Pressley tames Terri Pines
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
CULLMAN – Falkville High School golfer Kyle Pressley won the Terri Pines Invitational with a three-round total of 212, which included two rounds of three-under par 69.
The win made the 17-year-old Pressley the youngest winner in the tournament's 22-year history. He beat a field of 167 golfers, which included several college players.
Pressley jumped to a two-shot lead after Friday's opening round of play when he fired a three-under 69.
Pressley, who was the 1A-2A high school state golf champion in 2004, didn't realize he was three-under until he reached the 17th tee.
"I was paired with two 20-year-old golfers and we were just having fun and playing golf," Pressley said. "I didn't know I was playing so well until the next to the last hole."
Pressley's lead would slip away the second day, when he shot a 74 and fell to second, two shots behind Troy State University golfer Matt McNutt.
"I missed six putts from inside three feet," Pressley said. "I just couldn't make a putt on Saturday."
Pressley and McNutt would square off in the final group on Sunday, but the way things began on the final day, it appeared McNutt would run away with the title.
Pressley bogeyed the opening hole, while McNutt made par for a three-shot lead.
Pressley made up two shots before both golfers made the turn on No. 10, to pull within one stroke. However, Pressley bogeyed the 11th hole and slipped two shots back again.
Pressley was so upset at his bogey, he decided to hit driver on the 12th, a 325-yard par four hole.
It proved to be the turning point of the tournament. Pressley landed a mammoth drive within two feet of the hole and tapped in for an eagle.
Meanwhile, McNutt made par and the two were tied for the lead for the first time since the front nine on Saturday.
Pressley finally took the lead on the 15th hole when he made par and McNutt made bogey. The lead remained one stroke heading to the tournament's 54th and final hole.
"I didn't want to feel the pressure of leading on the last hole, so I told myself, 'Just make birdie and he can't beat you,'" Pressley said.
Pressley would make birdie on the final hole after a nice chip shot from the fringe and won by two strokes when McNutt settled for a par and a three-day total of 214.
"I'm really proud to win this tourney," Pressley said. "My goal is a college golf scholarship and to beat college golfers and especially one as good as McNutt gives me a lot of confidence I can do it."
For Pressley, who has won numerous junior titles, it was the first invitational win of his career.
Pressley won the Robert Trent Jones Junior event in Anniston just three days before and captured the Optimist Junior Qualifier a week earlier. Pressley advanced to the district tournament to be played later this month.