Nelson Wins South Amateur
Galveston: Houston’s Padden Nelson comes from behind to win the 2021 South Amateur by five strokes. Two strokes were all that separated 36-hole leader Joshua Lim of San Antonio and Nelson heading into the final round. Nelson who was solo second after 36-holes knew he would need a strong final round to overcome Lim who had been playing flawless golf through the first two rounds.
The final group started on the par-5 first hole where Nelson made a 35-foot eagle putt to get his day started. After a par on the par-3 second hole, Nelson again picked up a stroke over the field when he made birdie on the par-4 third hole. A trio of pars followed before another birdie rolled in for him on the par-4 seventh hole. Nelson’s lone bogey on the day immediately followed as he made four on the par-3 eight hole. With a par on the par-4 ninth hole he turned at 3-under par for day, 7-under par for the tournament. His 3-under par front nine was enough to take a two-stroke lead over the field with nine to play.
After making the turn Nelson started with a pair of pars before making another birdie on the par-5 12th hole. Another birdie on the par-4 13th got him to 5-under on the day. Nelson would finish the round with five pars and post a final round score of 5-under par 67 and claim the South Amateur title.
1- Padden Nelson – 207 (-9)
2 – Joshua Lim – 212 (-4)
T3 – Hayes Hamilton – 215 (-1)
T3 – Broc Haymon – 215 (-1)
T3 – Niko Nebout – 215 (-1)
6 – Holden Hamilton – 216 (E)
Top Finishers: Finishing in solo second behind Nelson was 36-hole leader Joshua Lim of San Antonio. Lim played his first 36-holes with just one bogey and was 6-under par for the tournament. A difficult final round of 2-over par 74 put Lim at 4-under par 212 for the tournament. In a three-way tie for third place at 1-under par 215 was GCC host club exemption Hayes Hamilton, Broc Haymon and Niko Nebout. Hamilton’s twin brother Holden, also a host club exemption, finished in sixth place for the tournament at even-par 217.
Weather: After six inches of rain leading up to the South Amateur, Friday’s first round saw overcast skies and scattered thunderstorms. Due to the morning forecast starting times were adjusted to a 10:00 am start off both Nos. 1 & 10. Saturday’s second round had blue skies with a high of 90 and a “feels like” high of 103 degrees. During Sunday’s final round the gulf wind picked up and players were tested with wind gusts up to 25mph. The skies remained blue and clear with highs in the low 90s and a “feels like” high of 105 degrees.
Golf Course: Galveston Country Club, which traces its roots back to 1898, moved to its current location at Pirates’ Beach in 1946 and was designed by Carlton Gipson and Ralph Plummer. The course has undergone several renovations over the years, most recently in 2003 overseen by Jacobsen Hardy Golf Design. With strong winds coming off the coast, the course layout is stern and demanding testing all aspects of the game.
Next Up: The 2021 South Regional Series comes to an end with the conclusion of the South Amateur. Three of the four TGA Men’s Majors are next on the schedule including the Texas Four-Ball, Texas Mid-Amateur and Texas Senior Amateur.
For more information on the Texas Golf Association, South Regional Series and South Amateur, please visit www.txga.org.
George Hannon Junior Invitational Set for Aug. 9-10
ADDISON — The George Hannon Junior Invitational returns to the University of Texas Golf Club on August 9-10 with Texas Mutual Insurance Company returning as the presenting sponsor. This 36-hole event, which features some of the best Junior boy and girl golfers in Texas ages 12-18, sets up to be a great finish to another stellar LJT summer schedule.
“Having a partnership with Texas Mutual is such a blessing to the Hannon Cup Association,” Hannon Cup Association Managing Director Randi Long said. “When we set out to have a junior tournament, the goal was to host one of the best ones in Texas. Along with Texas Mutual and the Legends Junior Tour, I believe we have accomplished that goal.”
Texas Mutual Insurance Company is one of the state’s leading workers’ compensation providers. Texas Mutual Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement Jeremiah Bentley said the company is proud to be associated with this year’s championship.
“We’re happy to have the opportunity again to contribute to the organization’s mission,” Bentley said. “As a leader in the workers’ compensation industry, Texas Mutual is always seeking to partner with other leading organizations. This tournament is a high-quality event that provides value to sponsors and exposure to a first-class audience.”
