Mumford holds on to claim Mid-Am Championship
Pound Ridge N.Y. (October 24, 2023) On a sunny fall day Mark Mumford of Westchester Country Club battled his way to win the 17th Westchester Mid-Amateur Championship at Pound Ridge Golf Club in a playoff. Mumford came into the final round with a three-shot lead over Doug Kleeshulte of Wiltwyck Golf Club and held of Kleeshulte in a two-hole playoff, making birdie on the par-4 second hole for victory. Course conditions proved tough once again with no rounds under par, Tuesday.
“Pete Dye in every element of the course," said Mumford, describing the challenges over two days. "It’s difficult off the tee, visually intimidating and it was cold and windy. The greens got going the second day.”
Despite the tough conditions Mumford limited the big numbers and posted a 39 on the front and 39 on the back with a birdie on each side. Mumford credited smart and consistent of play to his success.
“It was one of my better tournaments, course management wise," said the 32-year-old Mumford. "This golf course is challenging but it gets easier if you hit it to wider spots, I did a good job there and tried to eliminate big numbers. I did a good job of that besides a triple on two during the first round.”
The steady play from Mumford was matched with great play Kleeschulte who moved up the leaderboard firing a 75 in round two to back up an opening round 76. As play went on it became clear that Mumford and Kleeschulte were the two contenders.
“It was clear the last 15 holes that it was Doug and me," said Mumford. "It wasn’t a match play situation it was just get the ball in the hole. He hit an unbelievable shot on 16 to make eagle and get it close.”
Kleeschulte chipped in for eagle from behind the par-5 16th to cut the lead to one shot. Then a bogey by Mumford on the par-4 17th tied the two overall heading into 18. Both players made par on the last to finish with a score of 7-over 151 and enter into a sudden death playoff.
After teeing off on one for the first playoff hole, both players made par and they moved on to the challenging par-4 second hole. After both players found the fairway, it was Mumford who hit first and knocked it tight, saying he had the perfect yardage and downhill, downwind combination to knock his 9-iron to just five feet. Kleeschulte nearly matched him, hitting a wedge to 10 feet. After Kleeschulte missed his birdie putt, Mumford converted his birdie to win the championship.