Dallas, TX: Paul Haley just graduated from Highland Park High School less than a month ago, and is looking forward to continuing his golf career at Georgia Tech in the fall. Now he’ll be able to add 2006 Texas Amateur Champion to his playing resume in the Tech media guide.
On Sunday afternoon at Dallas Country Club he won what he said was “definitely the biggest, most exciting, most important” tournament of his life. Trailing Terrence Miskell by one shot going to the final hole, Haley calmly rolled in a tricky 20 foot birdie putt to win the 2006 Texas State Amateur. Miskell ended up making a double bogey six on the final hole to finish tied for second with Cody Gribble, who shot the low final round with a five under par 65.
The final round provided plenty of excitement for the hundreds in the gallery cheering on many local favorites, most of them high school and college players. It looked like Haley was going to run away with it after making birdie on three of the first five holes to maintain the four shot lead he had started the day with. Haley ran into some trouble during the middle of the round, right at the same time Robby Ormand and Miskell were making a charge. 15 year old Cody Gribble found a hot putter on the back side, and all of a sudden any of the three had a shot at the title.
“I learned a lot about myself today” Haley said while clutching the H.L. Edwards Trophy awarded to the winner of the Texas Amateur. “I learned that you never give up. No matter what happens or how far behind you are, you never give up.” After making bogey on holes #8 and #9 and a double bogey on #10, Haley’s four shot lead had become a two shot deficit when Miskell made eagle three on the par five 11th hole. A birdie on #13 got him to within one, and then he and Miskell matched birdies on #14 and #15 to set up the dramatic finish.
“You always want to win, but this is what it is all about” Miskell said. “Win or losem being there with a chance to win and competing is a lot of fun, a lot of fun.” At 39 Miskell had several years of experience on most of the contenders. As noted, Haley is a recent high school graduate, Gribble was the youngest player in the field at 15, and Ormond, and Robert Gwin (fifth place) are in college.
See also: Final Results