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Austin High Advances To State Golf Tournament

2017 Austin High Boys Regional Team

2017 Austin High Boys Regional Team

The Austin High boys golf team finished third in the Region IV-5A golf championship, played at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, and will advance to the state tournament.  The Maroons posted 314-313=627 and their consistency got the job done.  Salvador Chavar led the Maroon scoring with 77-74=151.   Forest Miller was two shots behind him with 74-79=153.

Alamo Heights and Borne Champion finished first and second in the regional championship.  The first three teams advance to the state tournament on May 22-23 at the Wolfdancer Golf Club in Bastrop, Texas.

The team is in a rebuilding mode led by their new coach Charles Looney.  As can be seen in the team photo below, there is great participation on the team and it is sure to result in improved play in the future.

Austin High has produced many great players over the years including Randy and Cary Petri, Lester Lundell, Ben Crenshaw, William Cromwell and Billy Clagett.  Perhaps current players can draw some inspiration from the wonderful golf legacy inherent in their school’s past.

Austin High golf team

Austin High golf team

Click here to view the full field scores from the Region 4-5A boys golf championship.
Reg IV-5A B golf championship finals_0

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Westlake and Lake Travis Boys Advance To State Golf Championship

Westlake Boys - 2017 Region IV-6A Champs

Westlake Boys – 2017 Region IV-6A Champs

Austin Westlake dominated the Region IV-6A regional golf tournament with a seven under par total of 561 over two days of play at the Republic Golf Club in San Antonio.  Lake Travis finished second at 587 and will advance to the state tournament to be held at Legacy Hills in Georgetown on May 22-23.

Westlake jumped into the lead with a two under par total of 282 in the first round and then put their stamp on the contest with a five under par 279 total in the second round.

Reese Ramsey - 2017 Individual medalist - Region IV - 6A

Reese Ramsey – 2017 Individual medalist – Region IV – 6A

Reese Ramsey led the Westlake team with a five under 66 in the first round and followed it up with a one under par 70 in the second round.  The six under par total was good for individual medalist honors.  Close on his heels was Matthew Denton who carded 70, 68 to finish second in the individual race.

All five players on the Westlake team finished in the top eight places in the individual scoring.  That’s how you win championships.  One or two players go low but the rest of the team provides excellent performances as well.   Thomas Buckholt and Reid Davenport recorded 144 totals and finished tied for 5th while Michael Rome recorded a 146 total and tied for 8th place.   The team shot seven under par for the championship.  That wins a lot of tournaments.

Lake Travis played well, posting a 587 team total and will be headed to state.  But right now, it’s Westlake in the spotlight.

Click here to see final team scores and individual scores. Reg IV-6A Boys final results (1)

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Lake Travis And Westlake Girls Golf Teams Advance To State

2017 Lake Travis Girls Regional Scores

2017 Lake Travis Girls Regional Scores

The Lake Travis girls golf team won the 6A – Region 4 golf tournament at the Republic Golf Club in San Antonio by shooting 18 under par for two days while runner-up Westlake High School posted a team total of eight under par.

Lake Travis smoked the field in the first round with a blistering 12 under par total.  That established a commanding lead due to the fact that Westlake played consistently by could only post a one under par team total in the first round.  Pretty stiff competition at the high school level.

Both Lake Travis and Westlake played well in the windy conditions that prevailed on the second day of play.   Westlake shot seven under par, one better than Lake Travis, but finished ten shots back for the tournament due to the first round 11 shot lead that Lake Travis had established.

San Antonio Regan made a significant move up the leaderboard the second day to capture the last team spot available and advance to the state tournament.  The state tournament for the girls 6A teams will be played at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown on May 15-16.  For information about other high school state tournament, including the 6A boys, go to the University Interscholastic League website by clicking here.

 

Westlake Girls RegionalWestlake played well and continues to challenge Lake Travis, as they have most of the year.  These may be the two best teams in the state.  They are aligned with Vandegrift in the same district, which is somewhat unfortunate since only two teams from the same district can advance to the regional playoffs.

It will be interesting to see how the state tournament plays out and what other teams in the state can challenge Lake Travis and Westlake girls for the state title.

