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Ryan O’Rear Wins 39th Texas Mid-Amateur

ABILENE – Of all the tournaments Georgetown’s Ryan O’Rear has won in his life – probably more than 30, including junior golf – this one was different. A lot different. Playing for more than himself, O’Rear on Sunday scored an emotional, one-shot victory in the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur on the South Course at Abilene Country Club.

“This wasn’t for me. This one was for Jackson,” he said with watery eyes. “Man, I tried so hard today. I just wanted to get this one for him.”

Back home, the 11-year-old son of O’Rear’s best friend was diagnosed with leukemia about a week ago. He’s been in and out of the hospital since then. Some good days, some not as good. Sunday will go down as one of the good ones after O’Rear posted a 54-hole score of 11-under-par 205 to win the year’s final major championship by one shot over Colleyville’s Zach Atkinson.

“Let’s go!” O’Rear shouted into his phone as he FaceTimed Jackson minutes after he won. “That was for you, buddy!”

O’Rear also was bolstered by having his wife Tara, dad Randy, and a few good friends in attendance on Sunday. They were treated to quite a show.

O’Rear and Atkinson were tied when they reached the 18th tee. O’Rear hammered a drive down the left side of the fairway. Atkinson pushed his drive a tad. His ball ended up near a tree on the right side; it forced him to lay up on the closing par 5.

O’Rear, meanwhile, seized the moment. He flushed a hybrid from 241 yards, a piercing cut shot that finished about four feet from the hole. He two-putted for the win.

“I love hitting my hybrid, especially with a little cut,” said O’Rear, who also won the 37th Texas Mid-Amateur in 2020. “It was a perfect number for me. I blocked it just a little, but it worked out.”

Earlier in the day, the final round had the feel of a potential shootout that would feature half a dozen players. Birdies were flying like hotcakes; three different players shot 6-under 30s on the front nine. The South Course toughened up on the back nine, but still the leaderboard got crowded. At one point, there was a four-way tie for the lead at 8-under between O’Rear, Atkinson, Addison’s Chris Wheeler, and defending champion Freddie Janneck from Fort Worth.

As the leaders made their way down the final stretch, O’Rear and Atkinson separated themselves from the pack. Atkinson, the 2004 Texas Amateur champion, holed out a pitch shot from 30 yards for birdie on the par-4 12th hole to pull even with O’Rear at 9-under par.

The two gritty competitors traded birdies on No. 13, then Atkinson drained a 30-footer for birdie on the 15th to move ahead by a shot. After pars on the beautiful par-3 16th, Atkinson found trouble down the left side with his drive on the difficult par-4 17th hole. That led to a bogey. O’Rear made a slippery, 6-foot par save on No. 17 to set up the drama on the 18th.

“He hit one of the best shots I’ve seen in my life on the last hole,” said Atkinson, who won Mid-Masters honors for the lowest score by a player aged 40 or older. “That’s what it takes to win. It was a heck of a shot.”

Atkinson turned in a three-day total of 10-under 206. He shot 4-under 68 on Sunday, which included five birdies and an eagle. Wheeler, the Texas Player of the Year in 2019-20, took third place at 9-under 207. Janneck, who was attempting to become the first back-to-back Texas Mid-Amateur winner since San Antonio’s Colby Harwell did it 2017-18, represented himself well with a fourth-place finish at 8-under 208. Janneck posted a 4-under 68 in the final round.

Colby Amparan from Fort Worth took fifth place at 6-under 210. Amparan was one of the players who caught fire on the front nine. He made birdies on the third, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth holes to shoot 30 going out. Amparan finished at 6-under 66.

The TGA extends its warmest appreciation to Abilene Country Club, including its members and staff, for all their hospitality and hard work this week. The golf course was in excellent condition and provided all the thrills and challenges one could hope for in a major championship setting.

Extra special thanks are due to General Manager Stacy Watson, Director of Golf Jimmy Tidwell, South Course Head Golf Professional Sydney Roberts, North Course Head Golf Professional Brian Nagy, Golf Course Superintendent Zach Ross, and Food & Beverage Manager Amy Ussery for everything they did to ensure such a successful championship week.

We’d also like to call out our tireless volunteers. TGA Championships wouldn’t be possible without their expertise and support. We had some of the best Rules Officials in the state at Abilene CC this week, and we can never thank them enough for their help.

