Hallmark and Miskell Lead Texas Four-Ball after Round 1
BOERNE—Local duo Trey Hallmark from Boerne and three-time TGA Player of the Year Terrence Miskell from New Braunfels on Friday blistered Cordillera Ranch for a bogey-free, 8-under-par 64 to lead the Championship Division after one round at the 2016 Texas Four-Ball Championship.
Hallmark is a member at Cordillera Ranch, and Miskell plays out of nearby Sonterra Golf Club. They’ve been four-ball partners for more than a year; the Texas Four-Ball Championship is their seventh event as partners. In February they combined to shoot 61-66 to win the San Antonio Golf Association’s Regional Four-Ball Championship.
“We’ve been playing with each other long enough that we know each other’s games well,” said Hallmark, who made seven birdies in the first round. “If one of us gets in trouble out there, we know the other will be there for us. When we both get it going – like we did today – then we can make a lot of birdies. We birdied the same hole a few times today and only had one par putt longer than 10 feet.”
Miskell, the 2004, ’06 and ’07 Player of the Year, has won three Texas Four-Ball titles. In 2003-04, he teamed with Titus Harris to win back-to-back Four-Balls. In 2007, Miskell teamed with U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Trip Kuehne to win the Texas Four-Ball. That same year, Miskell also won the Texas Mid-Amateur and Public Links Championships.
On Friday at Cordillera Ranch, he made five birdies with a hot putter.
“Inside of six feet, I can’t miss,” he said. “That takes pressure off so many other parts of my game. It takes pressure off my lag putting, and it even helps take pressure off my approach shots.”
Hallmark and Miskell lead three teams by two shots. Chris Goodspeed from Coppell and Rick Sulzer from Carrollton combined to shoot 6-under 66. Twice they teamed for three consecutive birdies – on holes 1, 2 and 3, then later on 14, 15 and 16 – but suffered a double-bogey on the 434-yard, par-4 17th hole. Randy Lance from Spring and William Piper from Cypress also turned in a 6-under 66. They, along with Goodspeed and Sulzer, are tied for second place with 2015 TGA Player of the Year Joshua Irving from Dallas and Scott Volpitto from Fort Worth.
Irving and Volpitto carded six birdies without a bogey. They said the key to their play was pretty simple.
“Patience,” said Volpitto, who rolled in four birdies. “We knew there would be birdies out there, but with any four-ball tournament, you have to stay patient.”
Tied for fifth place are Austin’s David Backus and Barrett Sandefur and Jeff Brame from Cypress and Houston’s Jimmy Vandagriff. Both teams registered 5-under 67s. Twenty-eight of the 40 teams in the Championship Division finished under par, but Cordillera Ranch stood tall with a course average of 77.00.
In the Senior Division (55 years and older), Bob Kearney and Gary Durbin from Houston sit atop the leaderboard with 6-under 66. In a round that included five birdies and one bogey, Kearney supplied the highlight with an eagle-2 on the 390-yard, par-4 17th. Kearney and Durbin lead by one shot over the teams of Mike Booker of Houston and Pat Youngs from San Antonio and Jonathon Shipley of Katy and John Dowdall from Fulshear.
Booker, the 2015 TGA Senior Player of the Year and winner of the 2015 Texas Senior Amateur, combined with Youngs for six birdies against a lone bogey. Shipley and Dowdall made seven birdies and two bogeys.
In the Super Senior Division (65 years and older), two teams are tied for the lead. Bob Hullender from San Antonio and Mike Arnold from Windcrest posted 3-under 69 and share first place with Sam Boyd from Horseshoe Bay and Ken Redfern from Austin. Bud Bartels and John Jones from Houston finished at 2-under 70 and trail the Super Seniors leaders by one shot.
This is the third TGA Championship held at Cordillera Ranch. The 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur, won by Tyler’s Clay Hodge, and the 2007 Texas Shootout, during which the North Texas team prevailed, were also played at the stunning Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the heart of the Texas Hill Country.
Located about 20 miles north of San Antonio, Cordillera Ranch has all the touches of a classic Nicklaus course. Towering oak trees, bubbling streams, elevation changes and dramatic rock outcroppings all combine to create one of the most beautiful and challenging golf experiences in Texas.
The Texas Four-Ball Championship features an 80-team starting field with three age divisions. The Championship Division (25 years and older), Seniors (55 and older) and Super Seniors (65 and older) play from different tees and are competing for separate Four-Ball titles. The format is 54-hole, four-ball stroke play.
The second round begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Cordillera Ranch. At the conclusion of 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 44 teams and ties.