo CC opened for play in 1919 with an original design by William McConnell. The course has undergone several renovations over time, with the latest taking place in 2011. Overseen by Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design, the multi-million dollar project took 18 months to complete and reopened in the summer of 2013. With six completely new holes — three each on the front (Nos. 4, 5, 6) and back nine (10, 11, 12), more teeing options on each hole and improved turf conditioning, the Panhandle jewel now looks and plays better than ever.
The TGA extends its sincere appreciation to Amarillo Country Club, its members and staff for all their contributions to the overall success of the 90th West Texas Amateur. The TGA also extends its appreciation to the TGA volunteers who traveled to Amarillo for the week, as well as the liver scores throughout the week provided scores each day.
For more information about the 90th West Texas Amateur, click here.