Chavez wins in sudden-death
LUBBOCK — Guillermo Chavez didn’t have much time to dwell on his bogey-bogey finish.
Less than five minutes after he sailed his third shot over the green and failed to get up-and-down for par, the 17-year-old Clovis golfer was back on the tee box as part of a three-man playoff.
This time, Chavez pitched a lob wedge to with two feet of the cup on the par-5, 18th hole for a tap-in birdie for his first AJGA tournament win.
Chavez, who trailed by a stroke heading into the third-and-final round, shot a 71 Thursday and finished at 5-under-par 211 on the par-72, 7,160-yard The Rawls Course at Texas Tech University.
“I really didn’t even have a chance to think about the bogey,” said Chavez, who shot a 67 in Tuesday’s first round and followed it up with a 73 on Wednesday. “I had to go back out there right away and play again.”
Joshua Ray of New Braunfels, Texas, and Mark Jones of Odessa tied for second in the three-day tournament that featured 98 players from eight states, including 72 from Texas.
“It feels really good winning a national tournament,” said Chavez, who tied for ninth at the Southwest Junior in Albuquerque last week.
Steady iron play and solid putting — he had just one three-putt in three days on the large, undulating greens at the Texas Tech course — was the key, he said.
“I’ve been more consistent,” said Chavez, who had five birdies in the final round. “My putting has been really good the last couple of weeks.”
Ray made an eagle on the par-5 2nd and carded five birdies on the front nine that put him at 6-under when he made the turn.
“The hardest part was staying calm when I was 6-under-par,” he said. “I had a chance to shoot a 29 on the front nine. I had to get up and down from the fringe in two, but I didn’t, so that was hard to take.”
Jones shot a 70-71-70, and the birdies he made on the last two holes put him into the one-hole playoff on No. 18