Countdown to the 104th Texas Amateur
LAKESIDE CC SET FOR 104th TEXAS AMATEUR PRESENTED BY INSPERITY
The 104th Texas Amateur presented by Insperity will be played June 13-16 at Lakeside Country Club in Houston. Conducted by the Texas Golf Association since 1906, the championship brings together the state’s most accomplished amateur players to compete for the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.
This will be the first Texas Amateur to be contested at Lakeside, although the club has hosted numerous high-profile professional, amateur and junior events over the years, including sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Lakeside Country Club was designed by Fort Worth native Ralph Plummer and opened for play in 1952. An extensive renovation in 2010 was overseen by Ron Pritchard, which greatly enhanced the original design features of Plummer’s parkland-style layout. Pritchard’s work included bunker restoration and modification, adding nine new tee complexes which lengthened the course some 250 yards, and aggressive tree trimming to help improve sight lines and course conditioning. After the upgrades, Lakeside now measures 7,254 yards from the back tees with a USGA Course/Slope Rating of 75.3/141.
Of the nearly 750 applications received for this year’s Amateur, 42 players were fully exempt from qualifying based on past performance. To determine the remaining 102 spots in the 144-player starting field, 18 hole qualifyings were held at 19 sites across the state from April 9 – June 3.
The format for the championship is 72 holes individual stroke play. All contestants will play 18 holes on both Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 scores and ties heading into the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Thomas Birdsey of Trophy Club, winner of the 2012 Amateur at The Honors Golf Club of Dallas, will be back to defend his title. Birdsey, who recently completed his junior year at Wake Forest, will try to become the first back-to-back champion since Richmond’s Ryan Baca accomplished the feat in 2002-03. He will face some extremely tough competition, though, as a talented group of junior, collegiate, mid-amateur and senior players will be looking to add their name to the Edwards trophy.
Admission to the 104th Texas Amateur is free, and spectators are encouraged to attend.
Once the action gets under way from Lakeside, log on to the Texas Golf Association website (txga.org) for live scoring updates, daily recaps, video press conferences, as well as tee-times and pairings.
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2013 TEXAS AMATEUR STARTING FIELD NOTES
PAR AND YARDAGE: For the championship, Lakeside CC will play approximately 7,067 yards with a par of 36-36 – 72.
ARCHITECT: Lakeside, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2012, was designed by Ralph Plummer and opened for play in the summer of 1952. Plummer, who was born and raised in Fort Worth, had a reputation for being an “on-site” designer who loved to plan, strategize, and visualize his work with input from clients and associates. Plummer made the most of the natural features and elements available to him at Lakeside, which was built on the property then known as Pine Lake Farm, resulting in a stern test for tournament play and an interesting, challenging, yet playable course from the forward tees for the recreational player.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY: Thursday, June 13 – First round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave staring times begin at 1:00 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Friday, June 14 – Second round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave staring times begin at 1:00 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. The starting field of 144-players will be cut after 36 holes to the low 54 scores and ties.
Saturday, June 15 – Third round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Sunday, June 16 – Final round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Awards ceremony will commence immediately following the close of competition.
INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONS: Wes Artac of Kingwood, 2012 Texas State Junior; John Bearrie of Arlington, 2010 Mid-Amateur Match Play and 2012 Mid-Amateur; Mike Booker of The Woodlands, 2003 Mid-Amateur; Lucas Boyd of Plano, 2012 Mid-Amateur Match Play; Beau Davis of San Angelo, 2011 Mid-Amateur; Lance Ester of Magnolia, 2013 Public Links; Bob Kearney of Houston, 1998 Mid-Amateur, 1999 and 2003 Mid-Amateur Match Play and 2001 Texas Amateur; Ron Kilby of McAllen, 2011 Senior Amateur; Chuck Palmer of Dallas, 2012 Senior Amateur; Andrew Paysse of Temple, 2013 UIL Boys 5A; David Pocknall of Katy, 2009 Senior Amateur.; and Curtis Reed of Castroville, 2010 Texas State Junior.
TOP FINISHERS RETURNING FROM THE 2012 TEXAS AMATEUR: Paul McConnell of Garland (Tied 2nd), Mike Calef of Allen (4th), and Scott Abbott of Dallas, Nathan Weant of Hallsville and Ryan Sirman of Tyler (all tied 5th).
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Brett Gill of Sugar Land and his father Steve (a former Mid-Amateur Match Play champion), aka The Sugar Land Express, teamed up to win the State Father-Son in 2005, 2006, and 2009. Other former Father-Son champions in the field are Juan Jose Salcedo of The Woodlands (2008) and Jordan Rumora of Katy (2010).