For more on the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur, including complete scoring, click here.

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O’Rear Fights Back to Maintain his Lead at the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur

ABILENE – On a day when Ryan O’Rear admittedly wasn’t hitting the ball well, the 2020 Texas Mid-Amateur champion made a late charge on the South Course at Abilene Country Club to regain the lead at the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur. With birdies on three of his last four holes, O’Rear finished Saturday’s second round at 3-under-par 69. That got him to 9-under 135 overall, good for a one-shot lead headed into the final round.

“It was a grind today, but I hung in there and finished strong,” said O’Rear, who won this championship two years ago after trailing by seven shots with 14 holes to play in the final round. “I finally made a couple putts late, that was huge going into tomorrow.”

It’s been an emotional time for O’Rear, whose best friend’s 11-year-old son Jackson was diagnosed with leukemia last week. The former Baylor standout and his caddie are donning custom hats this week that say, “Jackson Strong.”

“You know, we’re just out here trying to have fun,” O’Rear said. “It puts things into perspective when Jackson’s at home dealing with this stuff. He had a good night, and I’m excited to play tomorrow and get home to see him.”

Fort Worth’s Cole Wiederkehr, who shot a second straight 4-under 68 on Saturday, holds second place at 8-under 136. He also mentioned the word “perspective” after he finished playing.

“I’ve played like twice in the last four months and one of those was in Europe,” said Wiederkehr, who played golf at Oklahoma University from 2008-12. “I’ve got a 1-year-old at home, so I’m busy with that. I haven’t had any high finishes in these amateur events since I moved down here from Oklahoma. I think maybe having a kid has freed me up mentally.”

After a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, Wiederkehr played the next 12 holes at 4-under par. A three-putt bogey on the tough 17th hole dropped him back a shot, but he got it right back with a birdie on No. 18. He briefly held the lead before O’Rear made his late run to overtake Wiederkehr.

“There’s always a spot to miss on every hole,” Wiederkehr said. “I feel comfortable hitting my driver because I know I can miss on one side. I grew up in Tulsa playing on bentgrass greens like this, soft and you can hit it right at the pins. I’m feeling pretty confident on this course.”

Two of the most decorated amateurs in Texas share third place at 6-under 138. Two-time Texas Player of the Year Chris Wheeler from Addison shot a 3-under 69 in the second round and narrowly missed an eagle putt on the final hole. Zach Atkinson, the 2004 Texas Amateur champion and 2013 North Texas Player of the Year, birdied four of his final seven holes to post 2-under 70. They’re both three shots back from O’Rear with 18 holes to play.

Abilene’s Trey Todd sits in fifth place after firing a 5-under 67. Todd grew up playing Abilene Country Club since he was 8 years old. Now 38, he figures he’s played the South Course more than 2,000 times. Todd has won the Club Championship seven times, including five of the past 10 years.

“It’s just the same targets I always play,” said Todd, a two-time West Texas champion. “It’s like that old saying, ‘Just one shot at a time.’ I hit some good shots, and fortunately I got some putts to fall.”

Fifty-seven players survived the 36-hole cut at 5-over 149. That group includes eight of the nine Abilene CC members in the field this week.

The final round of the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur begins Sunday at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.

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Ryan O’Rear Sets the Pace at 39th Texas Mid-Amateur

ABILENE – First round leader Ryan O’Rear from Georgetown is playing with a heavy heart this week at the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur. The former Baylor standout on Friday shot an impressive 6-under-par 66 to stake a two-shot lead at the year’s final major championship. He and his caddie are wearing hats that say “Jackson Strong” in support of his best friend’s son.

“His 11-year-old son was just diagnosed with leukemia last week,” O’Rear said. “He’s in the hospital right now, fighting. If he can do that, we can come out here and fight a little for him. We got these hats made up to show some support.”

O’Rear made his way around the tree-lined South Course at Abilene Country Club without a bogey in the first round. He was 3-under at the turn, then he stepped on the gas a bit on the final nine holes. He threw a dart on his approach to the 374-yard, par-4 13th hole and tapped in a birdie to get to 4-under. O’Rear then burned the edge of the hole for eagle on the 515-yard, par-5 14th hole and brushed in another birdie. On the next hole, a 407-yard par 4, O’Rear again stuck his approach to tap-in length for three birdies in a row.

