TCU Senior Hayden Springer Wins 115th Trans-Miss Amateur
COLUMBUS, Ohio – TCU senior Hayden Springer from Trophy Club, Texas, briefly went into shock when he heard the roar from behind the 16th green on Friday in the final round of the 115th Trans-Mississippi Amateur Championship. He had hit his 9-iron exactly where he wanted – to the left of the flagstick and well past it – knowing the sloped green funnels hard down to the right.
The shot spun back some 35 feet and finished in the bottom of the cup. The ace pushed Springer into a tie for the lead of the prestigious championship. Two pars on the final holes gave him a final round 4-under 68 and the coveted victory at Brookside Golf & Country Club.
“That was incredible. I was not expecting it,” said Springer, who won by a single shot over incoming Texas freshman Pierceson Coody from Plano, Texas, and 2017 Augusta State graduate Jake Marriott from Naples, Fla. “That was my first hole in one in competition. It kind of felt like things were going my way after that.”
Indeed they were. On postcard-perfect weather day at an old-school course that demands accuracy and patience, no less than four players took turns holding the lead during the championship’s final 90 minutes. Low Mid-Amateur winner Justin Tereshko from Lexington, Ky., started the day with a two-shot lead and held it for much of the final day. Marriott birdied holes 10, 11 and 12 to tie Tereshko, who fell back with three back-nine bogeys. Coody moved the top of the leaderboard with his fourth birdie of the day, a tap-in on the 527-yard par-5 11th after he narrowly missed his eagle attempt.
Marriott pushed ahead again with a short birdie on the 15th. He was walking in the 17th fairway when he heard the gallery behind him on No. 16 cry out after Springer’s ace. It was the fourth hole-in-one on the picturesque, uphill par 3.
“Obviously, I knew what it was,” Marriott said. “I didn’t know who made it, though. I just tried to stick to my game plan and keep playing.”
Marriott missed his par putt on No. 17, which cracked the door open for Springer. He made a delicate up-and-down from the left side of the 17th green to make par. He finished in a way that would’ve made Ben Hogan proud: fairway, green, two-putt par for the championship. Springer shot 67-68 in the final two rounds to score the victory.
“This is the biggest accomplishment I’ve had in golf, and I’m going to remember it forever,” said Springer, who in 2016 won a four-for-one Monday Qualifier playoff and competed in the PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic. “I’ve dreamed of this for a long time and it means a lot to me. It really does.”
Springer now adds his name to the Trans-Miss Amateur Championship trophy next to the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw.
“It’s surreal,” Springer said. “I can’t even believe it.”
Marriott and Coody, who tied for second at 14-under 274, both said there were plenty of positives to take away from the week at Brookside. Marriott said he wanted to put himself into a position to win, and he did just that. Coody had a similar outlook.
“Coming down the stretch I knew what I had to do after I bogeyed No. 10,” said Coody, who in June won the AJGA’s Thunderbird Invitational. “I really had to focus and play well. I gave myself a lot of opportunities, but I didn’t quite capitalize on all my wedge shots. It was a solid week, and second place is never bad in a tournament this strong.”
Four players tied for fourth place, including Tereshko, Jacob Bridgeman from Inman, S.C., Haydn Barron from Perth, Australia, and Brandon Smith from Frisco, Texas. They all posted 12-under 276. Zander Lozano from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, shared eighth place with Mitchell Malcom from New Germany, South Africa, and Michael Perras from Pasadena, Texas.
The 2019 U.S. Walker Cup Captain Nathaniel Crosby was on hand for the championship. Crosby won the 1981 U.S. Amateur, which propelled him to earn a spot on the 1983 Walker Cup team that prevailed over Great Britain & Ireland at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. Now he comes full circle, as he’ll lead the U.S. team next year at the same historic links course.
He said he enjoyed his time at Brookside while he watched some of the top amateurs in the country anticipation of building next year’s squad.
“Right now I’m trying to familiarize myself with some of the players who might be choices for the committee and me in a year and half so I can see how they progress,” Crosby said. “I’m trying to go to some of the best amateur golf tournaments right now. It’s fun to watch these amateurs play and progress as the move up the World Amateur Golf Rankings.”
It’s been a fantastic week at Brookside Golf & Country Club, and the Trans-Miss staff extends its most sincere appreciation to the club members and staff for all their hard work in making the tournament such a memorable event. Several Brookside members pitched in throughout the week with volunteer duties.
Extra special thanks are due to General Manager Matt Ruehling, Head Golf Professional Brad Zeitner and his great staff, Golf Course Superintendent Carl Wittenauer and his tireless grounds crew, Controller/Assistant GM Max Reed, Food and Beverage Director Jason Tewart, Beverage Manager Mike Turner, Executive Chef John Beck, Membership/Marketing Director Daniel Hug and Director of Events Callan Hash.
Additionally, we want to thank all our dedicated volunteers for their efforts throughout the week and the entire season. The Trans-Miss staff could not conduct these elite tournaments without a total team effort. We thank everyone involved.
For more information on the championship, click here.