Sadie Engleman, who is a freshman at Westlake, led the Chaparrals with a five under par total of 137 for the two days.  Jordan Shackelford posted one under while Madelyn Jones, Randi Romak and Cotton Bentley all posted even par 142.

2017 Westlake Girls Team at Regionals

2017 Westlake Girls Team at Regionals

Engleman, Shackelford, Jones and Romak have been the strength of this five girl squad for most of the year but with Bentley’s performance at the Regional tournament they now have five players who can shoot even par or better in an important tournament.  That is an impressive display of consistency for five players and bodes well for their chances in the state tournament.  It may provide the opportunity to beat Lake Travis.

Individual scores - 2017 6A Region 4

Individual scores – 2017 6A Region 4

Sara Camarena and Morgan Lay, teammates at Lake Travis, tied for medalist honors with a two day total of six under par 135.  Camarena won the individual title in a playoff.  Kaitlyn Papp and Sadie Englemand finished tied for third two shots behind Camarena and Lay.

Papp is currently 10th in the American Junior Golf Association rankings and is the highest ranked junior girls player in the state of Texas.  Click here for those rankings.

Sophia Digesualdo from Vandegrift finished 10th indivdually and will advance to the state tournament as an individual medalist.  She qualified for the regional tournament as an individual medalist based on her play in the district tournament.

It is interesting to note that only one player outside the Austin area finished in the top ten individual standings.

 

 

 

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Westlake And Lake Travis Boys Advance To Regional Golf Tournament

Westlake Boy Team (l-r) Coach Nokes, Reid Davenport, Reese Ramsey, Thomas Bockholt, Michael Rome, Matthew Denton. Not shown is Coach Grigg.

Westlake Boy Team (l-r) Coach Nokes, Reid Davenport, Reese Ramsey, Thomas Bockholt, Michael Rome, Matthew Denton. Not shown is Coach Grigg.

In the first round of the Region 4-District 25 golf tournament, the Westlake Boys High School golf team shot 12 under par as a team at Greyrock Golf Club in Austin.  The Lake Travis Boys golf team was at even par and Vandegrift was a shot behind Lake Travis at one over par. Exceptional scores for high school golf teams by any measure.

Overnight, coaches, players, parents and district officials hoped the weather forecast for the second round would improve and the second round would be part of what determined who would advance to the regional tournament.

Second round play commenced on time but play was suspended after four holes due to weather.  After waiting six hours for conditions to improve,  the round was cancelled and the tournament results were based on first round play.  With only the top two teams advancing to the regional tournament, Westlake and Lake Travis were in and Vandergrift was left to ponder what would have happened if the second round were completed.

Lake Travis Boys Team (l-r) Trey Bosco, Coach Richard Wager, Nathan Petronzio, Jason Protass, Tristan Stalker, Grayson Litowitz, Coach Erik Henson, Coach Clayton Brady

Lake Travis Boys Team (l-r) Trey Bosco, Coach Richard Wager, Nathan Petronzio, Jason Protass, Tristan Stalker, Grayson Litowitz, Coach Erik Henson, Coach Clayton Brady

District 25 has three of the state’s 6-A powerhouse high school golf programs for both the boys and girls teams.  Westlake and Lake Travis have been rivals for years, each winning numerous state champioships. Vandegrift had just moved up to 6-A after recently winning 4A and 5-A state championships.  Click here to review that story.

It is unfortunate that only two of the three teams will advance from such a strong district.  All three are capable of contending for the state title.

However, golf courses are not freely available for delayed play, academic demands are ever present and weather does play a factor in golf.  So, as they say…it is what it is…

The Region 4 tournament will be held at the Republic Golf Club in San Antonio.  The girls tournament will include the Lake Travis and Westlake girls teams and will be held on April 24-25.  The boys tournament will be at the same site on April 26-27.  Good luck to all the contestants.  Click here for the first round results, which wound up being the final scores.

 

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Major victory in Legislature for Save Muny

Muny clubhouse.

Muny clubhouse.

