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Bearrie Wins TGA's Mid-Amateur Championship

on 23 September 2012.

MESQUITE—John Bearrie was so nervous on the last hole of the Texas Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur Championship that he had trouble steadying his distance finder.

He focused both the gun and his thoughts, and even though he bogeyed the 54th hole, it was good enough to win the championship on a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon at the Dallas Athletic Club.

It was the second time Bearrie won a TGA event on the Blue Course at DAC. He said the medal play victory was more meaningful than his Mid-Am Match Play win in 2010.

“This means much more to me because it was stroke play,” said Bearrie, a 43-year-old Arlington investments advisor. “I haven’t won many medal play tournaments.”

The win was actually Bearrie’s second TGA title this year. He teamed with Aaron Hickman of Tyler to win the Four Ball title last April at Crown Colony in Lufkin.

Bearrie came to the downhill, 430-yard 18th hole at 6-under par holding a slim lead on Mike Schrade and Jordan Woolf, both who were in the final group with Bearrie. After a good drive, Bearrie left his approach just short of the green but in good shape for a par that would make waiting on his two challengers more comfortable. It wasn’t meant to be as his approach putt stopped some eight feet short and he missed the par putt to bogey and finish with a 5-under-par, 211 for 54 holes.

Schrade and Woolf could not make anything happen coming down the stretch but Schrade made it suspenseful with a pinpoint second shot on the final hole that left him with just over six feet to birdie and tie Bearrie.

By this time, Bearrie had been finished for more than an hour and a playoff might have favored Schrade, a DAC member who won the club championship in 2010. The short uphill putt was perhaps hit too firmly as it went past the hole on the high side.

“I hit a good putt,” Schrade said. “Usually it is my putting that carries me but today I struck the ball well but could not make some putts when I needed to. But John played great and I am just happy to have done well on my home course because I love this place. This is a great course and we love to host big events like this.”    

Indeed DAC looked in great shape and its soft greens were receptive and made low scores possible. But the Ralph Plummer-designed and Jack Nicklaus-renovated layout also stiffened so that five under par was the lowest total with three days of ideal conditions and very little wind.

Bearrie entered the final round at two under and three behind leader Evan Nash of Dallas. But while Nash was struggling in his final round, Bearrie got off to a roller coaster start by canning a 30-foot putt for birdie on the first only to double bogey the par-4 second hole. But he fought back with a birdie on the very next hole and then added birdies on the 8th, 10th and 13th holes. The birdie at 13 was another long putt of some 30 feet. The putter cooled as Bearrie missed makeable putts on the final three holes but, in the end, his steady play was good enough.

Enjoying the win was a family affair for Bearrie with his father serving as caddie throughout the round and his wife walking the final three holes. There was even a phone call to his son at the Dallas Cowboys game across town.

“Can you believe it? Daddy won,” Bearrie said.

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