The officials had to go to the replay monitor to see who won the 2020 U S Open for The Houston Golf League.
There were a plethora of players who topped the leaderboard causing plenty of tension and drama until the last group, last hole, and even the last putt. It was a photo finish of nine players
separated by one shot each. Let's pick up the action on the first group with a 10:00 am tee time to see how this epic nail-biter finally concluded producing one of the closest U S Open tournament in
the history of the league. Hugo Amaro came out 'guns blazin' in the first four holes with two kick-in bridies pole vaulting to an early lead. Jaime Villarreal, also in that first 10:00 am
group, looked as if he saw a ghost. He witnessed this kind of performance previously from Hugo back in 2018 at Bay Forest, a league history low -15. Hugo's flame extinguished on the back nine
with a 48 and a fourth from the bottom finish.
The next player who was in the early lead was Adam Orta, who had a great birdie on 9 to close the front out winning the tournament, but 51 on the back is not how to close a tournament. Adam played the par fives very well. This gave him a skin and a low score on the par 5 challenge sending him home with a few hundred dollars in his pocket. Adam finished in a six-place tie with Lonnie Knowles and Roland Turner. Roland's game has been slightly off a year or so. His handicap has risen almost 4 points along with every statistical category that has gone down. Captain Turner, "are you out there?" PLEASE, come back.
Lonnie Knowles has 12 tournaments wins. The most in the league's history, yet another major has gone by... I'm going to leave it right there. The window
of the Hall of Fame is closing fast. Now, this is where the tournament turns very interesting with these next few players.
Hal Gregory lost five shots on the closing six holes to lose by four strokes and a double bogie on 18. That coats him a third-place finish and $460. This was a carbon copy of what he did in the 2019 US Open at Bay Oaks.
Next on the thoroughbred's list chasing the leader was Josh Lewis who's pedigree and golf accolades are on the top amongst the league, yet two doubles on 10 and 14 derailed his quest to be Champion.
Well, that brings us to the Top 3-- Rodney Griggs, Todd Ritz, and Cameron Nichols. Rodney, 2019 defending Champ, did a great job just to put his nose in the photo-finish picture after going four over in the first four holes on the back. He fought gallantly to the end in 3 under on the closing holes. With his efforts on finishing third, it will put him as the number one player in the league. Cameron and Todd battled all day flip-flopping each other on the leaderboard on the back. Now, Cameron had a huge advantage over Todd with his handicap by getting a pop on every hole. So the smallest of mistakes were multiplied by two. Todd was unable to make up any shots from his mistakes on 13 the par 3 with a double bogie even though Cameron doubled bogie, also. I believe the deal-breaker was on hole 17, a three-putt, not the time for that snafu. Cameron was able to settle his nerves with the familiarity of playing Timber Creek. He hit a lot of fairways and kept his mistakes down to a minimum by cutting off ten shots better than his last two previous rounds.
Congratulations, Cameron Nichols! YOU ARE THE 2020 US OPEN CHAMPION of the Houston Golf League.
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