“I hit it really well, drove it great, so it was pretty stress-free coming into the greens,” said O’Rear, who won two Adams Tour events as a professional before getting his amateur status back in 2018. “I didn’t putt great, but I gave myself enough looks to make some birdies.”

Four players are tied for second place at 4-under 68, including Zach Atkinson from Colleyville, Cole Wiederkehr from Fort Worth, Gant Bills from Plano, and Casey Carnes from Schertz. Atkinson, who won the 95th Texas Amateur in 2004, was 5-under through 17 holes before suffering his only bogey of the day on the last hole. Wiederkehr basically did the opposite: he bogeyed his first hole, then played the rest of the course bogey-free with five birdies.

Bills poured in five birdies in his final nine holes with a bogey on the difficult 17th hole as his only blemish. Carnes drained five birdies on the day; his lone bogey came on the par-3 16th hole.

Defending champion Freddie Janneck from Fort Worth shares sixth place with two-time Texas Player of the Year Chris Wheeler from Addison. They both recorded rounds of 3-under 69 and trail O’Rear by three strokes.

Headed into Saturday’s Round 2, there are 22 players currently under par and 30 players within six shots of O’Rear at even-par.

Abilene CC over the years has played host to eight previous TGA Championships. This is the first Mid-Amateur to be contested at the historic West Texas club. Abilene CC hosted the 1957 and ’75 Women’s Texas Amateurs, the 1982, ’91, and ’96 Texas Senior Amateur, and the 2005, 2011, and 2021 West Texas Amateurs.

Formerly known as Fairway Oaks Country Club, the South Course at Abilene CC opened in 1980. Designed by Ron Garl and 1958 Texas Amateur champion Charles Coody, the par-72 South Course tips out at 7,136 yards and presents tight fairways, numerous water features and large, undulating green complexes. Between 1981-90, both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions held events on the South Course and produced winners the likes of Tom Weiskopf, Curtis Strange, and Hal Sutton.

Six-time major champion Lee Trevino never won here, but he did call the 436-yard 17th hole the “Hardest par-4 in Texas.” In Friday’s first round, Hole 17 played to an average score of 4.72 and was indeed the toughest hole on the course.

This year’s Mid-Amateur field is one of the strongest in recent history. Ninety-one of the 126 players (72% of the field) sport a GHIN Index of +0.1 or better. That’s some serious talent for sure, but the course average for the first round was over par at 75.36. That’s a testament to the challenge of Abilene CC’s South Course.

Round 2 of the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur begins Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.

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39th Texas Mid-Amateur Set for Sept. 23-25

Abilene Country Club will be the host site for the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur, the last of this year’s four men’s major amateur championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. The championship, which features the state’s top amateur golfers aged 25 and older, will be held Sept. 23-25 on the South Course of the 36-hole facility.

“We are very excited to return to such an iconic venue as Abilene Country Club,” said Read Langhenry, TGA Tournament Director. “The club has been a tremendous supporter of the game at all levels through the years, and we know the membership and staff will provide an outstanding experience for the players as they compete for this prestigious championship title.”

Abilene Country Club’s South Course (formerly Fairway Oaks Country Club) opened in 1980 and was designed by Ron Garl and Charles Coody. The 7,136-yard, par-72 layout, with its narrow fairways, numerous water hazards and large, undulating green complexes, has proven from the outset to be a stern challenge for even the most accomplished players. From 1981-1990, both the PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour (now PGA Tour Champions) made stops on the South Course, with some of the best ball strikers of the time notching victories, including Tom Weiskopf, Curtis Strange, and Hal Sutton.

This will be the first Texas Mid-Amateur and ninth overall TGA championship held at Abilene Country Club, which was founded in 1921. The historic West Texas club has previously hosted two Women’s Texas Amateurs (1957 and 1975), three Texas Senior Amateurs (1982, 1991 and 1996), and three West Texas Amateurs (2005, 2011 and 2021).

“On behalf of the membership, staff, and employees of Abilene Country Club, we are extremely excited and grateful to be the host facility of the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur Championship,” said Director of Golf Jimmy Tidwell. “The South Course has a long history of hosting prestigious events and challenging the best players in the game. We look forward to providing a great stage where the players can showcase their skills and we are confident that all participants will enjoy the test that the South Course presents.”