Senate Bill 822, a measure from Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, passed with a 21-10 vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would transfer ownership of the land that Lions Municipal Golf course sits on from the University of Texas System to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The bill now heads to the House for deliberation.

Although the passage through the Senate does not ensure the embattled Tarrytown golf course – known as “Muny” — will be saved, it marks a huge victory in the fight to save the course.

The course was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the fall of 2016 because of its historical significance of being the first golf course in the South to desegregate. Senate Bill 822 has strict instructions to protect Muny’s place in history and the historical value that it holds.

“This is a priceless piece of Texas, even United States, history,” said Estes, via the Houston Chronicle. “This is a one-shot opportunity to save a piece of Texas history.”

Proponents of saving Lions — part of a movement called Save Muny – have been fighting to save the course from development since 1973. Save Muny has prevailed each time talks of development have come up in the past, but in recent years they have faced a much harsher reality with the UT System seemingly not open to renegotiating the lease that expires in May of 2019.

But in January, UT President Greg Fenves offered to renegotiate the lease on the course. He insisted the university get compensation closer to market value – around $6 million annually; a number that the city is unlikely to be able to afford.

One of the biggest supporters of saving the course is Ben Crenshaw, an Austin-native and World Golf Hall of Famer. Crenshaw proposed a restoration and renovation of the course in February, if the course were to be saved.

“The bottom line for me, I just can’t see this place being developed,” Crenshaw said. “I just think it’s too precious of an asset, and it just simply means too much to people.”

Sen. Estes’s bill has faced some opposition during this legislative session, most vocally from Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo. He does not feel the state is entitled to confiscating property from the university without compensation. Estes is confident the state has title to the asset.

It is not clear how much support the bill has in the House.

There is no concrete timetable for resolving this issue, but representatives with Save Muny are confident that it will be settled well in advance of the lease’s expiration in 2019 – regardless of the outcome of Senate Bill 822.

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Westlake Boys Lead Region 4, District 25 Golf Tournament

In an impressive performance, the Westlake boys golf team shot 276, 12 under par, in the first round of the Region 4,  District 25 Boys Golf Tournament to grab a 12 shot lead over Lake Travis and a 13 shot lead over Vandergrift.  The Westlake II boys team shot 293.   The tournament is being held at Greyrock Golf Club, a par 72 layout.

Listed below are the team and individual results from the first round.  Second round play is underway today.  If weather prevents completion of the second round, the results will be determined on the basis of the first round.

Team Results

Team Results
round 1
Westlake 276
Lake Travis 288
Vandegrift 289
Westlake II 293
Lake Travis II 307
Vista Ridge 317
Vandegrift II 318
Hays 340
Lehman 362
Vista Ridge II 378
Leander 380

Individual Results

Player School rd 1
Reid Davenport Westlake 68
Michael Rome Westlake 68
Brandon Hoff Vandegrift 69
Matthew Denton Westlake 69
Nathan Petronzio Lake Travis 69
Reid Powell Lake Travis 70
Daniel Martinez Vandegrift 71
Nick Palmo Westlake II 71
Reese Ramsey Westlake 71
Trey Gillingwater Westlake II 72
Tristan Stalker Lake Travis 72
Thomas Bockholt Westlake 73
Trey Bosco Lake Travis 73
Luke Dossey Vandegrift 74
Jackson Davenport Westlake II 74
Lance Kuhns LT med. 74
Major Gammill Westlake med. 74
Grayson Litowitz Lake Travis 74
Aaron Teece Vista Ridge 75
Cole Sherwood Vandegrift 75
Carson Smith Lake Travis II 76
Wyatt Speaks Vandegrift med. 76
Jefferey Taughinbaugh Westlake II 76
Cameron Caldwell Vandegrift II 77
Hunter McDonough Westlake II 78
Taylor Stanley Vista Ridge 78
Marcial Jones Westlake med. 79
Luke Jasinski Vandegrift II 79
Foster Givens Vandegrift 80
Travis Aldrich Lake Travis med. 80
Mike Ospovat Westlake med. 80
Noe Hinojosa Lehman 80
Dalton Doerr Vandegrift II 81
Colin Slater Vandegrift II 81
Jack Wehman Vandegrift II 81
Sam Chiarelli Vandegrift med. 81
Zane Petty Vista Ridge 81
Joe Kerley Lake Travis II 81
Sean Rabbitt Lake Travis II 81
Jason Protass Lake Travis 82
Bronson Clark Vandegrift med. 82
Jackson Ingraham Westlake med. 82
Ian Cameron Hays 82
Luis Vilorio Vista Ridge 83
Ethan Duetsch Lehman 83
Jackson Goolsby Lake Travis med. 83
JD Cervantes Hays 83
Ryan Palmer Leander 84
Brock Cantu Leander 85
JD Moss Hays 87
Perry Bigelow Hays 88
Dylan Briscoe Lake Travis II 89
David Poynter Vista Ridge II 90
Chris Alford Lehman 91
Jacob Medel Hays 91
Parker Lindsey Leander 93
Paul Copeland Vista Ridge II 93
Charlie Burke Vista Ridge II 94
Matthew Hyde Hays med. 96
James McGhee Leander med. 98
Dalton Hudson Leander med. 101
Mason Skidmore Vista Ridge II 101
Jason Patlan Lehman 108
Riley Poston Vista Ridge II 108
Dylan Hudson Leander med. 118
Devin Alvarez Leander 118
Donovan Welch Lehman 135
Ryan Matthys Leander DQ

