The Meridian Star
Survive and advance.
Those were the words of Meridian golfer Bryan Doyle, who along with partner
Judge Little, escaped a near Day 2 upset to during the Bill Davis 4th of July Tournament Friday afternoon at Northwood.
The No. 2 seeded Doyle and Little took a commanding two-hole lead over No. 15 seeded pair Thomas Adams and Bo Pennebaker, starting the day by winning the fifth and sixth holes before tying the seventh hole.
However, that momentum would wash away as a 20-minute rainstorm suspended play on the eighth hole, icing the duo’s great start.
“It just kind of took us out of our rhythm whenever we had the rain delay,” Doyle said. “The stoppage is what was frustrating, because we got off to such a hot start. When you have to stop for 30 minutes, or whatever we had to stop for, it is hard.”
The two pairs would break even on the eighth and ninth holes before going three-up after birdieing the 10th hole. Then momentum began to shift.
Adams and Pennebaker continued to hang tough, matching the highly-favored Doyle and Little shot for shot on the 11th and 12th holes. On 13 the underdogs received their first break, as Adams sunk a 65-foot put for birdie to put his team back in reach down 2 holes.
“It was a complete surprise,” Adams said. “You never even dream of making it. It just kind of fell in, and those are the kind of shots you need. We just kind of fed off that and moved forward.”
The two pairs would continue to match each other during the next three holes, as Doyle and Little were unable to come up with birdie despite making 17 of 18 greens.
“We both hit the ball well, we just didn’t make any puts,” Doyle said. “It was just one of those days. But, match play is just get to the next day, and we got to the next day, so we will keep going.”
Adams and Pennebaker continued to chip away at the lead on 17 as another birdie put the duo in striking distance, down one hole with five to play. The best chance of an upset came three holes later when Adams lined up for birdie on the third hole with a chance to bring the match even. However, he was unable to sink the put, allowing Doyle and Little to escape with a 3-2 victory.
“I really needed to make that hole to give us a chance,” Adams said of the put. “If I could have made that shot, it would have really put some pressure on going into the last hole.”
With the win, Doyle and Little will stay in the championship bracket, while Adams and Pennebaker move to the consolation bracket with the loss.