Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Brady Purdom Fires 65 to Lead 108th Texas Amateur
DALLAS – Brady Purdom only needed to see one putt find the bottom of the hole Thursday at Lakewood Country Club to give him the confidence to post a low number in his first-ever appearance at the most prestigious amateur championship in the state. It happened to occur on the first hole, and he rode the momentum to a 6-under-par 65 that gave him the outright lead in the 108th Texas Amateur.
“Right there on No. 1, I hit a bad chip to 10 feet,” said Purdom, a 24-year-old senior at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. “I had a downhill putt that broke probably two feet. I rolled it right in and that got me going for the rest of the day.”
(For complete scores, click here.)
Purdom went on to make birdies on the fourth and eighth holes before an eagle on the par-5 ninth got him to 4-under at the turn. Three birdies against one bogey on the back nine added up to his 65.
“I kept the course in front of me and made a lot of putts,” he said. “I didn’t really have any expectations. I just knew if I kept it in play, I could piece together a decent round.”
He did better than that, and for his efforts Purdom holds a one-shot lead over Fort Worth’s Will Osborne. Winner of the Texas Four-Ball Championship in May with his partner Josh Irving, Osborne said the 105-year-old Lakewood course gave him a strong sense of familiarity.
Osborne’s 5-under 66 featured six birdies on the tricky, tree-covered course that demands accuracy off the tee and caution around the greens. Osborne hit 17 greens in regulation; his only approach that missed finished on the fringe. He birdied three of his final five holes, including the par-4 16th and par-5 17th.
Osborne, a 31-year-old reinstated amateur, said Lakewood reminds him of home.
“I play a course really similar to this – Shady Oaks – where you really have to be on the right spot on the greens,” said Osborne, the runner-up at this year’s North Texas Mid-Amateur in March. “If you you’re above the hole, you know you’re in bad shape. You have to be below the hole and put it in the right spots. It fits my game nicely.”
Two shots back of Purdom in third place is Zander Lozano, a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Lozano used three birdies and an eagle-3 on the difficult par-5 fourth hole to post his 4-under 67. A 557-yard slight dogleg left with out of bounds all along the left side, the fourth hole played to a stroke average of 5.20.
After a towering drive into the middle of the fairway, Lozano hit a smooth 5-wood from 240 yards that finished 30 feet from the hole. He rolled that in for his eagle.
“I rolled it really well and made almost everything I looked at,” Lozano said. “The greens are so pure.”
Tied for fourth place at 3-under 68 are Parker Coody from Plano, Andrew Lindberg from Coppell and Hunter Shattuck from Jacksonville. A senior at Plano West High School, Coody in May won the UIL Class 6A Individual State Championship. He also finished runner-up at Lakewood last year at the Legends Junior Tour’s Byron Nelson Junior Championship. A senior at Coppell High School, Lindberg back in April won his Texas Amateur qualifying tournament at Bear Creek Golf Club. Shattuck is a senior at Baylor who helped the Bears advance to match play in the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Five more players are tied for seventh place at 2-under 69. That group includes 2008 Texas Mid-Amateur champion Rob Couture, a former Lakewood member who won the club championship four times.
In all, 20 players finished under par in the first round on a humid day with breezes registering in the 10-15 mph range. The 144-player field played Lakewood to a stroke average of 75.07. The par-3 fifth hole did the most damage. The 218-yard downhill hole played to an average of 3.60. The fifth saw 66 bogeys, seven double-bogeys and only one birdie. The 529-yard, par-5 ninth hole gave up the most birdies (53) and played to an average of 4.73.
Celebrating its 105th anniversary this year, Lakewood is in the middle of an unprecedented run of hosting TGA major events. In addition to the 108th Texas Amateur this week, the historic Dallas club also played host to the 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier on June 5. From June 27-29, the Legends Junior Tour will hold its annual Byron Nelson Junior Championship at Lakewood for a total of three marquee TGA events in the span of 25 days.
“Our membership gets behind these kinds of events,” said Gilbert Freeman, Lakewood’s esteemed Director of Golf since 1994. “This club supports golf and the golf community. It is a lot for one month, but we wanted to give back to the game.”
This is the third time Lakewood has welcomed the Texas Amateur. Chip Carter (2000) and Ray Kenny (1942) carved their names into the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy at Lakewood. A shot-maker’s course known for immaculate conditioning and superfast greens, Lakewood was designed by Tom Bendelow in 1912.
Ralph Plummer renovated it in 1947, which was three years after Byron Nelson won the Texas Victory Open here by 10 shots. That tournament ultimately became known at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship. In 1995 and again in 2014, the design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw remodeled the Lakewood Course.
The eve before Thursday’s opening round, the TGA’s annual Players’ Dinner featured a host of award recipients, including the 2016 Texas Player of the Year. For the second consecutive time, Josh Irving from Dallas earned the coveted award after another stellar season that was highlighted by his Texas Mid-Amateur title, which earned Irving a spot on the Texas squad for the 2016 USGA Men’s State Team Championships.
Hickman picked up his 2016 North Texas Player of the Year award, and Danny Simmerman from San Antonio won the South Texas Player of the Year.
Three longtime TGA volunteers also were honored at the Players’ Dinner. Mickey Jones from Odessa won the highest honor given to volunteers. Jones, a past TGA President, earned the Bob Wells Distinguished Service Award. In addition, Nick Bramlett from Houston and Ken Anderson from Lantana were honored for their respective 2016 South and North Texas Volunteers of the Year accolades.
The second round of the 108th Texas Amateur starts Friday at 7:30 p.m. Following play at Lakewood, a 36-hole cut will trim the field to the low 54 scores, including ties. For more information, click here.