O'Toole wins Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational
by Johnathan Bentley
Jul 15, 2013 | 1642 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Micheal OToole hits a drive on the 17th hole during the final round of the 46th annual Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational on Sunday. Photos by Johnathan Bentley
John Micheal OToole hits a drive on the 17th hole during the final round of the 46th annual Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational on Sunday. Photos by Johnathan Bentley
John Michael O’Toole could only watch.

With the Travis Hudson/Bernard Weinstein Invitational championship on the line, O’Toole held a one stroke lead on the 18th green as Matt Gourgeot lined up his birdie putt.

As the putt lipped out, Gourgeot’s knees buckled and O’Toole breathed a sigh of relief.

O’Toole knocked in his tap-in for par to earn the win by a stroke over both Gourgeot and Andrew Lee on Sunday at Musgrove Country Club. O’Toole finished with a 208 total following an even par 71 on Sunday.

“(Matt) hit a good putt. He just lipped it out on the high side,” O’Toole, 20, said of the nerve-wracking finish. “I felt good about my game this whole week and just got it done.”

O’Toole, who was in second place after both the first and second rounds, entered the final round down a stroke to Micah Jett.

O’Toole passed Jett after the first hole on Sunday with a birdie and he built a lead after another birdie on the seventh hole. However, he gave up strokes with a bogey on eight and a double bogey on 10.

“I was a shot back after 10, but I holed out a sand shot on 11 and made a 30 footer for birdie on 12,” he said.

O’Toole bogeyed the 14th hole and closed with four straight pars. Gourgeot was done in by bogeys on both the 15th and 16th holes. Lee, who wasn’t in the final group, closed the gap to a stroke with a birdie on the 18th hole.

“I’ve been hitting the ball well lately, but hadn’t been able to finish rounds well. I finished pretty well in every round this week. I got off to a good start in the first round (with a four-under 67) and kept it going. I was glad I was able to bounce back after dropping a couple of shots. I’m proud of the way I handled it,” said O’Toole, a recent graduate of Central Alabama. He will play golf at the University of Cincinnati next year.

This year’s tournament marked the Pinson golfer’s second invitational. O’Toole finished in 13th last year. He also played in the Pigeon Dove Junior Tournament when he was a high school golfer.

“I’ve always loved the course,” he said.

Jett, the two-time defending club champion, struggled down the stretch and finished with an eight-over par 79 on the day, after a pair of double bogeys and a triple bogey over the last five holes.

Sunday’s round proved tough for competitors. Only three golfers shot under par and four others finished at even par.

Bobby Spiller, the 2008 tournament champion, shot even par on Sunday and placed fourth, two strokes behind O’Toole. He was followed by Steve Hudson (211), Jimmy Reist (212), last year’s champion Trey Mullinax (213), David Lawrence (214), Jett (215), Andrew Lowry (215) and Mike Greer (215).

Birmingham’s John Coles III, who won the tournament in 1999, 2001 and 2002, won the Championship B Flight with a 217 total. Coles shot a one-over par 72 on Sunday and finished one stroke ahead of Mark Lindsey.

Neil Campbell of Helena won the Championship C flight with a 226 total, one stroke ahead of both Joe Cacioppo of Jasper and Sindre Rambjoer of Montevallo.

Matt Burnett, a Walker High School golfer, won the Championship D flight with a 232 total. He beat out Faulkner golfer Weston Griffith of Jasper on a scorecard playoff.

Chip Mullinax shot a one-over par 72 on Sunday to win the Championship E flight by six strokes with a 232 total.

Danny Simmons of Pleasant Grove (238) won the first flight, Chad Gilliland of Jasper (248) won the second flight, Doug Daughdrill of Jasper (254) won the third flight and Chris Weaver of Tuscaloosa (260) won the fourth flight.