George Hannon was born in Kemp, Texas, and had a 59-year PGA career, including an 18-year term as the University of Texas Men’s Golf coach. Hannon’s career at UT included NCAA titles in 1971 and 1972, as well as 12 Southwest Conference Championships. Hannon coached legends such as Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Mark Brooks, Phil Blackmar, Brandel Chamblee, Warren Chancellor, Rik Massengale and Paul Thomas. He was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1991 and was the Golf Coaches Associations’ 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
The Legends Junior Tour has conducted the George Hannon Junior Invitational since the Hannon Cup Association created the event in 2009. It brings together the top 96 boys and girls in and around the state with players competing in a Boys 15-18, Girls 12-18 and Boys 14 & Under Division.
The field will take on UT Golf Club’s par-71 layout. Since it opened for play in 2003, the demanding Bechtol Russel design has always had a championship pedigree. The Austin-based club is the home of the University of Texas Men’s and Women’s golf teams, including the 2012 NCAA Men’s Golf National Champions. It’s played host to NCAA Regional Championships, the Betsy Rawls Invitational as well as TGA Major Championships, including the 99th Women’s Texas Amateur last year.
Over the years, the club has welcomed some of the highest profile players in the game of golf. These include three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, PGA Tour winners Dylan Frittelli, Cody Gribble and Jhonattan Vegas, reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler and 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Sophia Schubert.
This is the sixth time in the tournament’s 13-year history for UT Golf Club to host the George Hannon Junior Invitational. It’s a challenging test of golf complemented by scenic Texas Hill Country views and always delivers a great championship. Other host clubs of this event include Austin Country Club, Spanish Oaks Golf Club and The Hills Country Club.
“It’s always exciting to cap off a great summer with a trip to Austin for the George Hannon Junior Invitational,” LJT Tournament Coordinator Adam Schulte said. “It’s a great event year after year and we can’t thank the Hannon Cup Association, Texas Mutual Insurance and UT Golf Club enough for making it all possible.”
At the 2020 George Hannon Junior Invitational, Austin’s own and University of Texas commit Keaton Vo captured the Boys 15-18 Division. Vo shot a bogey free 6-under-par 65 in the final round to go on and win by six strokes. In the Girls 12-18 Division, Nicole Vivier also of Austin fired a final round 2-under to win the division by two strokes. Henry Guan of Irving secured victory in the Boys 14 & Under Division after carding rounds of 73-68. Guan entered the final round trailing by one stroke, his final round 3-under-par 68 was enough to win the division and earn his first victory with the Legends Junior Tour.
The George Hannon Junior Invitational is held in the Austin area annually and features one of the top-ranked fields on the LJT Schedule. Past champions of this event include Max Miller, Joe and Julia Beck, Scottie and Callie Scheffler, Brendan Redfern, Cole Hammer, Thomas Critch, Levi Valadez, Alexandra Rossi, Chandler Phillips, Hailee Cooper and Stephen Campbell Jr.
The George Hannon Junior Invitational is ranked by Golfweek and Junior Golf Scoreboard with the top half of each division earning points towards the LJT Player of the Year Standings. The top finishers of the Boys 15-18 and Girls 12-18 Divisions will also earn AJGA Performance Stars.
Players in the George Hannon Junior Invitational are members of the Texas Junior Golf Alliance which is a joint venture between the Texas Golf Association, the Southern and Northern Texas PGA Sections and the Houston Golf Association. The alliance provides junior golfers with top tier competition across the state and a path to gain experience and grow throughout their junior golfing careers.
In Memory of John Semander
It is with deep sadness that the TGA announces the passing of John Semander. Semander gave selflessly of his time, energy and resources to promote golf in Texas for many years. His contributions to the game of golf are immeasurable and have impacted the state’s entire golfing community. The longtime TGA volunteer and Past Director passed away on July 27. He was 89 years old.
Semander was a gentle spirit who didn’t know a stranger. He seemed to be friends with everyone and had a warm-hearted story to share about each one to back it up. The Houston native was recognized numerous times for his steadfast dedication and efforts in helping the TGA.
He was the recipient of the 2005 South Texas Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2009 Bob Wells Distinguished Service Award, the TGA’s highest honor for individuals who’ve contributed to the growth of the game through their volunteerism and meritorious service.
In addition to duties as a TGA Director, Semander also served as a member of the TGA Rules Committee, as well as the USGA Junior Amateur Committee.
In 2010, Semander captained the South Texas team to victory in the Texas Shootout held at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands.
The longtime Shell employee was also very active with the Houston Golf Association among other pursuits.
In 2017, the TGA established the John Semander Family Scholarship to financially assist golfers who are seeking higher education. Semander’s dedication, character and lifelong connection to golf were attributes that the scholarship program endeavored to honor and encourage in the next generation of golfers.
The TGA mourns the loss of John Semander and sends its condolences to his family and friends.