First played in 1984, the Texas Mid-Amateur is open to male amateurs who have a WHS Handicap Index® of 8.4 or less, will have reached the age of 25 on or before the tournament start date, and are current Texas residents.

This year’s starting field will include 132 players, who earned entry into the championship through an exemption category or 18-hole sectional qualifying at one of 14 sites across the state from July 20 – Sept. 12.

Format for the championship is 54 holes individual stoke play. All contestants will play 18 holes Sept. 23-24. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 scores and ties heading into the final round. In addition to the prize awarded to the overall champion, there also will be special recognition for the mid-master (players aged 40 and older) returning the lowest 54-hole score.

The list of decorated amateurs who will assemble at Abilene Country Club is headed by Frederick Janneck of Fort Worth, who won the 38th Texas Mid-Amateur at The Clubs of Houston Oaks in Hockley. Janneck carded rounds of 73-67-67 to finish at 6-under-par 207 and earned a three-stroke victory over runners-up Clay Fullick of Conroe and Aaron Hickman of Tyler, who also tied for low mid-master honors.

Five other past champions will join Janneck in the starting field. They are Ryan O’Rear of Leander (who won in 2020), Christopher Wheeler of Addison (2019), Colby Harwell of San Antonio (2017-18), Clay Hodge of Bryan (2013), and Beau Davis of Fort Worth (2011).

Among the other notable players competing in the 39th Texas Mid-Amateur include 2022 West Texas Amateur champion Casey Carnes of Schertz, 2022 South Regional Mid-Amateur champion Dan Depasquale of Austin, 2019 and 2021 Texas Senior Amateur champion Gary Durbin of Houston, 2021 North Regional Player of the Year Gant Bills of Plano, 2018 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play champion Anthony Estorga of Dallas, and 2016 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play champion Zach Atkinson of Colleyville, who also won the 95th Texas Amateur in 2004.

Live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as tee times and pairings, will be available on the TGA website once the action gets underway from Abilene Country Club.

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Sandy Pierce Wins 85th Texas Senior Amateur on Home Course

HOUSTON – Champions Golf Club Member Sandy Pierce won the 85th Texas Senior Amateur in a one-hole playoff over Andy Hydorn of Houston. Pierce fired a final round 3-under 68 that included back-to-back birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth holes to put himself in the playoff.

Pierce, a member of Champions Golf Club for 49 years, rolled in a seven-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to capture the victory. Fittingly, Pierce lives on Jackrabbit, the course being used for the championship.

“It’s really special. I live on this golf course and to win an event of this stature is a big deal, a thrill, and an honor,” Pierce said of what this victory means to him. “I couldn’t be more excited.”

Pierce saved his best for last. He came into Sunday’s final round five shots back of the lead after rounds of 1-over 72 and even-par 71 but went low to cap the championship off.

“I was playing pretty good all day,” Pierce said. “I was hitting the ball in play and pretty solid. I had a few putts go in later in the round. That was really the difference. I played pretty solidly the first couple days and gave away a few strokes here and there, but this afternoon, particularly the last nine holes, a couple putts went in and that was the difference.”

Pierce joins elite company not only on the Frank M. Lewis Trophy but also as a winner on the historic grounds of Champions Golf Club, a place that has seen Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus win.

“I’ve got so many lifelong friends out here at Champions,” Pierce said of how he’ll celebrate the win. “I love this place. I’ll probably just go in and hang out with my buddies for a little while and kind of let it all soak in. I’m thrilled and honored…I really am.”

Hydorn, a former member of Champions Golf Club, finished runner-up after being defeated in the playoff. He shot a final round 2-over 73 that included five birdies. Ultimately, a quadruple bogey on the par-3 eleventh hole proved to be costly.

Three players finished in a tie for third at even-par for the championship. Past champion Mike Booker of Houston, Amarillo’s Kyle Kelting, and New Braunfels’ Terrence Miskell all put together valiant efforts on Sunday but came up just short.

The Texas Golf Association would like to extend a big thank you to the Champions Golf Club staff and their wonderful members for being gracious hosts leading up to and during this year’s 85th Texas Senior Amateur.

