Historic DAC to Host the 110th Texas Amateur
As one of the highpoints of its yearlong centennial celebration, Dallas Athletic Club will host the 110th Texas Amateur Championship. Conducted by the Texas Golf Association since 1906, this year’s championship will be played on the legendary Blue Course from June 13-16.
“Dallas Athletic Club is excited to host the 110th Texas Amateur,” said Lance Patterson, Director of Golf at DAC. “We have a long history of supporting the TGA and USGA, and hosting the most prestigious amateur event in the state is a great way for us to celebrate our 100th anniversary.”
This will be the third Texas Amateur and ninth overall TGA major contested on DAC’s Blue Course. Among the many other notable amateur events held on the Blue Course include the 2018 Women’s Big 12 Championship, the 1993 and 2011 Southern Junior and the 1997 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Welcoming top-tier competitions and rolling out the red carpet for players and guests is a proud tradition for DAC.
“Our membership enjoys taking these events under their wing and loves to be a great host,” said Patterson.
Undoubtedly, the most prominent tournament held on the Blue Course was the 1963 PGA Championship won by Jack Nicklaus. Played during a blistering-hot week in the latter part of July, Nicklaus posted a 72-hole total of 5-under-par 279 to win his second major of the year and the third of his 18 Grand Slam titles. The photo of Nicklaus using a towel to hold up the sizzling Wanamaker Trophy is one of the most indelible golf images of all time.
That year turned out to be just the start of a long and fruitful association between the Golden Bear and DAC. In 1984, club officials hired Nicklaus, who by that time was a highly regarded golf course architect, to redesign the two original Ralph Plummer courses at DAC.
Work on the Blue Course was completed in 1986. When the Gold Course reopened in 1989, DAC became the first club in the southwest with two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. Nicklaus has returned to DAC many times over the years to make enhancements to ensure both courses remain challenging and enjoyable for players of all ages and abilities.
“When Jack Nicklaus redesigned the Blue Course, he really was able to put his fingerprint on it and made it a fantastic championship course,” said Patterson. “It’s a great test of golf that requires players to be able to move the ball both ways off the tee, as well as on their approach shots in order to get close to those tucked hole locations and avoid big breaking putts.”
The tree-lined fairways on the Blue Course are tight and most of the holes are doglegs, putting a premium on accuracy off the tee. Course management and club selection are also keys to scoring well, owing to the challenging green complexes that come in all shapes and sizes and feature lots of slope, tiers, and undulation. Additionally, just to make sure players stay mentally alert, water comes into play on 12 holes and there are 65 strategically placed bunkers, most deep and steep, to be avoided.
When the Texas Amateur returns to DAC for the third time in 2019, the state’s premier amateurs will see firsthand why the Blue Course has a well-earned reputation as a comprehensive test of a player’s physical and mental skills.
“DAC will be a great stage of championship golf for the week and I’m excited to see who will come out victorious,” said Patterson.
This marks the second consecutive year the Texas Amateur has set a record for the number of entries received with 883. The previous record of 882 was set for the 109th championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Among the 40 players who were fully exempt into the 110th championship are two past champions, Michael Cotton of Katy, who won in 2015 at Bent Tree CC, and Zach Atkinson of Colleyville, who captured the 2004 title at The Club at Carlton Woods. To determine the remaining 104 spots in the 144-player starting field, 18-hole qualifiers were held at 19 sites across the state from April 9-June 4.
The format for the walking-only championship is 72 holes of individual stroke play. All contestants play 18 holes on both June 13-14. 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.
At the 109th Texas Amateur, recent Rice graduate Mitchell Meissner of San Antonio posted rounds of 73-70-71-68 to win the championship at Whispering Pines. His 6-under-par 282 total was good for a three-shot victory over fellow San Antonian Levi Valadez, his good friend and former teammate at Alamo Heights High School.
With Meissner unable to defend his title, the stage is set for a new champion to be crowned at DAC. In a golf-rich state like Texas, the talent runs deep and plenty of highly decorated players of all ages, from the senior and mid-amateur ranks to the collegiate and junior corps, will be looking to etch their name on the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy and a spot in the history book.
Admission to the 110th Texas Amateur is free and spectators are encouraged to attend.
If you’re unable to be there in person, log on to txga.org for live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as starting times and pairings. Facebook and Twitter users will see daily player interviews and updates.