One year ago, Colby Harwell shared medalist honors with three others during stroke-play qualifying for the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play at Northwood Club in Dallas. This year at San Antonio Country Club, he again finds himself atop the leaderboard after stroke-play qualifying. This time, he is alone. Harwell fired a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday, using five birdies to pace the 2017 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play field.

“I was really driving the ball well,” Harwell said. “I don’t think I played outside the center of the fairway but just the one time. Makes it kind of nice on a short golf course to hit a lot of wedges and short irons in.”

Harwell, a San Antonio resident, is familiar with the rolling hills and tree-lined fairways of the Alex Findlay-designed track. He plays San Antonio Country Club at least twice a week, and his comfort on the course was reflected on the scoreboard as he posted a score four shots better than his nearest competitors.

Scott Abbott and John Pierce each shot 1-under-par 71 to nab the second and third seeds, respectively, for the match play tournament. Both players recorded four birdies and three bogeys to finish as the only competitors under par other than Harwell.

A trio of players finished at even par – Chris Headen, Danny Simmerman and Will Osborne – to round out the top six seeds for match play.

The top 32 players from stroke-play qualifying advance to the single-elimination match play portion of the event. Thirty-two players fired scores of 5-over-par 77 or better on Thursday to secure their spot in the bracket.

Last year, Harwell kept up his momentum from stroke play and advanced all the way to the championship match. He hopes he can replicate those results this time around. But his hot play was not enough to carve his name into the trophy last July. Harwell fell in the championship match to Zach Atkinson – a result that fuels him this year.

“It just kind of lights a little fire underneath me,” Harwell said. “I’d like to win – cause Zach and I both played really well (last year). I’d like to play well again and have a chance to hold the trophy at the end of it.”   

Starting times for the Round of 32 for match play will begin at 7:30 a.m. on the 1st tee, with No. 1 seed Colby Harwell facing No. 32 seed Ted Waldrip. After all the morning matches are complete, the Round of 16 will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. For complete results and updated brackets, click here