Champions Golf Club was founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston, Champions features 36 holes that weave through a rolling landscape of tall pine trees, creeks, and waterways. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the Cypress Creek Course opened in 1959, followed by the Jackrabbit Course designed by George Fazio, which opened in 1964 and is the course that was used for this week’s Championship. Tom Fazio, George’s nephew, supervised a renovation of the Jackrabbit Course in 2002. Chet Williams led a renovation of the Cypress Creek Course in 2018.

For more information on the 85th Texas Senior Amateur, click here.

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Andrew Hydorn Leads 85th Texas Senior Amateur after 36 Holes

HOUSTON – Houston’s Andrew Hydorn fired a second round 4-under 67 to take the 36-hole lead at the 85th Texas Senior Amateur. Hydorn matched the low round of the championship by rolling in five birdies on Champions Golf Club’s Jackrabbit Course.  

Hydorn, who finished T-6 at the 2020 Texas Senior Amateur, leads by three strokes over three players tied at 1-under par for the championship.

I hit it good today for the most part,” Hydorn said. “I hit 15 greens, but really, I putted really well today. I made a lot of 10-12 footers and that was the difference.”

Hydorn came out of the gates hot during Saturday’s second round by going 3-under in his first six holes. The lone bogey of the day came on the par-4 eighth hole, but the Northgate Country Club member tacked on two more birdies on the back nine.

“This whole year I’ve been playing terrible,” Hydorn said about his play of recent. “The last two weeks I’ve been playing well, so you know, that’s golf right?”

Hydorn will look to claim the Texas Senior Amateur title for the first time on Sunday.

Three shots back in a three-way tie for second are a trio of seasoned players eager to add the 85th Texas Senior Amateur to their resumes. John McClure of Austin, Amarillo’s Kyle Kelting, and Lewis Stephenson of Burleson all sit at 1-under for the championship.

Kelting, last year’s runner up, joins Hydorn as the only other player in the field to card consecutive rounds of even-par or better.

Stephenson is looking to add his name to the Frank M. Lewis Trophy for the third time having won the championship in 2016 and 2018.  

Sitting in solo fifth place is New Braunfels’ Terrence Miskell at even-par for the championship after a second round 2-over 73.

Saturday marked another great day of weather for the top seniors in state.

A group of five competitors find themselves in a tie for sixth at 1-over par total. Included in the log jam is round one leader Scott Smith of Montgomery. Smith carded a 5-over 76 in round two. He is joined by Houston’s Sandy Pierce, Chuck Gardner of Texarkana, Dallas’ Mark Motes, and 2015 champion Mike Booker of Houston.

Champions Golf Club was founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston, Champions features 36 holes that weave through a rolling landscape of tall pine trees, creeks, and waterways. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the Cypress Creek Course opened in 1959, followed by the Jackrabbit Course designed by George Fazio, which opened in 1964 and is the course being used for this week’s Championship. Tom Fazio, George’s nephew, supervised a renovation of the Jackrabbit Course in 2002. Chet Williams led a renovation of the Cypress Creek Course in 2018.

The final round of the 85th Texas Senior Amateur starts Sunday at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.

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Scott Smith Leads after Round 1 at 85th Texas Senior Amateur

HOUSTON – Montgomery’s Scott Smith fired an opening round 4-under 67 to take the early lead at Champions Golf Club’s Jackrabbit Course. Smith tallied up six birdies on the day including four on his front nine.

Smith, who recently finished tied for fifth in the Senior Division at the Texas Four-Ball in August, holds a one-shot lead over two others headed into Saturday’s second round of the 54-hole stroke play major championship.

“I hit it close a few times today and putted it really well,” said Smith, who finished T-15 at the 83rd Texas Senior Amateur in 2020. “I made a good number of putts when I had to and was just very successful on the greens.”

As he looks ahead to the weekend, Smith mentioned wanting to keep his driver in the fairway a little bit more and continue to keep his putter hot.

Great weather was enjoyed by all during Friday’s first round as temperatures began at a little over 70 degrees and never got higher than 92.

Chuck Gardner of Texarkana and San Antonio’s John Pierce will enter the second round just one shot back of Smith after carding rounds of 3-under 68.