 

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Lake Travis and WestLake Girls Golf Teams Advance to Regional

Three of the strongest 6A high golf programs in the state of Texas are grouped into Region 4, District 25.   Those programs are Lake Travis, Westlake and Vandegrift.  These programs have won state titles in both boys and girls golf championships on a regular basis.

The race to the state tournament started with the district girls golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Plum Creek Golf Course.
Lake Travis won the tournament with a two day total of 588.  They posted a team total of 303 the first day and 285 the second day.

Westlake finished ten shots behind Lake Travis with a two day team

2017 Westlake Varsity at District Tournament

2017 Westlake Varsity at District  (l to r) Jordan Shackelford, Bently Cotton, Madelyn Jones, Sadie Engleman, Randi Romack

score of 598.  They shot 301 the first day and 297 the second day.

Vandegrift finished in third place with a two day total of 614.

The top two teams advance to the regional tournament.

Click the link below to see the full spreadsheet of scores
2017 Girls District results

 

 

 

 

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Jay Reynolds Wins Spring Championship By One

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Jay Reynolds shot 68-68=136 at Roy Kizer Golf Course to win the 2017 Spring Championship by one shot over Steve Paterson.

Reynolds was the Austin Amateur Golf player of the year in 2016 and continues to be a dominant force in the Austin amateur golf scene.

True to form, Steve Paterson gave Reynolds a run for the title and finished one shot back.  As usual, it came down to a putt here or there that made the difference.   Paterson has consistently played excellent golf and has won the points race for player of the year several times.

Defending champion Barrett Sandefur finished in third with a three under par total of 139.

Steve Hammond gives players last minute instructions prior to shotgun start

Steve Hammond gives players last minute instructions prior to shotgun start

Second round play was delayed by storms that moved through the area early Sunday morning.  Tee times were moved from the 8:00 am start time to a 1:15 shotgun start.

As a result of the rains and stormy conditions, green speeds were a bit slower than normal and players were challenged to adjust to the conditions.   There was an absence of the winds that blew 15-20 during the first round although the breeze freshened late in the day.    Steve Hammond and his staff did an excellent job of dealing with the weather delay and keeping players informed as to the status of tee times by the use of email and test messaging.

So the first local amateur tournament is in the books.  The next event will be the spring partnership at Lions Municipal.  The field is full and there is a long waiting list so if you are not already in the field chances are you will not get in.

