Golf: No driver, no problem – Chapman wins playoff, qualifies for state

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, April 28, 2018
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Dayne Chapman was 2 over par going to the 15th hole at the 4A Region II tournament Tuesday at Van Zandt Country Club in Canton. Battling for a berth at state, the Decatur sophomore uncorked a tee shot to give him an opportunity for a pivotal birdie.

STATEBOUND – Decatur sophomore Dayne Chapman won a two-hole playoff Tuesday to advance to state. Submitted photo

When he looked down, Chapman realized his driver had broken. With just four holes remaining, officials ruled Chapman could replace the club, but he opted not to.

“He didn’t end up using his back-up driver,” said Decatur coach Fernando Escobar. “He stuck with his 3-wood to finish the tournament, which was kind of awesome. No idea [how it broke], but I think that was the best drive of the entire tournament. He smoked it. The head of his driver almost unscrewed from the shaft.”

Chapman made par on 15. He narrowly missed a seven-foot putt for birdie on 17. He bogeyed 18 after sending his second shot from the fairway into the water, ending the round with a 75.

Once the scores were tallied back at the clubhouse, Chapman and Carthage’s Miller Harris realized they were tied for fourth overall. The top three teams and top three finishers not on advancing teams qualify for state. Since the regional champion was from first-place Pleasant Grove, Chapman and Harris were deadlocked for the last spot at state.

Both golfers carded a 153 over two days, forcing a sudden-death playoff.

Chapman had a chance to win on the first playoff hole, but his putt for birdie came up short.

“I could have ended it there,” Chapman said. “It was pretty frustrating. I thought that was my chance. I didn’t expect him to make a bogey on the next hole, but he did. I thought I blew it.”

Chapman said he and Harris did not have good drives on the second hole, which was a short par 3. Harris’ tee shot left him just off the green while Chapman was pin-high.

Harris tried to chip his way on, but his shot rolled past the hole. Chapman putted on, setting himself up for a tap-in for par. He calmly sunk it, sending him to the state tournament.

“Dayne was ice on those last two playoff holes,” Escobar said. “His demeanor was good. His attitude was awesome. He just had ice in his veins. Every shot he had was next to perfect.

“It was crazy. It’s one of those rounds I’ll definitely always remember.”

Chapman will compete at the 4A state tournament May 14-15 at Horseshoe Bay in Marble Falls.

He rebounded from a tough front nine on the first day of the tournament to qualify for state. Chapman was five over after nine holes on Monday and ended the day with a 6-over-par 78.

“I tried to not let that affect me, having a bad first nine,” Chapman said. “I just made sure I minimized the damage.

“It means a lot [to go to state]. It’s pretty cool to represent my school and my teammates.”

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