Sitting two shots back of the lead via rounds of 2-under 69 are Austin’s John McClure, New Braunfels’ Terrence Miskell, and Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson.

“I was just real consistent today,” Stephenson said. “I’ve been kind of struggling with that the past couple of weeks. Today was a consistent day of striking the ball well and managing the golf course. It’s a great course, but you have to manage the course – where you are and where you play on the greens.”

Stephenson made it to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur just a couple of weeks ago and will look to build upon his already strong year on the course.

Three shots back in a five-way tie for seventh via opening rounds of 1-under 70 are San Antonio’s Bobby Baugh, Bill Jackson of Van Alstyne, Jeff Stafford of Flower Mound, Dallas’ Mark Motes, and Amarillo’s Kyle Kelting. Notably, Kelting was runner-up in last year’s championship and won the Texas Father-Son back in July for the third consecutive year.

This is Champions second TGA Championship to host having previously hosted the 2006 Texas Mid-Amateur. The northwest Houston gem has also welcomed many of our USGA Championship Qualifiers. Champions has hosted numerous USGA Championships, PGA Tour Championships, and a Ryder Cup. Most recently, Champions hosted the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open. The Jackrabbit Course was used alongside the Cypress Creek Course for the first two rounds.

Champions Golf Club was founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston, Champions features 36 holes that weave through a rolling landscape of tall pine trees, creeks, and waterways. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the Cypress Creek Course opened in 1959, followed by the Jackrabbit Course designed by George Fazio, which opened in 1964 and is the course being used for this week’s Championship. Tom Fazio, George’s nephew, supervised a renovation of the Jackrabbit Course in 2002. Chet Williams led a renovation of the Cypress Creek Course in 2018.

During Thursday night’s Players’ Reception, Lewis Stephenson received his 2021 Texas Senior Player of the Year award. In 2021, Stephenson finished in a tie for sixth at the Texas Senior Amateur, made it to the round of 16 in the U.S. Senior Amateur, and finished runner-up in the Senior Division of the West Texas Amateur.

“It means a lot. Texas is so strong in golf,” Stephenson said when asked about the award. “Being able to do that with my friends and peers meant a lot.”

The second round of the 85th Texas Senior Amateur starts Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.

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85th Texas Senior Amateur Set for Sept. 9-11

Champions Golf Club in Houston will be the host site for the 85th Texas Senior Amateur, the third of this year’s four men’s major amateur championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. The championship, which features the state’s top amateur golfers aged 55 and older, will be contested on the Jackrabbit Course from Sept. 9-11.

This will be the first Texas Senior and sixth overall TGA championship held at Champions. The 2016 Texas Shootout was the most recent TGA championship played at the historic club.

“We are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to return to such a special place as Champions Golf Club,” said Justin Guthrie, TGA Tournament Director. “Champions has been a proud supporter of the game at all levels, and we look forward to working together with the members and staff to provide a truly memorable experience for the players.”

Champions Golf Club was founded in 1957 by World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Burke Jr. and the late Jimmy Demaret. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Houston, Champions features 36 holes that weave through a rolling landscape of tall pine trees, creeks, and waterways. Designed by Ralph Plummer, the Cypress Creek Course opened in 1959, followed by the Jackrabbit Course designed by George Fazio, which opened in 1964. Tom Fazio, George’s nephew, supervised a renovation of the Jackrabbit Course in 2002. Chet Williams led a renovation of the Cypress Creek Course in 2018.

Over the years, Champions has acquired a well-earned reputation as one of the nation’s most esteemed tournament venues. The club has played host to five USGA championships in its 65-year history, including the 1969 U.S. Open, 1993 U.S. Amateur, 1998 and 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open. In addition, Champions has also been the site of many other prominent events, including the 1967 Ryder Cup, five PGA Tour Championships, the Houston Champions International (now the Houston Open) between 1966-71, the Southern Amateur in 1973 and 1980, as well as the annual Champions Cup Invitational.

“Champions has an illustrious golf history, and it is an honor for us to be a part of it,” Guthrie said. “The players are excited about getting the chance to showcase their skills on the renowned Jackrabbit Course, which is an outstanding test of golf and the ideal stage for what is sure to be a great championship.”

First played in 1937, the Texas Senior Amateur is open to male amateurs who have a WHS Handicap Index® of 6.4 or less, will have reached the age of 55 on or before the tournament start date, and are current Texas residents.