Pos Player Thru Total R1 R2 Total Purse
1 Jay Reynolds F -6 68 68 136 $400.00
2 Steve Paterson F -5 68 69 137 $275.00
3 Barrett Sandefur F -3 68 71 139 $250.00
T4 Matt Riley F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
T4 Robert Evans F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
T4 Sam Wallach F -1 70 71 141 $200.00
7 Cody Price F E 71 71 142 $150.00
8 Brandon Babineaux F +1 68 75 143 $150.00
T9 Greg Smith F +2 71 73 144 $143.33
T9 Nathan Shilling F +2 72 72 144 $143.33
T9 Jacob Walsh F +2 74 70 144 $143.33
T12 Gene Black F +3 71 74 145 $123.33
T12 Peach Reynolds F +3 71 74 145 $123.33
T12 Devon Mccarley F +3 73 72 145 $123.33
T15 Manish Bhakta F +4 68 78 146 $105.00
T15 Greg Jones F +4 72 74 146 $105.00
T15 Grady Bruce F +4 73 73 146 $105.00
T18 Ben Carter F +5 71 76 147 $100.00
T18 Jeff Shell F +5 73 74 147 $100.00
T18 Jon Roseberry F +5 73 74 147 $100.00
T21 Josh Swanson F +6 73 75 148 $0.00
T21 Nick Erickson F +6 74 74 148 $0.00
T21 Mike Allen F +6 74 74 148 $0.00
T24 Chris Benestante F +7 71 78 149 $0.00
T24 Rob Albertson F +7 75 74 149 $0.00
T24 Matthew Jungman F +7 77 72 149 $0.00
T27 Paul Romero F +8 74 76 150 $0.00
T27 Trey Gardner F +8 78 72 150 $0.00
T29 Lee Krassner F +9 75 76 151 $0.00
T29 Seth Stuart F +9 79 72 151 $0.00
T29 Rob Ormand F +9 75 76 151 $0.00
T29 David Collura F +9 76 75 151 $0.00
T29 Nickolai Esau F +9 76 75 151 $0.00
T34 Randy Reynolds F +10 72 80 152 $0.00
T34 Stew Ford F +10 78 74 152 $0.00
T34 Daniel Alba F +10 77 75 152 $0.00
T37 James Gustafson F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Steven Eckelman F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Matt Smith F +11 74 79 153 $0.00
T37 Dexter Moreno F +11 75 78 153 $0.00
T37 Michael Goldwater F +11 80 73 153 $0.00
T37 Christopher Pearson F +11 77 76 153 $0.00
43 Tommy Norris F +12 80 74 154 $0.00
T44 Mark Schnabel F +13 75 80 155 $0.00
T44 Trey Caldwell F +13 79 76 155 $0.00
T44 Joe Ramos F +13 79 76 155 $0.00
T44 Philip Schroedter F +13 77 78 155 $0.00
T48 Sean Durkin F +15 75 82 157 $0.00
T48 Robert Specjal F +15 76 81 157 $0.00
T50 Bret Hutchens F +16 81 77 158 $0.00
T50 Bill Sill F +16 79 79 158 $0.00
T50 Matthew Wahl F +16 77 81 158 $0.00
T50 Adam Jones F +16 76 82 158 $0.00
T50 Myron Jordahl F +16 77 81 158 $0.00
55 Randy Zimmerhanzel F +18 80 80 160 $0.00
56 Jason Stoddard F +22 83 81 164 $0.00
DID NOT FINISH
WD Charles Young +1
WD Chris James +3
WD Gavin Moreland +5
WD Russell Brightman +6
WD Nathan Schwarz +9
WD Ryan Hagens +11
WD Marco Palacios +12
DQ Scott Bailey
DQ Bradley Patterson

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Spring Championship Leaderboard Full Of Familiar Names

Barrett Sandefur and Beth Cleckler. 2016 Spring Championship winner.

Barrett Sandefur and Beth Cleckler. 2016 Spring Championship winner.

The first round of the 2017 Spring Championship is in the books and the leaderboard is populated with the names of the best amateurs in the Austin Area.  Five players share the lead at 68, three under par, at the Roy Kizer Golf Course.

Defending champion Barrett Sandefur had five birdies and two bogies in route to 33-35=68.  Steve Patterson shot 36-32=68, with five birdies and a bogie on the back nine.  Manish Bhakta had six birdies and three bogies.  Jay Reynolds had four birdies and one bogie while Brandon Babineaux had five birdies and two bogies.

