Genaro Davila made a statement during the first round of the 13th Annual McAllen Amateur Golf Championship on Saturday. He shot a 3-under-par 69.
Davila, who lives in San Antonio, followed that effort with a 1-over 73 on Sunday, good enough to hold off three-time and defending champion Miguel del Angel and win his second amateur title at Palm View Golf Course. Del Angel entered the final round down by two strokes and finished that same distance back with a 71-73 144 total.
Matt Ledesma shot a 77-70 147 to finish third.
Davila, Del Angel and Ledesma were the only three golfers to shoot rounds under par over the weekend for the 13th annual event, sponsored by International Bank of Commerce.
“I played really well,” Davila said. “I know Miguel can explode at any moment and just start hitting birdies so, there's no way you can sit back and play defensive.”
Del Angel, from Mission, won titles in 2008, 2010 and 2013. He was looking to become the event's first four-time winner and first to win back-to-back titles. He could just never get any closer to the 2013 champion Davila. Ron Kilby is the tournament's other three-time winner, doing so in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
“I wanted to take his putter and hide it from him,” Del Angel joked before he handed the trophy over to Davila. “He didn't miss a putt.”
Well, he did miss one – on the par-5 No. 18 and finished that hole with a bogey. Other than that, Davila was extremely accurate with his putter. He collected three birdies in the final round – the first three par 5s.
“I almost drove the green on number one,” said Davila, recalling his three birdies on the par 5s. “On the next one I hit a great approach to within two feet and on the third one I was on the green in two for an easy two-putt. I played really well.”
Starting the final nine holes on Sunday, Davila extended his lead to four strokes over Del Angel and pushed it to a five-stroke lead going into the final hole.
Del Angel closed to within one stroke after a pair of birdies put him 2-under through seven. Davila said he started doing what he knew he shouldn't do – play conservatively – and started making bogeys.
“That's the worst thing you can do,” Davila said. “I kind of sat back for a few holes and then started making bogeys. He just made a couple more and I was able to get my lead back.”
The victory was especially sweet for Davila, who had his wife and 8-year-old son in the stands watching him.
“It was special,” Davila said. “It's the first time my wife has followed me in a big tournament and it meant a lot to have them following me.”
Adam Haley, who earlier this summer won the Edinburg City Amateur title, started in the final group with Del Angel and Davila, but couldn't get on track and finished fourth overall with a 74-74 148.
Davila and Del Angel have now won five of the past seven events. Next year could be six of eight.
“Miguel is such a great player and it brings out good competition between us,” Davila said. “I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”
Jerry Farias won the first flight championship. It was his first title in the event. Farias is one of two golfers to register a hole-in-one in the event, doing so on No. 8 in 2002, the inaugural year of the tournament.
Juan Guerrero won the second flight, Martin Flores won the third flight and Meme Garza captured the fourth flight title.
For a complete list of winners visit www.palmviewgolf.com.
To view pictures of the event check out our City of McAllen Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1sioplc