Just two years ago, Arlington’s John Bearrie earned the Texas Golf Association’s player of the year award after a season in which he won four times, including a victory at the Texas Mid-Amateur.
For Bearrie, that seemed like a lifetime ago.
His final-round 68 at Pecan Valley’s River Course vaulted the 45-year-old investment consultant to his second career victory in the Fort Worth Men’s City Championship.
“I’m sure some folks thought I was a favorite coming in and secretly I thought if I played well, then yeah, I could win it,” Bearrie said. “But last year, that wasn’t the case. I was just lost. And because of that, I hadn’t played in this tournament in a while.”
Bearrie, who led defending champion Jeff Murray by a single stroke entering the final round, started with a double bogey on the first hole.
That gave Murray an immediate lead and signaled that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for Bearrie, who has represented the North team in the TGA’s Texas Shootout for eight consecutive years.
“I came back with a great shot on the third hole and made birdie to square things and then went 4 under the rest of the way,” Bearrie said. “I guess the difference now is that I didn’t let the double bogey bother me as much as it would have in the past.”
Murray kept pace much of the afternoon. Facing a two-shot deficit on No. 12, he hit a wedge to 15 feet for a birdie opportunity.
“John had short-sided himself there, but wound up making par and I missed my birdie chance,” Murray said. “That’s when I thought the round had changed for good. John played really well and kept it together the whole way.”
With a three-shot lead entering the final hole, Bearrie’s approach from the right rough left him about 30 feet for birdie, up and over a slight bump to the hole location.
Murray had played his second shot long and left of the hole, but capped his round by holing his chip from 25 feet.
“You know I was pretty sure I had a three-shot lead, but as soon as he did that, I had to count them up again to be sure,” Bearrie said. “That was a great chip. Golf’s a weird game, you know. I had some lip-outs today and he did too, but he played great all day.”