The wind was steady at about 15-20 mph for most of the day.  The greens were a bit slower than some and recovering from being punched but in general they are in good shape for this time of year.  A well struck putt generally held it’s line and, as demonstrated by the good scoring, making putts was not a problem. In general it was a pleasant day for playing golf.

The final round will be played Sunday.  Tee times and play may be disrupted by rain and thunder storms.  Players will be notified if there are delays.  Follow the scores and keep up with the tournament via the GolfAustin.Org website or the free app for i-phones and android devices.

Full field scores are below.

Pos Player Thru Total R1 R2 Total
T1 Barrett Sandefur 18 -3 68 68
T1 Manish Bhakta 18 -3 68 68
T1 Steve Paterson 18 -3 68 68
T1 Jay Reynolds 18 -3 68 68
T1 Brandon Babineaux 18 -3 68 68
T6 Matt Riley 18 -1 70 70
T6 Robert Evans 18 -1 70 70
T6 Sam Wallach 18 -1 70 70
T9 Chris Benestante 18 E 71 71
T9 Gene Black 18 E 71 71
T9 Ben Carter 18 E 71 71
T9 Peach Reynolds 18 E 71 71
T9 Cody Price 18 E 71 71
T9 Greg Smith 18 E 71 71
T15 Greg Jones 18 +1 72 72
T15 Charles Young 18 +1 72 72
T15 Nathan Shilling 18 +1 72 72
T15 Randy Reynolds 18 +1 72 72
T19 Jeff Shell 18 +2 73 73
T19 Jon Roseberry 18 +2 73 73
T19 Devon Mccarley 18 +2 73 73
T19 Grady Bruce 18 +2 73 73
T19 Josh Swanson 18 +2 73 73
T24 Nick Erickson 18 +3 74 74
T24 Chris James 18 +3 74 74
T24 Mike Allen 18 +3 74 74
T24 Paul Romero 18 +3 74 74
T24 Matt Smith 18 +3 74 74
T24 Jacob Walsh 18 +3 74 74
T30 Rob Albertson 18 +4 75 75
T30 James Gustafson 18 +4 75 75
T30 Steven Eckelman 18 +4 75 75
T30 Lee Krassner 18 +4 75 75
T30 Sean Durkin 18 +4 75 75
T30 Mark Schnabel 18 +4 75 75
T30 Dexter Moreno 18 +4 75 75
T30 Rob Ormand 18 +4 75 75
T38 David Collura 18 +5 76 76
T38 Robert Specjal 18 +5 76 76
T38 Adam Jones 18 +5 76 76
T38 Gavin Moreland 18 +5 76 76
T38 Nickolai Esau 18 +5 76 76
T43 Myron Jordahl 18 +6 77 77
T43 Russell Brightman 18 +6 77 77
T43 Matthew Jungman 18 +6 77 77
T43 Daniel Alba 18 +6 77 77
T43 Philip Schroedter 18 +6 77 77
T43 Matthew Wahl 18 +6 77 77
T43 Christopher Pearson 18 +6 77 77
T50 Trey Gardner 18 +7 78 78
T50 Stew Ford 18 +7 78 78
T52 Trey Caldwell 18 +8 79 79
T52 Joe Ramos 18 +8 79 79
T52 Seth Stuart 18 +8 79 79
T52 Bill Sill 18 +8 79 79
T56 Michael Goldwater 18 +9 80 80
T56 Randy Zimmerhanzel 18 +9 80 80
T56 Nathan Schwarz 18 +9 80 80
T56 Tommy Norris 18 +9 80 80
60 Bret Hutchens 18 +10 81 81
61 Ryan Hagens 18 +11 82 82
T62 Jason Stoddard 18 +12 83 83
T62 Marco Palacios 18 +12 83 83
DID NOT FINISH
DQ Scott Bailey
DQ Bradley Patterson

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Winners and Loser from WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Golf ball and tee with famous "Hi, How Are You?" mural painted on the side.

Golf ball and tee with famous “Hi, How Are You?” mural painted on the side.

