After 12 shot-for-shot holes of the Wichita Golf Association match-play final this morning, Jack Courington separated himself from Travis Deckert.
The pair was tied and combined for eight birdies with no bogeys through 12 holes, but it was Courington's third shot on No. 13 at MacDonald Park that landed a couple feet from the hole.
Courington, a senior at Missouri State who played at Southeast High, birdied No. 13 after the close approach and No. 15 with a nice putt. He had another birdie sitting within a couple feet when Deckert missed his par putt that sealed Courington's 3-and-2 win.
"I started to hit the irons really close," Courington said. "It all started on the par-5 13th. Getting close on there and then again on 15 and 16, I kept the pressure on him. Then I was able to make some putts."
Deckert didn't make his birdie putt on No. 13 and after another birdie by Courington at No. 15, Courington's irons pressured Deckert into going for broke with his drive on the 16th.
"I tried to swing too hard on it and pulled it. It was basically all downhill from there," said Deckert, who played at Heights and is a junior at the Air Force Academy.
Followed by his missed par putt on the final hole, Deckert knew what the difference was.
"We were shooting each shot, shot for shot. It came down to whoever putted the best and he got me today," Deckert said.
Courington put another shot within a couple feet on No. 16 to win the hole and seal victory.
"I've wanted to win a Wichita tournament for a while, you know a lot of people in them and it feels great," Courington said. "The short game was really important. There are some tough pins and you get on the wrong side and it's tough to make par and, you know if you make bogeys you will lose the hole."
Deckert had stayed close to Courington on the first nine holes, even as Courington opened with a birdie on No. 1, and Deckert tied it on No. 11.
He made a tough, 15-foot birdie putt that looked to give him some momentum and tied it with seven holes to go.
"I thought I had a pretty good chance, but it was still going to come down to putting because neither of us were making any mistakes," Deckert said. "It came down to whoever had the best finish to the day and unfortunately that was him today."
At MacDonald Park
Championship flight—Jack Courington def. Travis Decker 3 and 2.
First Flight—Josh Russell def. Elliot Soyez 1-up.
Second Flight—Ben Wolfington def. Clint Carrier 6 and 5.