Vic Kyatt III of Birmingham fired a closing round of 66 in the 26th State Mid-Amateur Championship at Montgomery Country Club to tie overnight leader Stan Sherlin at the end of 54 holes.
Kyatt then won the multi-hole playoff by two shots to claim his first Alabama Golf Association state championship after a number of close calls in the past.
Kyatt, who played golf for Samford University, has been riding some hot form as he won the prestigious Labor Day Invitational at the Country Club of Mobile earlier this month and last weekend lost on the fourth extra hole of a playoff to Joey Fortner in the Timberline Invitational.
But he got the one he really wanted with rounds of 71-69-66–206, with Sherlin shooting 65-72-69–206. Four players finished tied for third, three shots back: James Jones, Hunter Bronson, Matthew Gourgeot and Andy McRae.
Kyatt didn’t make a bogey in Sunday’s 21 holes, making four birdies and 17 pars. He made a number of good putts, both to save par and for birdie.
“I accomplished a dream today (Sunday),” an emotional, but measured Kyatt said after his victory.
“I would not be able to follow my passion of playing (tournament) golf, but for the support of my wife Rebecca. She knows how much this means to me and all she does for me and our two children is incredible.”
Kyatt pointed to a key 12-foot par putt on No. 10 with keeping the momentum of his round going. He had made the turn in three-under-par 32 and was one back of Sherlin as they started to distance themselves from the field. Sherlin also made a good par saver on the 10th, followed by another on the 11th. Kyatt hit a long iron close to the hole on the 202-yard par 3 and pulled level with Sherlin for the first time.
Sherlin immediately countered with a birdie on No. 12 to go back up by one, before faltering with a bogey on the short par 4 15th and things were level again.
Both players parred in, with Kyatt making a par 4 from the trees on No. 18 to go into the playoff.
So it was that they headed back to No. 16 to begin the multi-hole, cumulative playoff. Kyatt looked to have blinked first when his chip came up short on 16, but he slotted in a 22-foot putt to save par. He and Sherlin also both parred the 17th, so they headed to 18 even.
However, Sherlin’s tee shot was pulled left into he trees and he ended up making double bogey to Kyatt’s par.
Sherlin although disappointed to have missed out in the playoff, was still pleased with his play.
He was unable to play golf for two months this summer due to a foot injury and thus came in with lessened expectations.
“I love playing MCC (Montgomery Country Club) and I’m thrilled with how I did. I got beat today (in the final round). I didn’t give it to him. Vic played an awesome final round and I’m happy for him.”
Sherlin, 53, has won this championship twice before, in 1997 and ’98, as well as both the State Four Ball (with John Coles III) and the State Senior Four Ball (with Joey Holley).
Kyatt was extremely determined and it showed in his play.
“I wanted to win very badly. With three or four holes left I knew it was just between Stan and I. I really knuckled down and am so thankful to have got it done.”
The Birmingham-based dentist concluded…
“I want to praise my Lord for this. I know I can do all things through Him and this means an awful lot.”
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