Winners:

Dustin Johnson

The biggest — and most obvious — winner this week has to be world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson breezed through the group play stage and first two knockout rounds to secure his place in the semi-finals. Then on Sunday, without his best game, he dispatched Hideto Tanihara and Jon Rahm to complete the WGC career grand slam and earn his 15th PGA Tour victory.

Johnson raced out to early leads in both his matches on Sunday – 3 up through seven holes in the morning and 5 up through eight holes in the afternoon – before letting the leads slip away on the back nine. But he proved why he the No. 1 player in the world, and hit gutsy shots coming down the stretch to preserve the victories.

And the scariest part for everyone else on Tour? Johnson doesn’t even feel like he is playing his best golf yet.

“I’m playing really well, don’t get me wrong,” Johnson said. “If I’m playing my best, yeah, I’ll play against anybody, anytime.”

God help everyone else when he does start playing “his best.”

The fans

The fans from all over the world who converged on Austin Country Club last week have lots of positives to take away from the week. The best Austin has to offer was showcased – whether it be the local food trucks from Torchy’s Tacos and Amy’s Ice Cream, or the Dell Technologies Fan Experience tent down by the lake.

All in all, there were few complaints from fans last week – not even the $7 a pop price on beer. If there were issues with the fan experience, they were few and far between.

Austin Country Club

Not enough good things could be said about ACC last week — from the opening press conferences at Hotel Van Zandt on Monday, to the champion’s press conference Sunday evening. Everyone – players, fans, sports writers, etc. – raved about the course. The 17th hole in particular was a favorite. One writer even went so far as to describe it as “the best par-3 in America without water.”

And players were thrilled with the course as well, especially for the match play format.

“I think it’s great,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a great match play course. It’s a lot of fun. You make a lot of birdies. I like the golf course a lot. I feel like it sets up well for me. And it sets up well for match play. It’s a fun golf course to play.”

Losers:

Jordan Spieth

Spieth — the golden child and Austin darling — never quite looked comfortable at ACC last week. Even on a track that he has extensive experience playing from his time at the University of Texas, Spieth struggled to get anything going in his group-play matches.

He lost his opening match 4 and 2 to Hideto Tanihara – who he admitted he knew very little about coming into the week. He followed it up with a victory over Yuta Ikeda. But Spieth would halve with Ryan Moore on Friday and get bounced from the tournament.

But Spieth was still encouraged by the performance as he looks ahead to the Masters next week.

“All in all, I’m very, very happy right now going forward,” Spieth said. “Going to try and build on this momentum.”

Also the fans

Yes, Austin Country Club is a terrific golf course. And yes, the success it has had in two years hosting the Dell Technologies Match Play deserves to be celebrated. But it is no secret that ACC is not the most spectator friendly course in the world – particularly on the front nine (back nine for member play).

Most of the holes on that side of the golf course only allow for spectators on one side of the fairway – an issue for getting a good view of the action during the weekend matches. The slog of spectators crammed together for a good look of the championship match was a sight to behold. Although, the scene of fans sprinting down the side of the 18th fairway was quite entertaining.

This is not a slight at ACC. The Pete Dye design utilizing the hills and the lake make for a unique golfing experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for the friendliest course for viewing golf.

Jon Rahm’s chip shot on No. 18

Through eight holes in the championship match, Rahm looked dead in the water. His ball striking wasn’t as sharp as it had been all week, and his usually steady putter suddenly went cold. But over the final 10 holes, the 22-year-old proved why he is one of the most-promising young players in the world.

Rahm birdied No. 13, No. 15 and No. 16 to trim Johnson’s lead to 1 up. He smashed his drive over the green on No. 18 and faced a delicate up-and-down to force extra holes.

Just as he began his backswing on the chip shot, a loud crash could be heard from somewhere behind the 18th green. He appeared to chunk the shot and was left with a near-impossible putt for birdie.

“You hope those things don’t bother you, but unfortunately for me it did,” Rahm said. “I wish I could go back and hit it over the slope 15, 20 feet left. But it’s just things that happen, honestly. It won’t be the last time I have a noise on my swing on the last hole… It’s golf. It happens.”

It was an unfortunate end to the week for Rahm, but the young Spaniard will surely be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

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