From the NTPGA:
TYLER, Texas – The scene on the 18th hole today at The Cascades was one for the ages. Matt Loving from San Antonio outlasted Australian Adam Crawford in a three-hole playoff to take home the title. Loving and Crawford both birdied the 18th hole to move to 14-under-par 266 for the tournament and force the playoff.
The two players who made it to the playoff are also the two who set course records this week for The Cascades. Loving shot a course record 8-under-par 62 on Thursday, but did not hold the record for even 24 hours. Crawford had an amazing 9-under-par 61 in the second round to set a new low.
Loving turned pro in 2001, and this was his first professional win. "It still hasn’t sunk in yet," he said. "But it feels good."
Loving rebounded from his third round where he was 1-over par and shot a 5-under-par 65 in the final round. The victory was even sweeter because he was able to share it with his wife, Brandy, who caddied for him for the first time this week. His parents also surprised him by driving to Tyler from San Antonio to see the final hole. They decided to come at the last minute and left San Antonio at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. "We just felt like we needed to be here," his dad said.
The new champion relied on his short game during the Open, only three-putting once during the four rounds. He finished with a putt of 15 feet for birdie on the third and final playoff hole.
Martin Piller, from Duncanville, and a member of the Texas A&M University men's golf team, earned top amateur honors for the second consecutive year and finished tied for seventh in the Championship by shooting rounds of 68-68-67-70 for a final score 273 (7-under par).
The 72-hole stroke play event consists of 156 contestants comprised of 28 amateurs and 128 professionals. 54 professionals and 5 amateurs survived the cut at 142 (2-over par) after 36 holes. 28 players completed the tournament under par. The top fifteen professionals and top three amateurs will receive an exemption into the 2008 Texas State Open at The Cascades. All four rounds of the Championship were contested at The Cascades, a 6,834 yard, par 70 Mark Hayes design, located in Tyler, Texas. The total purse is $127,960.00, with $25,000.00 awarded to the champion, Matt Loving.
Matt Loving, San Antonio, 62-68-71-65--266 (-14) $25,000
Adam Crawford, Australia, 69-61-69-67--266 (-14) $15,000
Andrew Dresser, Carrollton, 70-65-69-65--269 (-11) $10,500
Clark Dennis, Fort Worth, 67-69-64-70--270 (-10) $7,455
Christopher James, Edmond, OK, 70-64-67-69--270 (-10) $7,455