Rummells rallies to win tournament
Oct. 15, 2011 at 5:15 a.m.
After the 13th hole, things looked bleak for Dave Rummells.
The 53-year-old pro golfer had just picked up a bogie on an easy par-5 hole, unable to escape first the trees that line the right side of the hole, then the rough short of the green.
His biggest competitor, Mitch Adcock, picked up a clean birdie straight up the fairway and into the green.
It gave him a three-shot lead over Rummells, who had been leading entering Friday's final round, with five holes to play.
Rummells was falling, and fast. Fortunately, his caddie - and daughter, Melissa - was there to catch him.
"She has a tendency to pick me up," Rummells said. "She said to just hang in there, and that we could still do it."
With his daughter with him every step of the three-day tournament, serving as his caddie and moral support, Dave Rummells pulled out a major comeback from two strokes down entering the final hole to win the Texas Senior Open on Friday.
The final day was a two-horse race with several surprising twists. Adcock and Rummells came into the day the clear favorites, tied atop the leaderboard, and stayed that way to the bitter end, plus some extra.
The win was thanks in part to some strong play on the final five holes by Rummells, who had up to that point played around even par, and a key slip-up by Adcock on the 18th hole.
Friday, though, was far from a banner round for Rummels.
"Most of the day, I think I was playing too conservatively," he said. "I was playing too many safe shots up the green, and I had a couple of three-putts early, which let everyone back in."
Rummells didn't think he was going to get the opportunity to come back, especially after entering the day tied for the lead with Adcock. But when he got the chance, he made sure he didn't miss his opportunity.
But his daughter insisted that he stay patient, and that there was enough time to come back. It's part of the job she's done the past three summers. All the while, she's gained an appreciation for the sport her father has played professionally since 1986.
"At first, I didn't think I'd like it, because I'm not a golfer myself" said Melissa Rummells. "But while I've been out there with him, you learn to appreciate the game more."
With his daughter egging him on down the home stretch, Rummells proceeded to par or birdie the final five holes, and waited for his chance to catch Adcock.
It was a birdie putt on the 14th hole that set him up for a comeback.
"All it takes is one little thing to ignite you," he said. "And when I made that putt off the green on 14, it was like it flipped a switch."
His opponent was in command most of the day. The two had entered the day tied at 7-under, and Adcock had picked up birdies on five of the final nine holes of the tournament. But the one bogie he picked up on the back nine - on 18 because of a tee shot out of bounds - set Rummells comeback in motion.
"Mitch and I were tied at the turn, and he got off to a fantastic start on the back nine," he said. "Sometimes, all it takes is one little thing to get the motivation to finish the job. I feel bad for Mitch because he played so great, he deserved to win, but it's a crazy game."
Rummells went on to birdie the hole to force a two-person playoff, which almost included a third golfer from the day. Ron Schroeder, who had quietly shot a 4-under for the day while playing in the same group, missed a short chip from about 12 feet that would have added a third player to the playoff for the top spot.
Rummells and Adcock went back to the 18th tee box. Adcock's birdie putt would lip out from a few feet out; Rummells would drop his for the victory, with his daughter on the fringe, watching and cheering the putt. This was likely her last event as his caddie before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her professional aspirations.
But it's the time on the course with her that means the most to the champion.
That, not just the plaque for winning or the $6,000 prize check, made the day worth it for Rummells.
"It was a huge win for me, because this was probably going to be the last event before she goes," he said. "We've gotten to see the world together.
"I didn't really get a chance to watch her grow up because I travelled so much. It's so nice to get to hang out with her and spend some time with her. It's nice to have a friend out there that you can hang out with."
LOCALS FINISH TOURNAMENT STRONG
Both Claude Bridges and Mark Spivey, Victoria natives competing in the Tex as Senior Open who made Thursday's cut, finished in what would have been the prize money.
Bridges shot a final round 5-over 77 and finished 17-over for the tournament. He was consistent throughout, shooting 78s the previous two days.
Spivey had a rough final day, and saw his score increase for the third straight day. He shot a 7-over 79 after posting rounds of 76 and 72.
OVERHEARD ON THE GOLF COURSE
Greg Bruckner, last year's tournament winner, razzing the leaders as the two crossed paths at the 10th and 13th tee boxes: "I've reported you guys to the head judges for using three carts. It's under advisement."
