Cooper Wins TaylorMade-adidas Golf STPGA Match Play Championship

Match Play Champion Carl Cooper (center)Carl Cooper won a closely-contested final match against Lonny Alexander by a 1-up margin to take the victory in the 2009 TaylorMade-adidas Golf Southern Texas PGA Match Play Championship at Escondido.

Cooper was one hole down after Alexander birdied the 10th hole in the finals, but came back to go 2 up after the 14th hole. Alexander pulled back within a single hole after the 15th, but both could only manage on the remaining holes, giving Cooper the championship.

“It was kind of like a window opened up for me and it was my time,” said Cooper of his victory. “I’ve been working very hard on my putting and it paid off. Tim Thelen told me after our semifinal match that I had played the best he’d seen me play. I think it was really the best golf I’ve played since I had my Tour card.”

“To win five matches against the kind of golfers I was playing against is tough,” Cooper said. “I stayed patient and the golf gods rewarded me.”

The win in the finals marked the second time in the tournament’s five rounds that Cooper had been pushed to the final hole before defeating his opponent. He earned his slot in the finals by defeating Tim Thelen 4&3 in the semifinals. Alexander gained his position in the final match with a 3&2 win over David Von Hoffman.

Cooper earned $1,200 for the championship and Alexander took home $800 as the runner-up. The losing semifinalists received $500 each and the losing quarterfinalists and second-round players received $300 and $200 each, respectively.

Cliff Bounds, ousted from the Championship Division in a 5&4 first-round loss to Cooper, won the Championship Division’s Consolation Bracket with a 3&2 conquest of Chase Watson in the finals.

Bounds took home $600 as winner of the Consolation Bracket. Watson received a check for $400 as the runner-up, and the professionals who lost in the quarterfinals and semifinals won $200 and $150 each (respectively) for advancing past the first round.

Larry Degenhart won the tournament’s Senior Division, taking a 2&1 victory in the finals over Garry Rippy.

Degenhart gained the finals by taking a 4&3 win over Babe Hiskey in the quarterfinals and then winning a 21-hole match against Wayne Mitchell in the semifinals.

Degenhart’s winnings were $800, while Rippy earned $500 in runner-up money. All the golfers who won their first and quarterfinal matches received $200 and $300, respectively.

“I didn’t expect I was going to win when I entered, but it looked like a good chance to win a check in a good tournament,” said Degenhart. “When I saw I was playing Marty Fleckman in the first round, I joked that they were trying to eliminate me early.”

“I had Garry four holes down by the 12th hole of the final match," Degenart said. "He came back, but I managed to hold on. “I’m a Life Member of the PGA and I’ve been a member of several Sections, but this is the first time I’ve won anything at the Section level, so it’s pretty special.”

Fleckman took the Senior Division’s Consolation Bracket with a 3&2 win over  Ralph Harris in the finals. Fleckman was eliminated from the Senior Division by Degenhart in a 1-up decision, but never played past the 16th hole in three matches in the Consolation Bracket.

Fleckman earned $450 for his effort, while Harris took home a runner-up share of $250. The losing semifinalists received $150 each.


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