Cliff Matthews Open His 2005 Season With a Victory on the PPA Texas State Tour
23 April 2005 - Arlington (Division), TX - The Texas Putting Tour held its fourth event of the year at the Arlington-Division course on Saturday April 23rd. Defending 2004 PPA National Champion Cliff Matthews made his first appearance of the year and everybody was expecting his to do well on his home course where he usually dominates play.
2004 PPA National Champion
The first round saw only three players shoot better than 6 under 30. David Lynch fired a 9 under 27 which was powered by a great 7 under 11 on the back nine. The other two players under 30 were Cliff Matthews and Steve Tanton. Cliff shot his 7 under by being consistent over both nines while Steve got all his strokes on the front nine matching Davids 11 back with an 11 front of his own. Nobody was able to go low in the second round and David Lynch was able to hold onto his lead despite shooting a 6 under 30. Jude Prather fired a second round best 8 under 28 to get within one of Lynch. The only two other players under sixty were Cliff and Steve who both shot 6 under 30s.
The front nine of the last round saw Matthews take command of the event with a 7 under par 11 that took him from two down to two strokes ahead of Lynch. As the tournament wound down nobody was able to put any pressure on Cliff and 2 under 16 was enough to hold on to the win by three strokes with a 22 under 86 total. Steve Armstrong fired a last round 9 under 27 to take second place by himself. David Lynch, Wade Sahmel and Steve Tanton finished tied for third one behind Steve Armstrong. The win earned Cliff a state and world spot. Additional state spots went Chris Conradi and Joel Baker in match play competition.
In the Amateur Division Brian Wiggins, returning to play after an eight year absence fired an opening round 10 under 26, the best round of the day in either division, to hold a three stroke lead over Mike Huckaby and Rob Martin. Wiggins cooled off in the second round shooting a four under 32. Nobody was able to take great advantage of Wiggins' play with no score lower than 5 under in the second round leaving Wiggins in the lead going to last round. Another poor round from Brian of 3 under 33 in the last round opened the door for the rest of the field. However, only Mike Huckaby walked through. His final round 6 under 30 left him one stroke ahead of Brain at 18 under 90. Mikes win also gave him a state spot. Additional spots went to Brian Wiggins and Steve Willmann in match play competition.
Article and scores provided by Lee Messinger and Adam Sahmel.