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Kamas closes strong to finish runner-up at TJGT’s Elites Cup

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  • Kamas closes strong to finish runner-up at TJGT’s Elites Cup
    KINGFISHER’S Maddi Kamas stands beside the famous statue of Byron Nelson outside the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas course in Irving, Texas. [Photo provided]

Her goal was to place in the top-three.

Goal achieved.

Maddi Kamas finished with back-to-back birdies Thursday to bring home the runner-up trophy from the Texas Junior Golf Tour Elites Cup Invitational.

Kamas shot a 1-under-par 70 on the second day of the tournament, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome Ellie Roth’s blistering 67 at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas in Irving.

Roth’s round allowed her to earn a come-from-behind victory after an opening-day 76.

That left her two strokes behind Kamas and Lauren Rios and four back of firstday leader Avery Zweig.

After shooting 2-under on the front-nine in the closing round, Roth birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th holes to eventually get to 5-under for the day.

That left only Kamas with a shot to catch her.

Zweig fell back down the stretch as she was 5-over on her last 11 holes and most of the other names who were in contention after Wednesday struggled to carry the momentum over.

Kamas meanwhile parred her first 14 holes of the second round.

Her only hiccup was a bogey on 15.

Her par combined with Roth’s birdie on 16 left Kamas four strokes back with just two holes to play.

Kamas answered with a birdie on the par-3 16th to gain a stroke back.

A birdie on the final hole garnered two strokes for Kamas as Roth bogeyed it, but Roth still managed to hold onto the one-stroke victory.

“I thought I played really solid,” said Kamas. “I just had a couple of mistakes cost me on the first day.”

Kamas had two birdies and three bogeys on the front-nine of her first round Wednesday.

She birdied the par-4 10th hole and was even-par through 11.

The next five holes proved costly as Kamas carded two bogeys and one double-bogey.

She ended her day with a birdie on 18 for a 3-over 74.

That left her tied for fourth along with Lauren Rios, two strokes behind Zweig and Grayson Heilman and one shot behind Amelia Gwo.

Heilman shot an 83 and eventually tied for 11th.

Rios shot a 77 to tie for sixth while Gwo’s 80 put her in a tie for ninth.

Zweig, only 14, finished third with her second-day 74.

Blake Avery rebounded from an opening-day 78 to shoot 69 Thursday and was fourth.

Roth, Kamas and Avery had the tournament’s only sub-par rounds.

Roth, from Plano, Texas, has signed to play at Kansas University this year.

“The field was incredibly talented, so my goal was to finish top-three this year,” said Kamas. “Taking second and only losing by one stroke to an incoming college freshman isn’t bad.”

This was the second time this summer Kamas, who will be a senior at KHS, has been afforded the opportunity to play on a course that’s hosted PGA tournaments. The other was at Southern Hills in Tulsa.

TPC Las Colinas hosted the Byron Nelson Championship from 1983-2017 and will again begin to host it in 2021.

“The course was really pretty and in great shape,” Kamas said. “It’s one where you can get into lots of trouble off the tee.”