A few weeks after winning the Club Championship, David Bolen captured his third Par Buster, teaming up with Midland’s Shawn Savage for a single-stroke win in the Championship Flight.
(Photo at left, Savage and Bolen with their wine trophies.)
They finished shortly before 9 p.m. after a weather delay due to late-afternoon lightning in area.
“I loved the rain delay,” said Bolen, the horn ordering players off the course blew just as Bolen and Savage finished their first nine holes.
Bolen’s front nine highlight was holing out a sand wedge from about 100 yards on No. 14 for eagle.
“I got a bite to eat and recharged. I got a lot of energy on the back nine. The break worked out in our favor,” he said.
It was also Savage’s third Par Buster title – but his first teaming up with LCC member Bolen.
Bolen and Savage started the back nine tied with Michael Pruitt and Brad Gibson – the same as when the day began.
Jace Moore and Jordan Woolf started the day two back.
Pruitt and Gibson birdied No. 1 – playing as the 10th hole to take the lead.
But Bolen dropped a long putt from the fringe on No. 2 to restore the tie.
“Unless you’re a local, it looks like it goes left, but I knew it goes right – it’s about a foot left to right,” said Bolen.
After Gibson missed a birdie chance at No. 3, Bolen and Savage were in trouble on No. 4. Bolen was out of bounds, while Savage was in the trees to the left.
But Savage got up-and-down from the trees by making an 18-foot par putt, while Pruitt and Gibson ended up bogeying the hole.
“I thought we were going to lose the hole … the tournament flipped right there,” said Bolen about his team taking the lead.
“Sean’s putt was huge,” said Bolen. “It was 18 feet uphill and breaking 6-8 inches – a difficult putt.”
Pruitt missed a birdie chance on No. 5, then hit it left on the par-5 6th hole into a washed out area. He wanted a drop and played a second ball, which he later birdied. But the Rules Committee decided a drop was not warranted and Bolen-Savage kept their one-shot lead.
Savage was teeing off on No. 7 when a loud noise came from either the nearby bathroom door slamming or a backwards beep from one of the carts making up the gallery. Savage hit it way down the fairway.
Another noise happened while Pruitt was teeing off. He was frustrated after his shot went right and asked people in the growing gallery of carts to please be careful when the group was hitting.
“Emotions were a bit high” said Bolen afterwards.
Both Bolen and Savage had shot shorts to the 7th green and got them close. Bolen sank his birdie putt (in photo at left, Bolen goes to retrieve ball in hole on No. 7) and the pair was up two with two to play.
They were unaware Moore and Woolf were on their way to posting a 64. If Bolen and Savage parred the final two holes for a 65, they would win by one.
They did – the final putt dropping at 8:45 p.m.
Bolen said it was harder to read putts as the light disappeared.
“The last putt I knew was right to left, but couldn’t see much detail or on eight. Seven was the last hole where I could really see the putt,” he said.
Bolen’s third Par Buster title came five years after his last one in 2014. His first was in 2012.
He also denied Pruitt a chance at a “slam” of the 2019 major tournaments of Lubbock’s country clubs. Pruitt won the Lakeridge Stampede and Hillcrest Swinger.
Bolen had won the first two “legs” a few years ago and finished runner-up at the Par Buster.
“I know how it feels,” he said.
Bolen and Pruitt have battled since junior golf and then in college when Bolen was an All-Big 12 golfer at Texas Tech and Pruitt was at North Texas.
Note: Dusty Womble and Scott Gwinn finished tenth in the First Flight, but Womble aced No. 17 after the rain delay.
See Facebook gallery of the winners
See Facebook gallery of final group over final nine holes
See Facebook gallery of Saturday night’s party
See Facebook gallery of foursomes from Championship through Second flights
See Facebook gallery of foursomes from Third through Eighth flights
See complete results (if password needed, type in parbuster2019)
Read the Avalanche-Journal story
(Photo below: Groups ring the 9th green as the final group finishes at 8:45 p.m. with more watching from Chilton's.)