Bazan, Brown set for LBA40 showdown

HARLINGEN It came down to the 18th hole to decide the final matchup for the Life Begins at 40 championship, scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Harlingen Country Club.

Harlingen’s Steven Bazan, the defending champion, and Justin Brown, the 2021 champion, came up clutch to set up an all-Harlingen final between two of the more recent LBA 40 champions.

Bazan defeated Henry Cabrera and Brown bested Mickey Boland in the semifinals Friday at Harlingen Country Club.

The defending champion said it was challenging, making it back to defend his title. Cabrera hit some terrific shots Friday and Ron Kilby, a LBA 40 legend, also took Bazan to 18 on Thursday.

“I just feel very fortunate to be here because you have to some good play and some luck involved,” Bazan said.

Bazan placed a long putt which sat on the fringe of the green at 18 within a few feet of the hole to put the pressure on Cabrera and ultimately win the match. The two went back and forth with those type of clutch shots, but it was Bazan that withstood the pressure in the end.

Brown jokingly said he was trying to give the match away, but Boland, the medalist in qualifying, missed too many putts during the final few holes.

The champion is going to be from Harlingen Country Club. Bazan and Brown are members and play together. The final paring was complimentary of each other’s all-around game after clutching up on the final hole and are excited for today.

“He’s one of the best players out here, a defending champion and he is the guy to beat,” Brown said. “I have to play better than I did today to beat him.”