TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The 49th annual Texas State Open wrapped up Friday with Kyle Pritchard of Castroville, TX winning the championship.
Going into Friday, Pritchard had a six-shot lead over Bullard’s Blake Elliot. Making up the difference, Elliot caught up within the first seven holes tying Pritchard.
During the final round, Pritchard made a total of six birdies, but had four bogeys, three of which came in the front-nine. However, he birdied three holes in a row in the back-nine to regain control, and a two-stroke advantage. Pritchard then sank a three-foot birdie for the victory on the 18th hole. The 2-under par round was enough to secure the win and a check for $41,000, as he finished 21-under par for the tournament.
A club professional at Alsatian Golf Club in Castroville, Pritchard also earned a lifetime exemption into the Texas State Open.
“I teed off with a 6-shot lead today and still didn’t believe that I could do it. It never hit me until that last putt on the last hole. Just to have my kids there and to know that their dad could do it, that’s all that it means to me. It’s perfect,” said Pritchard on the victory. “This win means a lot. It’s been a long road.”
After the putt on the #18 dropped, his three sons, wife Synthia and family joined him on the green to celebrate.
The 72-hole stroke play event began with 156 contestants. Following 36-holes, the field was cut to the low 55 scores and ties. 71 players survived the cut, which was at even-par 140. 63 professionals and 8 amateurs played the final two rounds. All four rounds were contested at The Cascades Club, a 6,882-yard, par 70 layout located in Tyler. For the Championship, hole #10 is being played as a 490 yard, par 4 rather than a par 5.
The total purse was a record $208,560.
Proceeds from the tournament benefitted the Northern Texas PGA Foundation’s scholarship program with the creation of the Tanos Exploration II / Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open Scholarship. Lauren James from Judson, Texas, was awarded this scholarship. This year the NTPGA Foundation awarded over $406,000 in scholarships to 50 high school seniors from North Texas.