The report from the Southern Texas PGA:
Rick Karbowski of Frisco, Texas, began the final round of the 2007 South Padre Island Texas Senior Open four strokes back of Houston’s Chuck Moran. On a day when the winds were holding at 20 miles per hour and gusting to 35, Karbowski was the only golfer to break par, posting a score of 2-under-par 70 for a 7-under-par total of 209 and a 3-stroke margin over Moran, who took runner-up honors at 64-71-77—212.
"The course was unbelievably challenging with the wind, but it was fun and I really enjoyed it," said Karbowski, a veteran of the Champions Tour. "And, of course, I was ecstatic to win. This is the first three round tournament I’ve won in Texas."
Karbowski relocated to Texas from Massachusetts last winter. He is the oldest winner of the New England Open, twice, when he was 48 and 49.
Karbowski had pulled within 2 shots of Moran by the time the last group reached the turn and within a single stroke when he birdied the 10th hole. Moran, the winner of the 2005 South Padre Island Texas Senior Open and the runner-up last year, suffered bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes, and Karbowski had a one-shot lead.
When Karbowski birdied the 16th hole and Moran took a bogey, Karbowski was three shots up with just two holes to play and he held on to that margin to win the $14,000 first-place check. Moran took home $10,000 for his three days of work, plus the memory of setting the course record (at South Padre Island Golf Club in Laguna Vista, Texas) of 64 in the first round.
"It was really nip-and-tuck through most of the round," said Karbowski. "It could have gone either way, but obviously, I felt a little more comfortable when I birdied #16 and Chuck took a bogey."
Defending champion Danny Edwards of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished in third place with a score of 70-74-72—215, followed by James Blair of Ogden, Utah, in fourth place at 70-72-74—216. Edwards earned $8,000 and Blair $6,000.
John Adams of Paris, Texas, and Jeff Thomsen of Boise, Id., tied for fifth place at 2-over-par 218 and took home $4,250 each.
Richard LaPierre of San Antonio took low amateur honors for the second consecutive year, posting a total of 74-76-77—227 for a merchandise certificate valued at $750.
"I played better last year, but conditions were tougher this year," said LaPierre, who needed seven fewer strokes and a sudden-death playoff victory to take the amateur trophy last year.
Gary Taylor of Edinburg, Texas, added a highlight to his final round with a hole-in-one on the 12th hole.
"I didn’t get to see it go in," said Taylor of the 133-yard shot. "The pin was in front and the hole was hidden by brush, but the guys by the green said the ball took one bounce and rolled in."
Taylor used a 7-iron to make the shot for his third career ace. "The hole was playing into the wind," he said, "and everyone was kidding that I’d made a hole-in-one on that short par 5."
The year marked the 10th year that South Padre Island Golf Club has hosted the South Padre Island Texas Senior Open.
Rick Karbowski, Frisco, 71-68-70-209
Chuck Moran, Houston, 64-71-77--212
Danny Edwards, Scottsdale, AZ, 69-74-72--215
James Blair, Ogden, UT, 70-72-74--216
John Adams, Paris, 73-70-75--218
Jeff Thomsen, Boise, ID, 73-71-74--218