Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Adams, Eng, and Hopton-Jones win at the 95th West Amateur
Abilene – Will Adams of Odessa runs away from the field and wins the 95th West Texas Amateur at Diamondback National Golf Club with an overall score of 19-under, 194. Kelly Eng of Austin captures the Senior Division at 3-under in a playoff, while Doug Hopton-Jones of Mansfield wins the Super Senior Division in a playoff at 1-under.
Leaders: Will Adams goes wire to wire to claim his first West Texas Amateur championship. The West Texas native from Odessa fired three stellar rounds of 63-64-67. Adams finished round one with a three-shot lead on the field and never looked back. He began his tournament with 5 straight birdies and an eagle and carded a bogey-free 64 in round two. This is Adams’s second Texas Golf Association championship win after claiming the 2019 North Amateur championship at The Courses at Watters Creek. Kelly Eng captured the Senior Division after shooting even par 71 on Sunday. His 210 total put him into a playoff where he won on the first hole. Doug Hopton-Jones of Mansfield won the Super Senior Division after 72-68-72 for a tournament total of 212 one-under-par. Hopton-Jones won with a par on the first playoff hole, #10, against Mike Peck of Irving. Hopton-Jones claims his third West Texas Super Senior Championship in the last five years after back-to-back wins in 2019 and 2020 at Midland Country Club and Bentwood Country Club. Hopton-Jones adds to his West Texas Amateur Championship legacy after also claiming the championship division in 2002. Hopton-Jones pulled himself into contention with a three-under-par 68 in the second round and his par-par finish on holes eight and nine were enough to force the playoff.
Top Finishers: Davis Seybert of Midland finished runner-up in the Championship Division after shooting rounds of 68-71-64. Tied for third was Austins Jake Sitterle, Wheelers Gaitlin Goad, and Fulshears Colt Tenpenney. Jake Leatherwood of Snyder. And Scott Roden of Dallas finish in a tie for sixth. Rounding out the top ten in the champions division are Lubbock’s Jackson Drake and Austins Andrew Grice with a total of 208. In the Senior division, Houston’s Mike Booker finishes in second after a playoff with Eng. Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson and Kingwoods Jeff Bellnap finish tied for third at a total of 212. New Braunfels Terrance Miskell finished in solo fifth while John Pierce of San Antonio finished right behind him in sixth. Fort Worths Vern Spurlock, The Woodlands Ron Byrd and Austins John McClure all finished tied for seventh with a total of 215. Finishing out the top ten were Joe Sconiers, Donald Oconnor, John Stollenwreck, Rick Houston, and Chris Hartenstein all with a total of 216. In the Super Senior Division, Irving’s Mike Peck finished second, losing in the first playoff hole after firing rounds of 71-68-73 for a one-under-par 212. Gary Tully of Woodway rounds out the top three at 3-over-par 216. Bobby J Haney of New Braunfels and Lee Sandlin of Dallas finished fourth at four-over-par 217.
Golf Course: An 18-hole championship golf course developed by Lytle Creek Golf Links, a company headed by Abilene resident and 1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody. Mr. Coody, Williams, Gill, and Associates designed the par 71, 7,000-yard course, which opened in November of 1999 and features bent-grass greens and hybrid Bermuda grass fairways, roughs, and tees. Lytle Creek runs throughout the site and comes into play on seven of the holes. Additional lakes were also built on the site. Naturally occurring rock outcroppings on the site and native vegetation in the rough provide the course with unique character.
Weather: Temperatures started in the mid-70s in the morning and crept up to the high 90s in the afternoon. There was no wind in the morning, but a slight breeze picked up in the afternoon with clear blue skies in Abilene.
Tournament History: Adams joins some amazing past champions such as Charles Coody, Billy Maxwell, Bob Estes, and Alex Moon. This year’s event saw more than 300 signups and the 144-player field was cut to 73 players after Saturday’s second round.
TGA Player of the Year: Points were awarded to the top 20 finishers for the West Texas Amateur in the Men’s Regional Points Race. The champion got 1,000 points toward the statewide honor followed by 800 for runner-up, 700 for third, 650 for fourth, and 600 for fifth. To see the complete breakdown of points available, click here.
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 Texas Golf Association heads to Azle, TX as the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play takes place at Cross Timbers Golf Course. 84 of the state’s top Mid-Amateurs will duel it out starting Thursday, July 27.
For more information on the West Texas Amateur, click here.