2002 Texas Tournament Players Championship (TPC)
8 September 2002 - Hurst, TX - The second major of the year was held at the Hurst, Texas course. The players were somewhat surprised at the amount of business the course was doing. School had already started, the weather was overcast, windy with occasional light rain and it was a Sunday afternoon, but thousands of customers were at the facility over the course of the day.
The only surprise of the first round was Mike Huckaby defeating Don Parker by making 12 holes in a row. The second round saw Lee Messinger, Andy Gaiser, Steve Armstrong, and Brice Bergesen advance to the semi-finals. In the first semi-final match Steve Armstrong easily defeated Brice Bergesen 5 with 4. In the other match Andy Gaiser jumped out to a three hole lead on Lee Messinger by shooting a 6-under 12 on the front nine. Andy missed the easy 10th hole allowing Lee to close the gap to two. A bogey by Lee on the 12th hole gave Andy back his 3 hole lead. With 6 holes to go Andy was looking to close out the match, but a bad kick on the rail at 15 cost Andy a hole after Lee had already missed it. Lee was now down 1 hole with 3 to go. Lee made the tough 17th to tie the match going to the last hole. Both players hit poor shots on the 18th and match went to sudden death. Lee, hitting first, just lipped out hole 1 and Andy made the hole to take the match.
Andy Gaiser was again in position to win his first Pro Title of the year. Andy had had a chance to get his first title the day before but had to try and beat Cliff Matthews in a playoff. This time his opponent would be Steve Armstrong in a 36 hole match. Steve played strong during the earlier part of the match but was never able to pull more than 2 holes ahead. By the time the players had reached the last nine holes the match was even. While neither player faltered over the last nine Andy was able to play slightly better and take his first ever pro title.
In the amateur division Steve Tanton defeated Mike Wellborn to face Greg Cole, who defeated Jack Ramsey, in the semi-final round. The other semi-final round pitted Doug Austin, who defeated Jason Sheffield and Adam Sahmel, against Trevor Lewin, who defeated Dave Blalock. Steve held off Greg 3 with 2 to advance to the finals.
The other semi-final turned into a contest of wills in sudden death. With only one hole tied with an ace through the first nine holes of sudden death it looked like the match would be determined by luck. It was and Trevor was on the bad end. Trevor hit two putts right on line on holes 6 and 8. Trevor hit the sixth hole a little too hard and ball pop corned out of the hole and landed right on the edge and stuck, he then hit what looked to be a perfect putt on the 8th hole but a light rain had fallen about 15 minutes prior making the carpet just wet enough so that when his ball hit the back rail it checked up as hard as was seen all day and stopped just barely short of the hole. The 13th hole of sudden death was a sally hole and speculation among the gallery was that the match might end on this hole with a bogey. Doug Austin, putting first, lagged the first hill but made his deuce. Trevor the proceeded to knock his put over the back hill and missed the deuce putt to advance Doug to the finals. Doug played a great finals against Steve Tanton. The match went back and forth with neither player able to gain a large advantage. In the end Steve experience won the day with a 1up victory.
Article and scores provided by Lee Messinger.
Professional Division of 2002 Texas TPC
(Hurst, TX - 8 September 2002)