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Wyatt Wins 2016 West Texas Amateur

LUBBOCK- Andrew Wyatt of Midland won the 2016 West Texas Amateur after shooting a 2-under 70 for the day and a 13-under 203 for the championship.

Wyatt made  the biggest mover of the day yesterday after he tied the lead with a tremendous 5-under 67 in the gusty wind. Today it was Brady Purdom of Friendswood. He shot a 6-under 66 in his final round and moved all the way up to second place at 11-under for the championship. This was the lowest round of the day as the winds continued to punish golfers throughout the morning. Rounding out the top five was Micah Rogers of Odessa in third at 9-under for the championship. Jarred Jeter of College Station, who lead and co-lead after rounds one and two, ended up coming in fourth after he shot 3-over for the day and 8-under for the championship. Tied for fifth were Rick Sulzer of Carrolton, Tate Fleming of Pasadena and George Gardner of Southlake. They finished at 4-under for the championship.

Wyatt and Jeter teed off together in the final pairing tied at 11-under after 36 holes. That was about the last time they were equal with each other. With the wind making it hard to judge tee shots and approaches their rounds started to go in opposite directions. Jeter had three birdies on the day but also four bogeys and a double. Wyatt had four birdies with two bogeys. His first bogeys of the entire championship. He mentioned the wind as a possible culprit for his bogeys, however, he did his best to keep it out of his mind.

“Today was a little tougher because of the wind out there but I figured anything under par would probably get it done and I just kept grinding away,” Wyatt said.

After his birdie on the par 4, 13th, the fifth hardest hole of the day, Wyatt could feel himself closing in on the victory. He had been saying all week that his plan was to simply hit the ball and then go find it. This theory got the job done.

“I just tried to play boring golf,” Wyatt said with a smile.

Was it boring? that is up to interpretation. Was it effective? Yes.

In the Senior division, Lee Sandlin of Dallas and Lewis Stephenson of Mansfield forced a playoff after both shooting 54 hole scores of 3-under 213’s. Sandlin shot a 1-under 71 in his final round and Stephenson shot a 3-under 69.

The playoff would ensue on the eighteenth hole but the drama did not last long. Sandlin had a birdie try from 50-feet. He painlessly dropped in it in. This left Stephenson with a birdie try himself to tie it up and force another hole. He missed which handed Sandlin the victory.

Sandlin and Stephenson were the only two Senior division players that would finish under par for the championship.
The Super Senior division was won by Michael Hastings of Waxahachie. All week Hastings had been knocking at the door of 36-hole leader Patrick Pritchett of Lubbock. Today, he finally pulled ahead and not a moment too soon. He won the division by birdieing the 9th hole, his last hole of the championship and gained a 1-stroke lead over Pritchett, who was in his group. He ended his round with a score of 7-over 223.

This is only the second golf tournament Hastings has played in two years. He said he got to a point where he would either keep playing or put his clubs up forever. He credits a famous Yogi Berra quote as the reason he kept playing.

“I reached that fork in the road where I either had to quit playing competitive golf or really work at it, so I took the fork,” Hastings said. A wise decision.

Rounding out the Super Senior division was second place holders, Jim Farrell of Lubbock and Patrick Pritchet who were both 8-over for the championship. Behind them were Joel Eastman of Dallas and Don Grider of Georgetown who both tied for fourth at 9-over for the championship.

The Texas Golf Association would like to thank all the maintenance, food and beverage and professional staff at The Rawls Course at Texas Tech. The club operated by Troon Golf provided all outstanding service to everyone who participated.