TYLER — Kyle Pritchard continued his stellar play on Friday, holding off a host of charging challengers, before capturing the 49th Tanos Exploration II/Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open at The Cascades Golf & Country Club.
It was indeed a sweet victory as Pritchard drained a short putt on the 18th for a two-stroke win that was topped off by two of his young boys — Hutton, 5, and Beau, 3 — racing across the green into his arms. The three were later joined for a family embrace by his wife Synthia, 1-year old Jack, and Pritchard’s parents.
During the first 54 holes, Pritchard had just two bogeys (both in the second round), but sometimes playing with a big lead is tougher than a slim advantage.
He bogeyed Nos. 2, 6 and 7 as he saw his lead quickly evaporated. When he was about to tee off at No. 8, he was suddenly tied with Bullard’s Blake Elliott, the 2019 Southland Conference Player of the Year at McNeese State.
Pritchard then refocused. After parring No. 8, he birdied No. 9 and the former Medina Valley High School golf coach was back on track.
He followed with five birdies and one bogey on the back nine to finish with a final round of 2-under 70 and a 72-hole total of 21-under 259.
The four-day total matches past champion and PGA Tour member, Shawn Stefani’s championship total when he won at The Cascades in 2011.
Pritchard, who is the course pro at Alsatian Golf Club, picked up a check for $41,000. He also earns a lifetime exemption into the Texas State Open.
He now has his named listed along with Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino and Homero Blancas.
Derek Oland of Plano placed second.