HOLLISTER, Missouri — Central Missouri Mules Golfer Nick Westrich became the 113th champion of the Missouri State Amateur Championship.
Westrich was victorious over a deep and talented field in a six-day event that featured both stroke play and match play.
The event took place at the Ozark National Golf Course in Hollister, Missouri, on a par-71 course.
The tournament started with more than 100 competitors in stroke play.
The top 64 advanced to a bracket-style match play.
After two rounds of stroke play, Westich was seeded fifth heading to the bracket shooting a -2, 140.
Westrich shot a +2, 73, on day one, but turned things around on day two with a -4, 67.
Match play format sees the player with the lowest score on each hole earn a point.
Once a player has won more points than holes remaining, the match is over.
In Westrich’s opening round, he went up against John Moore and scored a victory up five points with four holes left to play.
After getting down 1-0 after one hole, Westrich took the lead on hole four and extended that to a five-point lead after nine holes.
Moving to the round of 32, Westrich was again down early, spotting Ryan Schuenke a two-point lead after the first two holes.
Still trailing by two after five holes, Westrich won three straight to take his first lead after eight holes.
He extended that to a two-point lead after the 13th hole, but Schuenke closed that to one-point a hole later.
Leading by one, Westrich won hole 17 to go up by two with one hole to play and advance to the round of 16.
In his closest match of the tournament, Westrich needed to go to a playoff in the round of 16.
For the first time in match play, Westrich took the lead after the opening hole.
Although he never trailed in the match, Westrich couldn’t extend his lead beyond one point.
With Westrich leading by one, Justin Wingerter tied the match on the 15th hole.
The two then were even on holes 16-18, forcing a playoff.
On the 19th hole of the match, Westrich prevailed to stay alive.
Playing in the quarterfinals, Westrich and Brad Nurski matched each other through the first four holes.
Each player scored a point on the front nine and halfway through the match remained tied. Westrich made a move starting on hole 10 going up one. He then won holes 12-14, pushing his lead to four and won leading by four with three holes to play.
Westrich again used the back nine in the semifinals to advance.
Playing Logan Smith, Westrich trailed by two points after eight holes.
After winning holes nine and 10 to tie the match, he took the lead on hole 13 and scored points on holes 15 and 16, winning by two with one hole left and moving on to the finals.
The finals saw Westich against Maxwell Kreikemeier who was 14th after stroke play.
The final match was 36 holes.
Westrich was one-up after the first hole, but Kreikemeier took a two-point lead after seven.
Westrich won three of the next four-holes, reclaiming a one-point lead on hole 12 and never gave the lead up.
He extended his lead with points on holes 16 and 17 and was up by three after 18 holes.
Starting the second round, Kreikemier cut the lead to two after the first hole, but Westrich didn’t falter, picked up points on holes four and five for a four-point lead, then his point on hole 14 put him up five with four to play, clinching the championship.
Westrich wasn’t the only Mule in the field.
His teammates Cole Elling, Drew Eaton and Thomas Henson all qualified for match play.
Sam Parrott, Ian Barnes, Caleb Peters and Bennett Tiefenbrunn also competed in stroke play.