Oliver Betschart impresses at Winter Classic in Texas
Oliver Betschart rallied in the final round to secure an impressive top-five finish in his age group, competing on the Southern Texas PGA Junior Tour in San Antonio, Texas, at the weekend.
The Bermudian finished tied for fifth in the boys 13 to 14 division and 34th among the field of 72 that competed in the 36-hole Winter Classic at Northern Hills Golf Club in frigid conditions.
A disappointing 14-over 86 in the opening round left Betschart tied for 58th and with plenty to do over the final 18 holes to make up ground.
He responded brilliantly to the challenge, firing a tournament-low, one-over 73 to surge 24 places on the leaderboard.
Betschart played the front nine at even par before bogeys at the par-five 10th and par-three 14th put him at two over.
However, he regained his poise with a second birdie of the round at the par-five 17th and parred
the last hole to sign off on a solid note.
“I wasn’t really pleased with my play the first day, it seemed like I was not giving myself opportunities,” Betschart told The Royal Gazette. “The course was playing quite long at 6,453 yards, but everyone plays the same course. I guess I just had an off day.
“The second day I was more relaxed. I felt I had nothing to lose and played a bit more aggressive, and it paid off.
“I was really happy to see that I shot the low round in my age group over the two days and moved up to tied for fifth.”
Aadi Parmar and Austin Le finished tied for first at six over 150, with David J. Biehl rounding off the podium in third, a further two shots back.
Betschart, 13, went into the event with momentum having secured a maiden victory on tour at the Landa Park Golf Course in Austin, Texas, the previous weekend.
On that occasion, he shot an impressive even-par 71 to win the 18-hole event by two shots in only his second appearance on the tour this year to underline his burgeoning potential.
A product of the Port Royal Golf Course junior programme, the Junior Golfer High School graduate student has been taking advantage in recent years of an opportunity to continue his development in the United States, working with PGA Tour winner David Ogrin at his academy in Texas.