Matt Fast, a web.com minitour pro from Jackson, MS, simply blew away his competition with a -17 performance over three rounds at the Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, MO. Fast set the day one pace with an eight-under 64 and just kept going low with rounds of 68 and 67 and a six shot win.
Matt told us he “made a mess” of his last round on August 24th at the web.com stop in Portland, OR that cost him a spot in the four event “finals” and a chance to earn his card for the 2014-15 PGA Tour. Rather than feel sorry for himself at home in Mississippi, Matt decided to come to Columbia and compete in the MGA’s Missouri Open. “I was playing pretty well, despite my bad weekend in Oregon, so I decided to come to Missouri and play in the Open. I’m really glad I did, as I played really well here and have something to show for all of the hard work I’ve put in this year. I hadn’t seen the golf course before the event, but I really like it. It gives you lots of options on many holes and is a lot of fun to play.”
The weather put additonal stress on Fast and the others who had “early-late” tee times at Old Hawthorne on Thursday and Friday. Storms swept through Columbia Friday afternoon causing afternoon play to be cancelled around 5 PM and a 7 AM restart Saturday morning for the half of the field that couldn’t finish their second round. “It was certainly a long day,” said Matt. “I had to play 9 holes Saturday morning to finish round two and then wait several hours for my afternoon tee time.”
Fast shot a Friday-Sat round of 68 that gave him a three shot lead over former Mizzou golfer Shawn Jasper and the final pairing beginning the last round. Fast extended his lead on the field with a two-under 34 on the front nine Saturday afternoon and put the exclamation point on his play with closing birdies on 15-17 and a runaway win. Matt made only three bogies in 54 holes as he drove it straight and putted superbly all three rounds. For example, he made two long par putts Saturday afternoon on holes 6 and 14 to keep from going backwards and letting Jasper and others apply any pressure at all.
Robby Ormond of Austin, TX and former Jayhawk standout Chris Thompson finished at -11 in a tie for second place. Rolla’s Chris Martin was the only amateur who made the cut after day two at the “low 40 and ties.” Martin shot a one-under 215 for the 54 holes.
Fast took home the $12,000 winner’s share of the $50,000+ total purse. Matt told us his next big test is stage 2 of the web.com qualifying “school” in November in Texas. “I have ‘conditional’ status right now for next year on the web.com tour–but that really doesn’t mean much. The Q school is where we need to play well to earn full status for next year. This win gives me confidence that I really am playing well and I just need to keep plugging away.”
MGA Executive Director Scott Hovis was again extremely appreciative of the excellent help he received in hosting the event from the entire staff at Old Hawthorne. He thanked owner Billy Sapp and GM Travis McCubbin for their hospitality and for their help in getting the golf course in tournament shape and providing a good experience for the many pros and fewer than 20 amateurs who came to play in the Missouri Open.
For full results go to www.mogolf.org