Texas Senior Open
Final Results (p - playoff, a - amateur)
David Rummells, Kissimmee, Fla. (p) 68-68-71--207 $6,000.00
Mitch Adcock, Apopka, Fla. 69-68-70--207 $4,500.00
Ron Schroeder, Montgomery, Texas 72-68-68--208 $3,500.00
Greg Bruckner, Phoenix, Ariz. 72-71-69--212 $2,500.00
Troy Schleicher, The Woodlands, Texas 70-71-71--212 $2,500.00
David Ogrin, New Braunfels, Texas 71-70-71--212 $2,500.00
Terry Snodgrass, Arlingtpn, Texas 70-70-74--214 $1,625.00
Danny Edwards, Scottsdale, Ariz. 71-70-73--214 $1,625.00
Rex Caldwell, Webster, Texas 72-73-70--215 $1,050.00
Perry Arthur, Plano, Texas 67-75-73--215 $1,050.00
Bob Niger, El Dorado Hills, Calif. 67-73-75--215 $1,050.00
John Adams, Paris, Texas 73-72-71--216 $800.00
Tim Matthews, Scotts, Mich. 66-77-74--217 $700.00
Kevin Dillen, Paris, Texas 75-71-72--218 $525.00
Billy Tuten, Sugar Land, Texas 72-74-72--218 $525.00
Ed Brooks, Fort Worth, Texas 69-72-77--218 $525.00
Don Robertson, Irving, Texas 71-74-75--220 $445.00
Garry Antunes, Henderson, Texas 70-72-78--220 $445.00
Jon Stanley, Phoenix, Ariz. 76-76-69--221 $416.67
David Narveson, Simonton, Texas 73-77-71--221 $416.67
Karl Narro, Houston, Texas 73-72-76--221 $416.67
Carl Baker, Sugar Land, Texas 75-75-72--222 $362.50
David Lundstrom, Houston, Texas 73-73-76--222 $362.50
Chris Beall, Bullard, Texas 77-72-74--223 $350.00
Steve Parker, Houston, Texas 71-76-77--224 $350.00
Marty Fleckman, Cypress, Texas 76-74-75--225 $216.25
Graham Gunn, Kanata, Can. 75-74-76--225 $216.25
Wayne Wright, Fort Worth, Texas 74-71-80--225 $216.25
Bill Anderson, Covington, La. 72-73-80--225 $216.25
Chuck Moran, Houston, Texas 75-72-79--226 $180.00
Kris Baxter, Dana Point, Calif. 71-81-75--227 $160.00
Wayne Mitchell, San Antonio, Texas 76-73-78--227 $160.00
Mark Spivey (a), Victoria, Texas 72-76-79--227 $160.00
Bill Blankenship, Fort Worth, Texas 76-80-72--228 $150.00
Michael MC Son, Burnaby, Can. 74-77-77--228 $150.00
Bill Harvey, Albuquerque, N.M. 78-74-76--228 $150.00
Jerry Barrier, Houston, Texas 74-79-76--229 $150.00
David Faulkner, Humble, Texas 73-81-75--229 $150.00
Bill Ashley, Lubbock, Texas 74-73-82--229 $150.00
Steven Russell, Amarillo, Texas 75-78-77--230 $125.00
Mike Finsterle, Houston, Texas 79-74-77--230 $125.00
Ken Hines, Windcrest, Texas 78-73-79--230 $125.00
Mike Weaver, Webster, Texas 78-77-77--232 $125.00
Aaron Billings (a), Horseshoe Bay, Texas 80-76-77--233 $100.00
Claude Bridges (a), Victoria, Texas 78-78-77--233 $100.00
Sherwood Stewart, The Woodlands, Texas 77-78-78--233 $100.00
Jesse Patino, Cedar Hill, Texas 79-77-77--233 $100.00
Paul Reed, Houston, Texas 78-76-79--233 $100.00
Joe Clark Jr, Campton, N.H. 74-76-83--233 $100.00
John Aguillon, San Antonio, Texas 79-77-79--235 $100.00
Philip Miranda, Austin, Texas 72-83-80--235 $100.00
Bob Hullender (a), San Antonio, Texas 78-77-82--237 $100.00