Uneven Performance During Qualifying Was in the Rearview Miror in Match Play
It would have been hard to handicap the team of Alex Balog and Daniel Burns heading into the match-play portion of the 39th Alabama State Four-Ball Championship.
Would the Balog-Burns pairing that shot 62 in the first round of qualifying show up? Or would it be the Balog-Burns team that shot 72 in the second round of qualifying.
It turned out the be the former Balog-Burns team, not the latter, that showed up for match play and outlasted 15 other teams. On Sunday, the team consisting of Balog (Millbrook) and Burns (Hampton Cove) emerged with a victory in the tournament.
Playing at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club in Montgomery, Balog-Burns won four straight matches to get the win. In the Round of 16, they ousted Steven Muncher-Taylor Hereford 3&2. It took 19 holes, but Balog-Burns advanced to the semifinals by downing top-seeded Tyler Hitchner-Will Morrison.
Balog-Burns played another close match in the semifinal, edging Steven Locke (Hollywood) and Thomas Looney (Scottsboro) 1 up. Balog and Burns held an early lead and sunk a par putt on No. 18 to secure the win
That positioned them to advance to the championship match, where they dispatched Wil Clowdus-Will Thompson 4&2. .
The final match was close early before Balog-Burns got going. A birdie on the eighth hole gave them some momentum. Three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine put the match out of reach. After making birdies on Nos. 11, 12 and 14, they closed with another birdie at No. 16.
Also, Clowdus and Thompson took out No. 2 seed Jeff Taylor-Shaw Pritchett of Montgomery 3&1 in their semifinal.
Upcoming AGA schedule
- May 14-16: Alabama State Senior, Super-Senior Championship, Country Club of Mobile
- June 9-12: Alabama Men’s State Amateur, Pinetree Country Club
- June 28: Alabama State Parent-Child, RTJ at Ross Bridge
- Aug. 5-8: Alabama State Match Play/Senior Match Play, Auburn University Club
- Aug. 27-29: Southeast Mid-Amateur Four-Ball, Willow Point Golf and Country Club
Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News.
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