WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Dawson Lewis of Flower Mound Marcus High School started Thursday's final round of the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament facing a 9-shot deficit behind leader Dalton Daniel. But a blistering 8-under 64, capped with three-straight birdies to end the round, let him rally for the Boys' Open Flight title!
Daniel struggled on the front nine, going three-over to fall behind Will Adams, who got within one with a birdie on the 10th hole, then took the lead when he parred and Daniel bogeyed on the 13th hole.
The entire lead group birdied on the next hole, the par-5 14th, but one group ahead, Lewis was already making his run. After birdies on three-straight holes from 12 to 14, he had a great approach on the par-4 16th hole, leading to a tap-in birdie of less than a foot. After another birdie on 17 tied him with Adams for the lead, he put himself in good position on the finishing par-5 18th. He sank a birdie putt from about seven feet to take the lead at 1-under par.
Adams then had a chance to force a playoff with a putt from about 15 feet, but it cruelly came up just an inch short on the 18th green.
With a 9-shot deficit entering the round, Lewis was hoping for a solid round, but certainly didn't expect to take the win.
"Honestly that never really crossed my mind," he said. "I wasn't really focused in on what I was at for the day, I was just trying to go as low as possible. I wasn't really thinking about that; just trying to get inside the top-5, mainly."
He said he started to realize he was close to the lead after the first set of three-straight birdies.
"I kinda noticed on my fourteenth hole, I started getting a lot of cameras and followers," Lewis said. "So I kinda was shaky about that, but I finished well."
The junior-to-be hopes this is the springboard to a strong summer season. "This is big for me," he said after the round. "I hope that this is a start to my new beginning here."
For complete scores from the T-O, click here for the tournament scoreboard!