HOUSTON – Matt Cordell may be member No. 203 at Champions Golf Club, but he and partner Bryant Lach were clearly number one Sunday as they rolled to an eight-shot victory in the 52th annual Champions Cup Invitational.
            The Houston twosome certainly made the most of their home course advance on a sunny Sunday afternoon, for their second win here in the last three years in prestigious mid-amateur better ball event.
            The pair took a five-shot lead going to the final day at par 71 Champions GC and while they saw their lead cut to three shots on the front nine, they never wavered and turned on the afterburners on the back nine par 35 layout had played hundreds of times.
            “We weren’t really playing bad on the front nine, but we just needed a few putts to go in to get the momentum going,” Cordell said.
            After finishing one-over par 37 on the par 36 front nine, Lach rolled in a short birdie putt on the par 4 10th hole at Champions and then Cordell stuck his approach to a foot on the long par 4 11th hole for another tap-in birdie and the rout was on.
            Cordell capped the romp by knocking in a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to win in style.
            They shot rounds of 65-68-66 with a closing 68 for a 267 total, 17-under-par.
            “Our wives just both had kids, so this may be the last meaningful golf we are going to play for a while,” Lach said, “so I told Matt, let’s get it going and that’s what we did.”
            Lach, 31, played college golf at Texas A&M and LSU while Cordell, 35, attended Oklahoma State, but did not play golf there.
            “To win at a tournament with Mr. Burke name on it and to see how he embraces amateur golf and how the club embraces it, it means a lot to win here again,” said Cordell.
            “I guess I’ll stick with Bryant as my partner until he wants to make a change,” he added.
            “Not a chance,” Lach countered.
            There was a three-way for second place with the two-man teams of Ty Comerford and Dustin Sloat, Shane Heise and Justin Kaplan plus Bowen Osborn and Nick Ushijima. All three shot 9-under-par 275.
            The team is Eric and Gary Durbin were alone in fifth place at 277, 8-under-par. They had the second lowest team score of 67 on Sunday.
The teams of B Baker and Matt Van Zandt plus Russell Chabaud and Scott McAlpine each shot final round low 66 Sunday on the historic course which will be the site of the 2020 U.S Women’s Open.
            “With the number of good mid-amateurs we have there, there isn’t a lot of places for them to play so that’s what (Jimmy) Demaret and I wanted to do in founding the tournament,” said club founder and president Jack Burke, Jr. “As a result, we had 16 teams we couldn’t get in this year because of the great demand for a tournament like this.”