Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ennis' Clark Wins TGA State Mid-Am Match Play Title

The Texas Golf Association 2006 State Mid Am Match Play Championship wrapped up on Sunday with Alan Clark of Ennis defeating Jeff Leach of Frisco in the championship match. The event was played at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas.

Here is the report from the TGA:

Dallas, TX: Alan Clark of Ennis and Jeff Leach of Frisco were the final two players remaining out of the starting field of 90 at the 2006 State Mid Am Match Play Championship. The two advanced into the finals on Sunday afternoon by handily defeating their opponents in the morning matches. After a brief respite from the heat for lunch, the two players teed it up at high noon and the battle was on!

The fifth hole set the stage for the rest of the match, when Jeff Leach holed a 40-foot putt for a birdie two on the 208-yard Par 3 at Bent Tree Country Club. Clark simply stepped up and then ran a 34-footer right on top of Leach for a halve. The large
following of Bent Tree members and spectators were treated to this brand of spectacular golf all day.

While both players traded jabs for the rest of the front nine, Clark found himself 1-up through 9 holes. Leach three-putted the 11th green, Clark went 2-up, and appeared to be in control. The players halved the 12th, but when Leach hit his tee shot into
the water hazard off the 13th tee on the long Par 5, Clark was looking good.

Feeling it was time to make a move, Leach hit a driver off the fairway and came up just short of the green, then got up and down to save par for a surprising halve. Leach then won the 14th hole to cut the deficit to one. After short siding himself in the left bunker on the 15th hole, Leach was staring at bogey, but instead holed the bunker shot for an improbable birdie. You could feel the momentum shift as the match went to All Square.

The momentum continued to swing Leach's way on the 16th hole with another birdie that put him in the lead for the first time in the match with two holes remaining.

But on the 17th hole, Leach was unable to get up and down from the right side bunker and Clark won the hole with a par to square the match heading into the final hole. Both players reached the green in two on the difficult Par 4 18th hole. Clark was first to play, and stepped up and drained a 30 footer for spectacular birdie
three. Needing to hole his putt to force extra holes, Leach missed is birdie try by just inches.

Semifinal Matches
  • Alan Clark, Ennis (13) def. Steve Trafton, Austin (8), 6 and 5
  • Jeff Leach, Frisco (2) def. Jeff New, The Woodlands, Texas (6), 6 and 4
Championship Match
  • Alan Clark, Ennis (13) def. Jeff Leach, Frisco (2), 1 up

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