Hornbuckle, Watkins go wire-to-wire for title in 2019 Four States Invitational

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Larry East and Donte Weed won the SWASA's April Scramble at Idabel Country Club with a 65.


Bruce Hornbuckle and Braxton Watkins never surrendered their two-shot advantage Sunday in the 2019 Four States Invitational at Texarkana Country Club.

Still, the outcome was in question until the final hole. Hornbuckle and Watkins survived a late charge by Grayson Jones and Stan Payne to win the championship flight with a 54-hole total of 199. Jones and Payne finished second at 201, with Cole Kennedy and Connor Ribble third at 204. All three teams shot 4-under-par 68 in the final round.

“We got off to a good start all three days,” said Braxton, a Pleasant Grove graduate, who plays collegiately at the University of Houston. “We shot four-under every day on the front side, which we consider more difficult than the back nine. For some reason we didn’t play as well on the back nine this week. That’s golf!”

Braxton Watkins hits from the second tee during Sunday’s action. Photo by Louie Avery

Watkins one-putted first three greens

Watkins one-putted the first three greens Sunday, helping his team build a five-stroke advantage. The teams exchanged pars the next three holes until Hornbuckle and Payne birdied the par-5 seventh hole. Payne’s birdie was his team’s first of the day, but Jones got hot on the back side.

A senior-to-be at Oral Roberts University, Jones converted a 20-foot birdie putt at 10, and two-putted for birdie at the par-5 12th. Hornbuckle saved par at 13 to keep his team on top by three shots. Both teams suffered bogey at the difficult par-4 14th, a dog-leg right.

Bruce Hornbuckle uses his GPS to determine yardage to the green at the par-5 seventh hole. Photo by Louie Avery

Hornbuckle, Watkins bogey 14th

“It was a really tough pin-placement at 14; that hole is always hard anyway,” said Watkins. “Anyone making birdie there today gained two shots on the field. I was pleased the way we played, and it was fun. I want to thank Bruce for inviting me.”

Payne and Jones made it interesting the final three holes. Jones hit a 340-yard drive at the par-5 16th, following with a 5-iron that sailed 223 yards before stopping six feet short of the flagstick. Jones missed the eagle putt, but there was still hope.

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Payne hit his drive a little short of the green at the 290-yard 17th hole. His second shot rolled off the green, but the Little Rock golfer chipped in for birdie to pull his team within two shots.

Buchanan and O’Quinn won the first flight with a final round of 71 after prevailing match play the first two days. Grady and Grady captured the second flight with an 80. The third flight was won by Hambleton and Baker with a 77. There was a tie in the fourth flight. The team of Zuege and Zuege tied Robertson and Robinson with 82s.