Ryan O’Rear Wins 37th Texas Mid-Amateur
SAN ANTONIO – Ryan O’Rear won the 37th Texas Mid-Amateur late Sunday afternoon after defeating two-time champion Colby Harwell on the seventh sudden-death playoff hole at Oak Hills Country Club. The 29-year-old from Leander captures the victory with a 72-hole total of 3-under 210.
Before one of the most historic sudden-death playoffs in TGA history, O’Rear’s final round was nothing short of impressive. The former Baylor University standout started with four-straight bogeys and was seven shots behind the leaders. However, he birdied the par-5 fifth and something clicked. The rest of his round was the best golf of the week.
O’Rear birdied the par-4 eighth and par-3 ninth to turn at 1-over 36. He eagled the par-5 10th and carried his momentum throughout his closing loop. After carding four more birdies on his back nine to card a bogey-free 5-under 30, O’Rear was in the clubhouse with a one-stroke lead.
“It was a roller coaster,” O’Rear said. “Obviously, it wasn’t a very good start. But my caddy did a great job today of just keeping me positive. On the back nine, I don’t really know what happened. I started hitting it close and making a lot of birdies and somehow got in a playoff.”
Harwell, who played one group behind O’Rear, carded five birdies and posted the second lowest round of the day with 4-under-par 67. The two-time Texas Mid-Amateur champion and Oak Hills member also posted 3-under 210 through 54 holes.
After the last few groups finished, O’Rear and Harwell headed to the 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff. Both players made par and the battle was off and running. O’Rear and Harwell traded punch for punch for the next hour and 15 minutes. On the seventh playoff hole, O’Rear left himself a seven-foot birdie putt up the hill. He buried it to clinch the victory.
“That was a great playoff,” O’Rear. “I’ve known Colby for a long time and played a lot of golf with him. He had a great week and it was a great battle.”
Harwell adds this runner-up finish to his wins in 2017 and 2018. He’s also a two-time champion of the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play (2017, 2019). The highly touted amateur was very complimentary of O’Rear’s game.
“That playoff is exactly why we still come out here and play,” Harwell said. “Ryan is a really good player. It was very impressive, but honestly I expected it.”
Finishing solo third and earning low-mid master honors was Padden Nelson of Houston. The 40-year-old carded a closing 4-over 75 to post 2-under-par 211 overall. Blake Parks of Odessa, Danny Simmerman of Shavano Park, Justin Kaplan of Houston and Johnathan Schnitzer of Houston shared fourth place at 1-under 212.
The TGA extends sincere appreciation to Oak Hills, its attentive staff and engaged membership, as well as our volunteers for all their help and support ahead of and during the 37th Texas Mid-Amateur.
Extra special thanks to Director of Golf and Club Operations Cary Collins, Head Golf Professional Ryan Polzin, Director of Agronomy Jeff Visser and his amazing grounds crew, Food and Beverage Director Santiago Vasquez and Executive Chef Dennie Upton. The 37th Texas Mid-Amateur would not have been possible without their efforts.
For more information on the 37th Texas Mid-Amateur, click here.