2012-2013 POSTSEASON COLLEGIATE HONORS: Drew Evans of Texas A&M, Division I PING All-Region (Central); Kramer Hickok of the University of Texas, All-Big 12 Team; Wesley McClain of the University of Houston, C-USA All-Conference (Second Team); Albert Miner of Sam Houston State, All-Southland Conference (First Team); Blake Pugh of Stephen F. Austin, All-Southland Conference (Second Team); Curtis Reed of the University of Houston, C-USA All-Conference (First Team); and J.T. Taylor of Sam Houston State, All-Southland Conference (Honorable Mention).
HP CONNECTION – That would be the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship connection. Competing in the 2013 Texas Amateur are reining HP Byron Nelson Junior champion Benjamin Arnett of Houston and 2011 champion Vincent Martino of Southlake. There have been two HP Byron Nelson Junior champions that have gone on to win the Texas Amateur. Ryan Baca of Richmond won back-to-back HP Byron Nelson Junior titles in 2000 and 2001 and then went on to win back-to-back Texas Amateur titles in 2002 and 2003. Dallas’ Charlie Holland won the 2004 HP Byron Nelson Junior then, three years later, won the 2007 Texas Amateur.
LAST MAN IN – Austin’s Alex Ellis, playing in the next to last group at the Last Chance Qualifying at Riverbend CC in Sugar Land on Monday, June 3, birdied his final hole for a 1-under 71 to claim the last available spot in the 2013 Amateur starting field. With the timely birdie, Ellis dashed the hopes of 7 players who were tied at even-par 72 and eagerly awaiting a chance for a sudden-death playoff.
MY GENERATION – Number of players in the starting field by age group: Teens – 23; 20s – 73; 30s – 20; 40s – 13; 50s – 15. The average age of the starting field is 28.8.
20.6 – No, not a morning Celsius temperature, but rather the average age of the winner of the past nine Texas Amateurs. The last time a mid-amateur won the championship was in 2001 when a then 44-year-old Bob Kearney, who returns to the 2013 starting field after a brief hiatus, captured the title at Houston CC.
HOME SWEET HOME: Five players in the starting field call Lakeside Country Club home. They are Sean Coerver, Ryan Haselden, Bob Koort, Eric Otness, and Vann Vandervoort, all from Houston. Vandervoot is the current club champion at Lakeside.
YOUNGEST AND OLDEST: At 15-years-old, Houston’s Walker Lee and Frisco’s Brandon Smith are the youngest players in the field. At the other end of the age spectrum are two State Senior Amateur champions, current titleholder Chuck Palmer of Dallas and 2009 champion David Pocknall of Katy, both of whom are a sprightly 59-years-old.
H.L. EDWARDS MEMORIAL TROPHY: The winner of the Texas Amateur receives custody of the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy, named in honor of Harry Lee Edwards, the “Father of Golf in Texas.” Edwards earned the nickname because he helped to establish the TGA in February of 1906, served as its first president and won the inaugural Amateur Championship. Additionally, Edwards was also a founding member of Dallas CC and Brook Hollow GC.
AMATEUR CHAMPIONS SUCCESSFUL ON TOUR: Nine former Texas Amateur champions have combined for a remarkable 57 wins on the PGA Tour: Ben Crenshaw (1972) – 19; Bruce Lietzke (1971) – 13; Mark Brooks (1979, 1981) – 7; Scott Verplank (1982, 1984-85) – 5; Bob Estes (1988) – 4; Charles Coody (1959) – 3; Earl Stewart, Jr. (1947) – 3; Don Massengale (1958) – 2; and Marty Fleckman (1964) – 1.
TEXAS AMATEUR ON THE WEB: Once the action gets underway from Lakeside Country Club, log on to the TGA web site (txga.org) for up-to-date Texas Amateur news and information including live scoring, daily recaps and video press conferences, as well as tee-times and pairings.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS: TGA Communications Department – (214) 468-8942 ext 153. On-site: Adam Snow, TGA Tournament Director – (214) 289-3311.
THE 2012 TEXAS AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP – Thomas Birdsey of Trophy Club birdied the final hole at The Honors Golf Club of Dallas to capture the 103rd Texas Amateur presented by Insperity. After fellow competitors Tom Moore of San Antonio and Paul McConnell of Garland missed their birdie chances on the par-4 18th, Birdsey, who recently finished his sophomore year at Wake Forest University, buried his 18-footer to win with a final-round 68 and 203 total, 10-under par. Moore and McConnell were a stroke behind at 9-under 209. McConnell shot a final-round 67 while Moore shot 69. It was a fittingly dramatic ending to the championship, which had an unexpected, but equally dramatic start. The Honors Golf Club of Dallas magnanimously stepped in to stage the event when the original host of the 103rd Texas Amateur, Lakewood CC in East Dallas, was pummeled by a colossal hailstorm on the eve of the first round. Because of the last minute histrionics, the championship was also delayed by one day and shortened from 72 to 54 holes individual stroke play.