HORSESHOE BAY — Andrew Paysse had closed the deal before.
In winning the UIL State Golf Championship, he managed to hold off all comers with a steady 71 to claim the Class 5A individual championship in late April.
But when tasked to do it again Friday, everything fell apart.
Leading by two strokes after a second-day low 2-under-par 69, Paysse bogeyed seven holes, including four of his first six, as he stumbled with a final round 6-over-par 77 (72-69-77—218) to finish third at the 86th Texas State Junior Championship.
Max Miller, a rising junior at A&M Consolidated who, like Paysee, has already committed to the Texas A&M, overcame a three-shot deficit to win the tournament with a final round 1-under-par 70 for a two-shot victory.
Paysse had just five bogies combined through the first 36 holes of the three-day event at the 6,811-yard par-71 Ram Rock golf course.
But on Friday, Paysse opened with back-to-back par-4 bogies and then bogied par-4s on holes 5 and 6. All the while, his competition was making up ground.
It took only three holes for Miller to catch Paysse, starting with a par-par-birdie compared to Paysse’s bogey-bogey-par. Jake McCrory, of Deer Park, who began the day in second, also started bogey-bogey-par as all three struggled to make birdies over the next seven holes. McCrory finished strong, though, with birdies on 14 and 15 to finish with a final round 73 for a three-day 216.
Paysee, who bogeyed the 541-yard, par-5 on hole No. 14, birdied 15, but then bogeyed 16 and 17 to settle for third.
Paysse’s final round 77 was the worst score among the top 15 finishers and left him four shots back of Miller.