LA QUINTA, CA – A one-stroke lead was “good enough” for Lewis Stephenson of Mansfield, Texas to win the 2019 Senior Division of the Trans-Miss Mid-Master & Senior Championship Thursday at La Quinta Country Club. Shooting an even-par 72 on the day, Stephenson finished with a three-day total of 215 (1 under).
“I finally learned, the last couple of years, I have no control over anybody else,” Stephenson said. “Just play golf, and if it’s good enough, it’s good enough. If it’s not, it’s not.”
Thursday’s round was, in fact, good enough for Stephenson, who with just one birdie and a bogey, edged runner-up Mark Morgan of Shingle Springs, California for the win and Senior Division title. The win makes this Stephenson’s fourth senior win, joining his 2016 and 2019 Texas Senior Amateur Championships.
“Anytime that I get to compete and finish high in a national tournament, it just means a lot to me,” Stephenson said. “It’s been one of my goals to expand my field, get to meet other people and play at other places, so this is just special today.”
Capturing the Mid-Master Division was John Bearrie of Landrum, South Carolina. A spectacular holed bunker shot, reminiscent of a Memorial Tournament moment, sealed the victory.
“I literally got in the bunker, and Paul Azinger’s bunker shot to win the ’93 Memorial flashed through my head somehow,” Bearrie said. “I just hit the most perfect shot… it couldn’t come off any better and it just rolled in like a putt.”
Bearrie shot a 1-over 73 on the day, for a 217 three-day total score, with Keith Kinsel of La Canada, California following in second with a 2-over 74 and 219 total.
In awe after his win, Bearrie – with a sigh of relief and amazement – commented on the side, “Sometimes it’s just supposed to be.”
Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale, California, defended his Super Senior Division title, and finished the final round with a comfortable four-stroke win. Knoll shot a 1-under 71, for a 221 total withthree birdies during his round Thursday.
“I’m very fortunate,” Knoll said. “The first day was just survival for me, and I played much better these last two (days).”Christopher Blair of Nipomo, California finished second in the division recording a 6-over 78, 225 total score.
Atop the Legends Division Thursday was Philip Svanoe of Carefree, Arizona. He claimed the win after shooting a 6-over 78, 227 three-day total score. Tom O’Grady followed behind in second, recording a 6-over 78, 220 total score on the tournament.
“I had some really good shots on all three rounds and some really sucky shots too,” Svanoe said. “I wish I could even it out a little more, but I’m so happy I played as well as I did.”
The next Trans-Miss event is the 116th Trans-Mississippi Amateur Championship, and will be held in Carrollton, Texas at Maridoe Golf Club July 8-12.
About the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association
The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association is one of the oldest and most prestigious golf organizations in the United States. Established in 1901, the Trans-Mississippi is composed of over 200 member clubs located throughout the country. The Association is governed by a board of independent directors and is headquartered in Dallas, TX.
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