The format for the championship is 54 holes of individual stroke play. The starting field of 144 golfers play two rounds on Sept. 9-10. At the completion of the 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 54 scores and ties for the final round.

Defending champion Gary Durbin of Houston, who also is a longtime member of the host club, heads the list of the elite senior amateurs who will convene at Champions. Durbin captured his second Texas Senior Amateur last year with rounds of 71-70-75 at Westwood Golf Club in Houston. Durbin, who will look to be the first to win back-to-back titles in over 20 years, also won the 2019 championship at Deerwood Club in Kingwood.

Seven other past champions will join Durbin in the starting field, including John Derrick of Waco (who won in 2020), Lewis Stephenson of Mansfield (2016, ’18), Ed Brooks of Fort Worth (2017), Mike Booker of The Woodlands (2015), Mike Peck of Irving (2013), Chuck Palmer of Dallas (2012), and John Grace of Fort Worth (2010).

Live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as tee times and pairings, will be available on the TGA website once the action gets underway from Champions Golf Club.


TGA Medalist Series

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION


Medalist North
February 18-19 – Indian Creek Golf Couse, Carrollton, TX
March 18-19 – Irving Golf Club, Irving, TX
TBD

Medalist Hill Country
February 18-19 – Frio Valley Ranch, Concan, TX
TBD
TBD

Medalist Gulf Coast
TBD
TBD

Entry & Eligibility Information
Entries Open: January 4, 2022 @ 9:00 AM
Entries Close: Monday prior to each event @ 5:00 PM
Exempt Deadline: N/A (See “Format/Field Size” below)
Entry Fee: $150
TGA Staff Contact: Tournament Coordinator, Duffy Suhr

Eligibility: Entries open to male amateur golfers who reside in the Texas. Applicants must have a certified WHS Handicap Index of 15.0 or less through a TGA member club. Please reference TGA Policies and Procedures for further details, including Policies and Procedures, and Terms of Competitions. There are no regional restrictions; members can play in either the TGA Medalist North or the TGA Medalist Hill Country events.

WHS Handicap: Players needing a WHS Handicap who are not members of a TGA Member Club can join the TGA Medalist Program by clicking here.

Championship Information

Format/Field Size: Scheduled for 36 holes of Stroke Play (no cut), gross only. Field limit of 51players. The field will be established in the order in which entries are received. Each event will be allocated 39 Open Division and 12 Senior Division (age of 55 or older at the start of the first round) players for the first two weeks of registration. Once the two week deadline has passed, and if the field or a division is not full, the TGA will fill the remaining spots in the field with waitlisted entries, which may affect the original size of each division. These entries will be accepted into the field in the order in which they were received, regardless of division. For additional information regarding wait list and when the number of applicants exceeds the division capacity, please refer to the TGA Policies and Procedures.

Each division will play from a different yardage throughout the tournament rounds. Separate champions will be crowned with golf shop credit being awarded to top finishers.

What’s Included: Green fees, cart, and range balls are included in the tournament entry fee. Players should check in with the golf shop to receive their golf cart key.

Registration Information: There is no official on-site registration or check-in required. Players should arrive to the tee approximately 8-10 minutes prior to their starting time.

Practice Round Information: Below are practice round rates and availability offered by the club to TGA Medalist Series players. To receive practice round green fees, the player must identify themselves as a TGA Medalist Series competitor.

  • Medalist North #1 (Indian Creek GC): $40 (including cart) Monday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday full rate
  • Medalist North #2 (Irving GC): Practice Rounds available March 13-17 ($25) Cart Fee NOT included
  • Medalist North #3 TBD
  • Medalist Hill Country #1 TBD
  • Medalist Hill Country #2 TBD
  • Medalist Hill Country #3 TBD
  • Medalist Gulf Coast #1 TBD
  • Medalist Gulf Coast #2 TBD

Starting Times/Pairings Information: Starting times/pairings will be emailed to players, and posted online at www.TXGA.org the Tuesday prior to each event, by 5:00 pm. Tee times will all start off #1 (unless otherwise noted) with a respective starting times for each event as follows (the Senior Division will generally tee off first):

  • Medalist North #1 (Indian Creek GC) – 10:00AM both days
  • Medalist North #2 (Irving GC) – 12:00PM both days
  • Medalist North #3 TBD
  • Medalist Hill Country #1 (Frio Valley Ranch) – 10:00AM both days
  • Medalist Hill Country #2 TBD
  • Medalist Hill Country #3 TBD
  • Medalist Gulf Coast #1 TBD
  • Medalist Gulf Coast #2 TBD

Note: Should there be any changed to starting times, players entered into the tournament and this information will be notified and updated.


