Jeffrey Smith Wins 2002 Texas Open
8-9 June 2002 - Round Rock, TX - The Texas Putting Tour held its first major of the year at the Round Rock Putt-Putt near Austin, Texas. The first day of the event was held on the normal tournament course. The scores on this course have been steadily decreasing since the challenger carpet was laid 2 years ago and the trend continued on Saturday. With 11-under 25's Jeffrey Smith and Wade Sahmel took an opening round lead of two strokes over Brice Bergesen and 3 over a trio of players. Lee Messinger and Andy Gaiser shot the lowest pro round of the day with 12-under 24's in the second round. This put Lee in a tie with Brice Bergesen for the lead and Andy Gaiser in a tie for third with Wade Sahmel two back. Messinger managed to hold onto the lead over the last two rounds of the day but Jeffrey Smith shot a tournament best 20-under 52 over those rounds to close the gap and force a tie for the lead going to the second day.
In the amateur division Greg Cole and Mickey DeLucca started off strong sharing the lead at 8 under 28. Both players, however, struggled through the rest of the day falling out of contention. It was looking like Steve Tanton's solid play might give him an insurmountable lead going to the second day but to great rounds, a 10 under 26 by Doug Austin in the third round and the lowest round of the day and new course record of 13 under 23 by Steve Willmann in the fourth round left those two players within striking distance of Tanton going to the second day.
The second day of the Texas Open looked to be a four horse race with Jeffrey Smith and Lee Messinger tied for the lead and Wade Sahmel one stroke back. Cliff Matthews was the only other player within 8 strokes of lead at four back. This was the first time a tournament had been at Round Rocks second course and the players were looking forward to the challenge as the course looked to vulnerable to some low scores. That all changed when a short but heavy downpour started just 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start. After the initial delay there were two more rain delay's before all players had managed to tee off. Thankfully the weather held for rest of the day.
The wet track showed its teeth during the first round as only Jeffrey Smith was able to break 6 under 30 and that was by 1 stroke. Wade Sahmel charged in the 6th round with 10-under 25 to take a one stroke lead going to the 7th round. It was Cliff Matthews turn to charge in the 7th round. His 10-under 25 forged a tie with Jeffrey Smith for lead going into the last round. With Cliff and Jeff tied for lead, Lee 2 back and Wade 3 back the last round looked like it might be interesting. Jeff, however, had other ideas. A last round 12 under 24 , the best round of the day and a new course record, gave him a 6 stroke victory and his first Texas Open title.
In the amateur division the event quickly became a two man contest between Steve Willmann and Steve Tanton. While Willmann did manage to tie Tanton after the 5th round, Tanton managed for get his lead back after the 6th round and held off Willmann over the last two rounds for his fifth title of the year.
Article and scores provided by Lee Messinger.
Professional Division of 2002 Texas Open
(Round Rock, TX Event - 8-9 June 2002)
| || ||Round|| ||Prize|
| ||Wade Sahmel||25||29||29||25||31||25||33||29||226||$80.00|
|6||Brice Bergesen*||27||25||28||29||35||30||29||28||231|| |
|7||Andy Gaiser||30||24||30||31||34||30||25||29||233|| |
|8||Joel Baker*||28||28||32||31||31||31||30||31||242|| |
|9||Richard Spitzer*||30||28||34||25||32||32||30||32||243|| |
|10||Randy Wimpy||29||34||27||33||32||31||30||31||247|| |
|11||Chris Breedlove*||34||32||32||29||37||29||29||29||251|| |
|12||Mike Huckaby||31||34||32||33||31||25||33||33||252|| |