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Carnes Cards 4-under 68 to Lead West Texas Am

ODESSA – Casey Carnes leads the Championship Division of the 94th West Texas Amateur after shooting 4-under 68 at Odessa Country Club’s Old Course. Mike Booker and Kelly Eng are tied atop the Senior Division, while Michael Puls leads the Super Senior Division at 3-under.

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Leaders: Casey Carnes of Schertz made five birdies en route to his 4-under 68 on Friday. Carnes started with a birdie on the par-5 10th and added another on the par-4 14th before dropping a stroke on the par-4 18th. He made three birdies coming home to build his one-stroke lead. In the Senior Division, Mike Booker of Houston and Kelly Eng of Austin lead at 1-under. Booker made an eagle on the par-5 sixth and made the turn at 3-under. He made two bogeys coming home to fall back to 1-under. Eng made four birdies in his final nine holes, including the par-4 14th and the par-3 17th to shoot 71. In the Super Senior Division Irving’s Michael Puls posted 3-under 69 on Friday and leads by four strokes. Puls tallied six birdies on the day, including three in a row on holes 12-14.

In Contention: Trailing Carnes in the Championship Division are Christopher Wheeler of Addison, Nolan Otto of Big Spring and Dan Depasquale of Austin. Wheeler, who is the reigning TGA Player of the Year, got off to a slow start but made birdie on three of his final eight holes to get to 3-under. Otto’s card was busy in the opening round, with seven birdies, two bogeys and double-bogey. Depasquale finished with two birdies in his final three holes and made four in his final nine holes to get to 2-under. Jake Leatherwood, Andrew Lawson and Logan Diomede are all tied for fifth at 2-under, while four players are tied for seventh at 1-under. In the Senior Division, Koy Stribling of Odessa and Terrence Ray Miskell of New Braunfels are tied for third at even-par, while five players are tied for fifth and six players are tied for 10th. In the Super Senior Division Marshall Morgan of Fort Worth and Doug Hopton-Jones of Mansfield are tied for second at 1-over, while Mike Peck, Bobby Haney and Lelan Chiles are tied for fourth.

Golf Course: Odessa Country Club was founded in 1939 after the 167 acres of land was purchased for $2,500. The course was designed by John Bredemus and the layout features Bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens. Odessa Country Club is hosting the West Texas Amateur for the third time in the tournament’s 94 years. The last West Texas Amateur to be held at OCC was in 2015, with Mark Jones capturing the title.

Weather: Temperatures started in the low 80s in the morning and crept up to the high 90s in the afternoon. There was a calm breeze around 10 miles per hour throughout the day with a clear sky over Odessa.

Tournament History: The West Texas Amateur is a 144-player tournament across three divisions. This Regional Event is open to all residents of Texas and has boasted some amazing past champions such as Charles Coody, Billy Maxwell, Bob Estes and Alex Moon. This year’s event saw more than 300 signups.

TGA Regional Series: The TGA Regional Series is made up of four events for each region of North and South Texas. There is a Regional Four-Ball, Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur and Amateur for both the North and South. The West Texas Amateur also serves as an event in the Regional Series and is open to any players in the state of Texas that meet eligibility.

What’s Next: The second round of the West Texas Amateur is set to begin at 7:30 am on Saturday, July 16. The Championship Division will go off in the morning wave, while the Senior and Super Senior Divisions switch to the afternoon wave. Following the second round, each division will be cut in half before Sunday’s Final Round.

For more information on the West Texas Amateur, click here.