Little Rock native Stan Payne has won the Mid-Amateur division of the 2020 Arkansas Men’s Match Play.
Payne defeated the number one seed, Trey Schaap, who had won the division the previous two years. Payne started off the week very strong with a 66 during the qualifying round on Thursday. Payne made seven Birdies in the round and had just one Bogey on the Par four, 10th. Payne concluded the round very strongly making Birdies on four of his last six holes to get the number two seed in the bracket. Schaap was given the one seed automatically as he was the defending champion. Payne’s first match of the week went well on Friday afternoon as he defeated number three seed Jamie Barker 3 & 2.
This set us up for the final match of the weekend in the Mid-Amateur division. It was sure to be a close match with the back to back defending champion, Schaap, facing a red hot Payne, who’s qualifying round of 66 was the lowest in any division on Thursday. The match was All Square heading into the 16th hole when Payne made a nice Birdie putt to go 1 Up.
“On 16 I was blocked a little bit off the tee so I hit three wood about 100 yards, and then I hit wedge to about 15 feet. I saw how slow Trey’s putt was and so I hit it and thankfully made it.” Payne said.
Payne would then go on to make Birdie to halve the hole with Schaap before finishing with Par on 18 to win the match 1 Up.
“I think over the years I have made things too complicated and I just tried to simplify things this week and it worked out.” Payne Said.
Payne finished as the runner-up in the Mid-Amateur division in the Arkansas Amateur championship last month in Hot Springs. However, today was a different story as he got the job done after impressive showings all weekend long.