HORSESHOE BAY—Terence Begnel was the last man standing Sunday afternoon at the 31st annual Texas Mid-Amateur Championship. The 28-year-old from Midland survived a four-hole playoff—during which he missed a one-foot putt that would’ve won it for him—to capture the coveted Texas Golf Association championship at beautiful Escondido Golf & Lake Club.
Begnel finished the 54-hole, individual stroke play championship tied with Houston’s Brandon Burke at 2-under-par 211. Begnel shot a 1-over 72 in the final round; Burke shot an even-par round of 71. When Begnel failed to convert a 10-foot par putt on the 16th hole, he fell back into a tie with Burke, who led for much of the back nine until he made a double-bogey on the par-3 15th hole.  
After both players made pars on the final two holes of regulation, they headed back to the 18th tee for a playoff. It was a routine that repeated itself four times. A dizzying hour ensued as neither Begnel nor Burke able to better the other on the 548-yard, par-5 finishing hole at Tom Fazio-designed Escondido.
Begnel had a one-foot putt to win on the first extra hole, but he pushed the putt. It lipped out and visibly shook Begnel.
“It was a long, lonely ride back to the tee box,” he said. “I told myself that we’re back at all square and it’s just head’s up golf.”
In the end, Begnel cozied in a three-footer for par after Burke missed his nine-foot par attempt. Begnel’s three-day total of 66-73-72—211 stands as the winning score.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played the same hole four times in a playoff,” said Begnel, who scored his first victory since a junior college win at Midland College in 2007. “I didn’t play my best, but I just grinded it out. At any tournament on any level, you’re not always going to play your best golf. You have to find a way to keep grinding it out, and that’s what I did today.”
For Burke’s part, he took the loss in stride.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Burke, a 25-year-old geologist for Houston-based Berger Geosciences. “I played that hole just fine three of the five times we just played it. It’s great to me to know I can still hang. I know that when I play my best golf, I can compete with the best guys on the amateur circuit.”
Begnel at Burke earned exemptions into the 2015 Texas Amateur, to be played next June at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas. The entire top five earned the same exemption. Austin’s Brian Noonan and Kerrville’s Trevor Hyde tied for third place at 1-under 212. Tony Soerries from Montgomery, Mike Booker from the Woodlands and John Bearrie from Arlington shared fifth place at 1-over 214.
The top 20 finishers earned exemptions into the 2015 Texas Mid-Amateur, to be played next September at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. For more information on the 2104 Texas Mid-Amateur, including complete scoring, please click here