HOLLISTER — Farmington's Nick Westrich overcame a two-hole deficit early in Sunday's championship round of the 113th annual Missouri State Amateur, defeating Chesterfield's Maxwell Kreikemeier 5-and-4 to win the title.
Westrich, who entered the match play portion of the six-day event as the No. 5 seed, posted an eagle on the opening hole to take a 1-up lead. However, Kreikemeier — the No. 14 seed — went on to win the second, fifth and seventh holes to build a 2-up lead in the 36-hole championship.
Before making the turn, Westrich birdied the ninth hole to cut Kreikemeier's lead to 1-up. Then Westrich went on a tear.
The Central Missouri redshirt sophomore golfer won the 10th hole with a par to make the match all square. He followed that up with a par to win the 12th hole, then took advantage of Kreikemeier's bogeys on the 16th and 17 holes to build a 3-up lead at the halfway point of the match.
Kreikemeier, a four-time all-state golfer at Lafayette: Wildwood, birdied the 19th hole to close the gap to 2-up, but that's as close as he would get the rest of the match.
Westrich, a three-time all-state golfer at Farmington, birdied the 22nd hole, then won the next hole with a par to stretch his lead to 4-up. He added wins on the 27th and 30th holes to hold a 4-up lead with six holes to play.
On the 32nd hole of play, Westrich clinched the match with a par, giving him his sixth match play victory in the last four days.
Westrich shot a 2-under 140 in the stroke play qualifying to make the round of 64. Leading up to the championship match, he recorded match play victories against John Moore of Quincy, Ill. (5-and-4), Palmyra's Ryan Schuenke (2-and-1), Justin Wingerter of Olathe, Kan. (1-up in 19 holes), St. Joseph's Brad Nurski (4-and-3) and La Plata's Logan Smith (2-and-1).
Kreikemeier, who was a freshman this past school year with the Missouri State men's golf team, won six holes in the championship match. Like Westrich, he also recorded an eagle to win a hole, this time on the par-5 seventh hole.
Kreikemeier posted six birdies, compared to just four for Westrich, but Kreikemeier lost holes with eight bogeys and one double-bogey. Westrich only had three bogeys, losing each of those holes, but he also had 24 pars on the 32 holes played, including a streak of 12 consecutive pars from the 10th hole to the 21st.