Monday, August 21, 2006

Houstonian Holds On to Win State Senior Amateur

Chris Larsen of Houston took a 7-shot lead into the final round of the Texas Golf Association State Senior Amateur, played at San Antonio Country Club. When the final round was over, Larsen had managed to hang on for a 1-stroke victory.

Here is the report from the TGA:

San Antonio -- Chris Larsen of Houston held off a hard charging Fred Clark of Kingwood to win his first TGA State title, claiming the 2006 State Senior Amateur Championship at historic San Antonio Country Club. Starting the day with a seven shot lead, Larsen had several players making a run at him. A five shot lead with six holes to play turned into a one shot lead going to the final hole, where Larsen made a tough two putt par to secure the win. Clark had the low round of the tournament in Sunday’s finale with a four under par 68 to finish in second by one shot.

Defending Champion Mike Rice of Houston, who won both the Senior and Super Senior titles a year ago, won the Super Senior (65+) division, and finished tied for sixth overall.

"This is a thrill," Larsen said after accepting the champion’s trophy. "To have just turned 55 last year and be playing in only my second Texas State Senior – and win – its just a thrill for me."

Larsen has opened up a seven shot lead going into the final round with a 36 hole total of five under par 139, but several players made a charge at the leader. Jerry Hudgins, last year’s runner-up, was three under after six holes and Larsen was one over par through the same stretch, meaning his lead was down to two. Hudgins, who was paired with Clark and Rice in the next to last group, made bogey on holes 13 and 16 to fall out of contention. Clark was the one who got hot on the back side with birdies at 15 and 16 while Larsen bogeyed the same two holes as Hudgins (13 & 16). Larsen steadied himself with routine pars on the final two holes, and Clark’s birdie attempt at the 18th slid just past the hole.

Hudgins ended up with a one under par 71 in the final round for a third place finish. Tom McGraw (69) of Montgomery and Larry Trowell (70) of The Colony tied for fourth, four shots behind. Rice breezed to the Super Senior title with a final round of even par 72. Jim Raines of San Antonio was second, 10 shots behind Rice, with Don Addington of Dallas finishing third another shot back.

Complete results are available on the TGA tournament page.

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