Kahanek birdies two of closing three holes Sunday to capture 2021 Texas Cup Invitational
WACO – San Antonio’s Patrick Kahanek birdied two of the last three holes Sunday at Ridgewood Country Club to capture the 2021 Texas Cup Invitational, the first major of the Legends Junior Tour’s season.
The Antonian High School senior, who will play golf at UTSA this fall, fired a final round 68-211 54-hole total. He recorded a one-shot win over Hunter Drotts, final round 72, and Awesome Burnett, who shot a closing 64.
Byungho Lee, Garrett Endicott and Julio Alfredo Rios Brache all tied for fourth at 213 with scores of 69, 68 and 68, respectively.
“On the back nine, my caddy was looking at the scores and he said a couple of birdies could really help me, so that’s what I tried do,” Kahanek said.
Indeed it could as he rolled in a 15-footer on the par 3 16th for a birdie which moved him into a share of the lead, after early third round leader Drotts made double bogey on the same hole one group later.
Both Kahanek and Drotts pared the 17th hole, a par four, only to set up the drama on the closing challenge, the par 4 18th at Ridgewood on the shores of Lake Waco.
Kahanek had 83 yards to the green after his drive and hit a 58-degree wedge to within five feet of the hole for the closing birdie.
“The club felt really good in my hand and the yardage was right for me. I just got it up in the air, rode the (jet) stream and it was money.”
After Drotts failed to make a birdie of his own on 18, Kahanek owned the biggest victory of his LJT junior golf career.
“This is what we work for, to birdie 18 and take home the win. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my putting and it’s really paid off today.”
Drotts, who didn’t get into the tournament until the last minute, held a three-shot lead on much of the back nine, but the par 3 16th proved to be his undoing.
“I just plugged my tee shot in the back bunker and from there, where the pin was, there wasn’t much I could do. I pitched it out, but it rolled all the way to the front of the green and the overhanging trees blocked my approach.
“I gave it a good run today and almost got it done. For getting in the tournament at the last minute, I’m pleased with what I was able to accomplish. I’ve got a lot of good things to take away from this”
So does Burnett, who tied his personal tournament low, with a six-under-par 64 final round, three shots off the competitive course record at Ridgewood.
The freshman from Flower Mound got his round off to a great start by holing out from the second fairway from 68 yards for an eagle two. On the fifth hole, he made a 20-foot birdie putt from off the green en route to a front nine 30. He only added one birdie on the back side, but said it was thrilled with his round.
“I played great today. The eagle at number two really got my round going and I was able to keep it going with a bunch of putts on the front nine.
“I love this course at Ridgewood, I’ve won a couple of Starburst (junior) tournaments here and it always feels good to be back.”
While he may not return as a junior golfer, Kahanek said he felt the same about the site of his greatest junior golf win to date.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work and had some good finishes, but this is my first win in a long time. This feels like a real breakthrough for me.”
The LJT will head to Brownwood next for the Bluebonnet Championship in early May. For final scores at the Texas Cup Invitational, click here