Austin Crowder of Greenwood, Ind. found himself in familiar position playing in extra holes in Thursday’s final round of the IGA Match Play Championship at Purgatory Golf Club. On his way to the finals, he had to play two extra hole matches, one in the second round, and one in the semifinals. This time, there was more on the line.
Crowder and Keegan McKinney of Avon, Ind. battled all day long as the two combined for 12 birdies in their match. After 20 holes, Crowder came out on top victorious as he made par on the par-4 11th
, while McKinney was unable to save his par from five feet.
“We both played really well today,” Crowder said. “It was a lot of fun out there today, Keegan is a great player and I am just happy to have ended up with the win.”
Crowder never trailed in the match, but twice lead two-up, and both times let it slip back to all square. After nine holes, Crowder and McKinney were all square.
In the next four holes, Crowder and McKinney would make a couple of birdies each to keep the match all square. After poor approach shots on 14 and 15, McKinney found himself two down with only three to play.
With the pressure on, McKinney knew he needed to make birdies to keep the match alive.
He would go on to do just that. After two clutch putts from 15 feet on the par-3 17th
and an 8 footer on the par-5 18th
, the match was sent into extra holes.
As aforementioned, Crowder was familiar with playing in extra holes. He said he was able to stay positive and rely on his experience in extra holes.
“It was my third extra hole match of the week, so just being in the situation the last couple of days, I just knew I needed to keep my head up and look at what’s in front of me,” Crowder said.
After poor tee shots on the par-4 10th
, the two would share bogeys as neither was able to save their pars. On the 11th
however, it was Crowder who was able to save his par, while McKinney missed a five-foot putt to extend the match giving Crowder the victory in 20 holes.
The win is Crowder’s second Indiana Golf victory of the season as he won the Indiana PGA Northern Open at Elcona Country Club in June.
For complete list of results click here