Woolf Captures 2018 North Amateur in Playoff
McKinney, TX – Travis Woolf went wire to wire to win the North Amateur after defeating Christopher Wheeler in a one hole playoff. Woolf and Wheeler finished the 54 hole tournament tied at 1-over par 217. Jay Csipkes finishes in a two way tie for third place after shooting a final round 3-over par 75 for a 6-over par total, 222.
Woolf’s 36-hole lead of four strokes was immediately cut in half after Wheeler holed his second shot on the first hole for an eagle 2. Both players would go on shoot a 2-under 34 on the front nine and brought Woolf’s lead back up to four. But after Woolf carded his first bogey of the day on the par 5 13th which he followed up by hitting it out of bounds on the par 4 14th, his lead began to vanish as Wheeler had birdied the 10th and 13th with a bogey on the intimidating par 3, 12th over water.
Standing on the demanding par 3, 17th, Woolf held a one shot advantage over Wheeler but that quickly turned after Woolf missed the green to the right and couldn’t get up and down for par. Wheeler found the green, 25 feet away and two putt for par and come square with Woolf as they walked to the 18th tee.
Woolf managed to the find the fairway while Wheeler missed his to the right and found the deep rough. Both players missed the green as the hole was positioned tightly against the Later Water Hazard that sits between #9 and #18 of the Dye Course. Wheeler hit an excellent flop shot from a steep slope to 10 feet while Woolf left his short greenside chip short to eight feet. Both players missed their putts which ultimately sent them back to the 9th hole for a playoff.
The 451 yard par 4 wrapped around the other side of the lateral water hazard from hole 18 with a left to right wind. Knowing that if they found the hazard, their hopes of becoming the 2018 North Amateur Champion would surely be diminished so as a result, both players missed their tee shots into the left rough and found themselves with long seconds in the green.
With Pete Dye’s lush rough and wet conditions, Woolf found himself with roughly 220 yards left into the hole. Woolf was able to get a clean strike on the ball and advanced it just short of the green. Wheeler was unlucky and his ball hung up on the downslope of a hill in the rough but he was able to hit it to short right of green, only feet from finding the hazard and a sure defeat.
Woolf almost immediately smashed those hopes of getting up and down and forcing a second playoff but his bump and run from just in front of the green found the bottom of the cup. He almost couldn’t believe it went in but when asked if he was trying to make it, Woolf responded with, “No, I was just hoping to get the ball close to the ball so I could have a tap in par.”
After seeing the ball disappear in the bottom of the cup, Wheeler couldn’t believe what just had happened but he had to focus and try to follow suit if he wanted to force another hole with Woolf. His chip teased the hole but as it went by, Travis Woolf became the North Amateur Champion.
The North Amateur is the first Championship Woolf has won with the Texas Golf Association in his many years of competing. With their finishes, both players have received an automatic exemption into the 110th Texas Amateur Championship to be contested at Dallas Athletic Club next June.
Jay Csipkes shot a final round 3-over par 75 to grab a tie for third place for the Championship. Csipkes carded two birdies on the day.
Located in McKinney, a suburb in North Dallas, Stonebridge Ranch Country Club – Dye Course is hosting the Texas Golf Associations North Regional Amateur for the first time since the Regional Series inception in 2003. Opening in 1988, Stonebridge Ranch Country Club was designed by the great Pete Dye. Known for his Signature Golf Courses, the Dye Course offers challenging play along with the renewing qualities of the beauty that surrounds it. Stonebridge Ranch Country Club has been named “Best of Private Clubs” in 2017 Avid Golfer and has recently converted to MiniVerde greens with new bunker reconstruction.
The Texas Golf Association would like to thank the entire professional and maintenance staff of Stonebridge Ranch Country Club for their tireless efforts in preparing the golf course each morning and having it in Championship form even with the excessive amounts of rain that caused a rain delay during Round 2. The TGA would also like to thank to the volunteers and tournament officials for their efforts over the past three days and sticking it out through the elements that presented itself at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club.
To see all the scores from the 2018 North Amateur Championship and more information on the tournament, click here.