Anthony Broussard’s birdie putt on the 18th hole Thursday gave him the outright lead after the first round of the Bright Realty Texas State Open.
It was a lead he didn’t surrender, as Broussard shot a final round, even-par 72 to finish at 19-under 268 for a three-shot victory over Colorado’s Jim Knous.
Broussard won wire-to-wire and earned $25,000. The former University of North Texas golfer joins the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino and Jeff Maggert as Texas State Open champions.
“I wish I had a better answer for you, but I’m not really sure how it feels. I kind of can’t feel anything right now,” Broussard said. “I’ve been playing well all year, but the last three weeks I kind of hit a slow point. I really tried to regroup last weekend and get refocused.”
Broussard recorded 21 birdies and three eagles for the tournament.
Getting out to a seven-shot lead after the third round had the Dallas professional in a comfortable position, but he said it looked easier than it actually was.
“I found out it’s really the hardest way to win a golf tournament, and you think it would be the easiest actually,” he said. “But you start to appreciate what Tiger [Woods] and Rory [McIlroy] have done in having such large leads and being able to finish it off.
“You know that every single thing that happens, there’s really no chance that anyone’s going to come up and get you unless they have a career round.”
Despite starting the day 2 over through eight holes, Broussard said he didn’t panic and focused his emotions after hitting a 5-iron approach to within five inches on the par-5 12th hole.
A tap-in for an eagle 3 gave him the confidence to finish strong.
“I never thought it was slipping away,” he said. “I play this golf course well and even when I don’t, I can get it in around par or so. I just really needed to make pars, and today even if I had shot 2 over, I would have won.”
Knous turned in a strong performance, carding four birdies and an eagle to put pressure on Broussard.
“I thought I had a chance to catch up on after the eagle [on 12],” he said. “I looked at that leader board and it looked like I was within one and just needed a couple of birdies. You either go out and shoot something super low or just go out and try to have the best day you can when someone has a lead like that.”
Joshua’s Greg Gregory had a final-round 70 to move into seventh place, and Fort Worth’s Jeff Thelen managed a tie for 10th.