Around the Green
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Parker Coody Leads 108th Texas Amateur by One Shot
DALLAS – Parker Coody from Plano shook off a sluggish start Saturday at the 108th Texas Amateur to shoot 3-under-par 68, which gives him the slimmest of margins headed into Sunday’s final round. The 17-year-old University of Texas commit has totaled 8-under 205 through three rounds, good for a one-shot lead over three players.
(For complete scores, click here.)
Coody, the grandson of 1959 Texas Amateur and 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody, started the third round one shot behind 36-hole leader Brady Purdom from Friendswood. Parker proceeded to dig himself hole in the first 45 minutes of his round.
“I started off bogey-par-bogey,” said Parker, runner-up at the Legends Junior Tour’s 2016 Byron Nelson Junior Championship played at Lakewood. “They were two sloppy bogeys. But my putter has been feeling really good all week and it started heating up again.”
Starting on the 218-yard, par-3 fifth hole – statistically the toughest hole at Lakewood this week – Parker ripped off four birdies in five holes, including three in row before he made the turn to the back nine. With his father Kyle Coody caddying for him, Parker played the final nine at 1-under to sign for his 68.
Golf obviously is in Coody’s blood. Kyle played for Texas in the 1980s and as a reinstated amateur won the 2001 Texas Mid-Amateur. Parker and his twin brother Pierceson are multiple-time winners on the LJT, where the state’s elite juniors compete. Pierceson finished T46 in the 106th Texas Amateur at Bent Tree and is T21 this week after rounds of 74-70-71.
All of the Coodys – grandpa included – are admittedly highly self-critical. Early in the year Parker said he wasn’t living up to his own expectations, for example. He said he’s worked with his dad and local instructor Scott Fawcett on his mental game, and it’s already paid off. In May, Coody won the UIL Class 6A Individual State Championship. Now he’ll sleep on a one-shot lead in his first-ever Texas Amateur appearance.
“I’ve really been trying to knock my expectations down and still be confident at the same time,” Coody said. “It’s helped a lot. In the past month or two, I’ve played some great golf.”
One shot behind Coody at 7-under 206 are Rob Couture, a 41-year-old former Lakewood member from Dallas, Hunter Shattuck, a 22-year-old senior at Baylor, and Brady Purdom, a 24-year-old senior at UH-Clear Lake.
Couture said he’s probably played 1,000 rounds of golf at Lakewood. He’s won a bunch of tournaments here, too. Among them are the 2008 Texas Mid-Amateur and a four-year sweep of the Lakewood Club Championship in the mid-2000s. Only one mid-amateur (25 years or older) has won the Texas Amateur in the past 14 years – Doug Manor at age 32 in 2013 at Lakeside Country Club in Houston. Couture looks to become the second.
“Obviously I know this place well,” said Couture, who shot 3-under 68 in the third round. “I know where to hit it and, more importantly, where not to hit it. I can’t imagine there’s anywhere else on earth where I’m more comfortable. ”
A native of Jacksonville, Shattuck shot 2-under 69, punctuated by a 40-foot eagle on the par-5 17th.
“I made a lot of putts today, where I hadn’t made very many earlier in the week,” he said. “Then my ball-striking left me today. I’ve been hitting the ball really well the past two days and not getting anything to fall, and today was the other way around.”
After the eagle, Shattuck drove it into the trees on 18 and had to attempt to a rescue shot, which ended up in a fairway bunker. Ultimately he made a 15-footer for bogey that he said helped him keep a little momentum headed into Sunday. Like Coody and Couture, Shattuck has good vibes at Lakewood, where he won the 2013 Byron Nelson Junior.
“I love this course. I tell people it looks like I designed it because of all of the doglegs seem like I can hit it right at the dogleg and it’s not going to go through,” he said. “The greens are perfect and it’s a wedge-fest, and that’s how I like to play golf.”
Friendswood’s Purdom, the 18- and 36-hole leader, bogeyed the second and third holes but got both strokes back with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. From there, he made 12 straight pars to finish at even-par 71. Zander Lozano from Fair Oaks Ranch sits alone in fifth place at 6-under 207. Ten players are within five shots of Coody and the lead.
The 108th Texas Amateur is the second of three TGA major events at Lakewood this month. Conducted by the TGA, the USGA on June 5 held a U.S. Open sectional qualifier at the 105-year-old Tom Bendelow-designed course. The LJT will hold its annual Byron Nelson Junior here from June 27-29.
The final round of this week’s championship begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. For more information on the 108th Texas Amateur, click here.