Kyle Ellis tops competitors for first pro title

Former Mississippi golfer Kyle Ellis outlasted Matt Hendrix on the first playoff hole Sunday, Aug. 15  to capture his first career NGA Hooters Tour title at The Chattahoochee Hospice Classic at Overlook Golf Links.
Ellis began the day at 13 under par trailing third round leaders Hendrix and Grant Leaver by two strokes.  
The former Ole Miss golfer started off slow making five pars and bogey over his first six holes but was able to get his round going with back to back birdies on holes seven and eight to make the turn at one-under par 34.

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“The golf course was playing different today whether it was the rain overnight or the wind direction today and I just wanted to pace myself and make a few birdies here and there and try not to make mistakes that would cost me,” said the twenty-six year old Ellis. “I have been playing well all year and just needed a few breaks to go my way and today luckily they did with a lengthy birdie on seven and a chip in for birdie on number eight.”
While Ellis was struggling to begin his final round, fHendrix was starting off consistent with two birdies and seven pars on his opening nine to move to seventeen-under par and in the driver’s seat to capture his first title.
The roles reversed on the back nine though as Hendrix was unable to capitalize on chances and made eight pars and a lone bogey to finish at sixteen-under par 268.  While Hendrix was struggling in the group behind him, Ellis was continuing his solid play and entered the final hole needing a birdie to tie Hendrix at sixteen-under.  Ellis stuck his approach shot to ten feet and then calmly sank the putt to post a three-under par 68 and a four day total of sixteen-under par 268.  After Hendrix knocked in a three foot par putt on the 18th hole, the pair headed back to eighteen tee for a sudden death playoff.
On the first playoff hole both golfers found the fairway with their drives. Hendrix was the first to hit and left his approach short of the hole about thirty feet, while Ellis was aggressive and had his approach roll past the hole and end it up in the rough about eight feet behind the hole.  Hendrix was aggressive with his first putt and rolled it by the hole eight feet, while Ellis flubbed his chip and left himself about six feet for par.  After Hendrix missed his par attempt, Ellis drained his par putt for his first win.
“He (Hendrix) ran his putt by the hole on his first attempt and after I missed by third shot we both had difficult par saves,” said Ellis. “I had my buddy Scott Tashie help me read the line and I confidently drained it for the win. This win is definitely a confidence booster for me going into the final three events of the season and also going into PGA Tour Q-school in the fall.
Ellis collects $30,000 for his first career NGA Hooters Tour title, while Hendrix takes home $15,901 for his runner-up finish.
The NGA Hooters Tour will swing back into action August 23-29 in Hawkinsville, Georgia for the ComSouth Classic at Southern Hills Golf Club.

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