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Wheeler Leads West Texas Amateur After 36 Holes
ODESSA – Christopher Wheeler of Addison leads the 94th West Texas Amateur at Odessa Country Club’s Old Course. Houston’s Mike Booker leads the Senior Division at 4-under, while Irving’s Michael Puls leads the Super Senior Division at 1-under.
Leaders: Christopher Wheeler leads the Championship Division by one stroke after his 4-under 68 on Saturday. The reigning Texas Golf Association Player of the Year made five birdies in the second round. He started with a birdie on the par-5 tenth and finished with a birdie on the par-4 ninth. His rounds of 68-69 have him at 7-under and looking for his first victory in the West Texas Amateur. Mike Booker is seeking his second straight win in the Senior Division of the West Texas Amateur and leads the division by two strokes heading into the final round. Booker’s round of 3-under 69 featured four birdies and one bogey as he climbed to the top of the leaderboard. Michael Puls continues to hold the lead in the Super Senior Division after shooting rounds of 69-74. Puls struggled on Saturday, making four bogeys and two birdies, but holds a four-stroke lead in the division.
In Contention: Trailing Wheeler in the Championship Division are Jake Leatherwood of Snyder and Nolan Otto of Big Spring. Leatherwood matched Wheeler’s 4-under 68 on Saturday with five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 fourth. Otto, who was tied with Wheeler after the first round, added another five birdies to his tally but made two bogeys en route to his consecutive 3-under 69. Both players will join Wheeler in the final group off the No. 1 tee on Sunday. Austin’s Dan Depasquale and Schertz’s Casey Carnes are tied for fourth at 5-under, while Dallas’ Justin Thompson is in sixth at 4-under. In the Senior Division, Austin’s Kelly Eng sits in second at 2-under. Joe Sconiers of Iraan is in third, followed by Midland’s Rick Houston. Three players are tied for fifth in the Senior Division. In the Super Senior Division, Irving’s Mike Peck trails Puls at 3-over, while Doug Hopton-Jones, Bobby Haney, and Lelan Chiles are tied for third at 5-over.
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 Divisions were all cut in half following the second round and the Final Round is scheduled to begin at 7:30 am off the No. 1 and 10 tees. The Championship Division will tee off No. 1, while the Super Senior and Senior Divisions will tee off the No. 10 tee. Pairings for the Final Round are available by clicking here. A champion will be crowned on Sunday and cement his legacy in West Texas Amateur history.
For more information on the West Texas Amateur, click here.