Policies and Procedures

To ensure that competitors have the best possible experiences when competing in the championships, it is helpful to be knowledgeable of Texas Golf Association (TGA) Policies and Procedures, Terms of Competition and Local Rules (Hard Card), as established by the association. For more information, please click here. For information specific to the Terms of Competition applicable to the TGA Medalist Series, please see below:

Skins Eligibility: To remain eligible, players entered into the optional skins game must complete their respective round and post a score. Players who No Card or Withdraw from the event forfeit all possible skins earnings. If you are entering or currently playing collegiate golf, to avoid possible NCAA violations, we ask you not to participate.
Ties: Should there be a tie for the overall champion, there will be a sudden death hole-by-hole playoff to determine the winner immediately after all scores have been verified. If circumstances arise (i.e. darkness, weather, etc.) that do not allow for a playoff to take place, then co-champions will be named and merchandise awards will be split. In case of a tie, that position will receive the full points (i.e. two players tie for second place will both receive full allotment for second place). Medalist POY points are only awarded to players competing in the Open Division.
Caddies: Caddies are permitted during the championship. Players are responsible for supplying their own caddie for the competition. Caddies must abide by the host facility dress code.

TGA Cart Policy: Information regarding the use and availability of transportation varies between TGA Championships – refer to the Tournament Information for the championship in question. Please be advised that in championships where carts are provided, players are encouraged to utilize motorized transportation. In doing so, carts will be limited to two (2) carts per group. New to 2020: While a caddie is not prohibited from riding in the cart, the TGA has adopted a ‘one-seat’ policy as explained below.

‘One-Seat’ Policy
The ‘One-Seat’ policy allows either the player or the player’s caddie to ride in or move a golf cart, but not at the same time. The player and the player’s caddie are not allowed to ride in the same or separate carts at the same time.

The player can ride in or move a golf cart with another player in it, so long as the player’s caddie is not riding in another cart at that time.

The player can ride in or move a golf cart with another player’s caddie in it, so long as the player whose caddie is in the cart is not riding in another cart at the same time. As a reminder, players are responsible for the actions of their caddie.

Continued intentional disregard for the policy may result in disqualification following adequate warnings:

  • First breach: Verbal reminder from the Committee
  • Second breach: Stern reminder from the Committee
  • Third breach: Possible disqualification from the Committee


TGA Medical Cart Request Policy
Spectator carts are prohibited. However, spectators in accordance of ADA compliance may request golf carts. Requests for golf carts must be supported by complete documentation, including the fully-completed Cart Request Form and the required accompanying medical documentation specified in that form for all first-time requests. Any medical cart request that is granted by the TGA will be good for that individual for the remainder of that calendar season. A request will not be deemed complete until all required information and documentation has been provided. For further information and details, contact Director of Competitions – South Texas, John Cochran, [email protected].

Score Posting: At the conclusion of each round, player’s scores will be automatically posted to the World Handicap System. Please do not enter your own scores from the competitive rounds, as this will result in a double post.




TGA Medalist Series

About the TGA Medalist Series


Introduction
The TGA Medalist Series was introduced in the 2007 tournament season as a means for members of the Texas Golf Association to kick start their tournament season. Whether you’re a seasoned competitive golfer or a new to the game with an itch to test your skills against fellow golf enthusiasts, the TGA Medalist Series provides a chance for players to play with a laid back feel.

Offering multiple events in North Texas, the Hill Country, and new to the 2023 season two Medalist Series Events in the greater Houston area, the TGA Medalist Series provides ample opportunities for our amateur golfers to shake off the winter rust and get back into the swing of tournaments without jumping straight into regional or state championships.

As TGA Medalist Series have the intention of having a laid back feeling with minimal tournament operations set-up, the following is a list of potential items to not expect during your time playing:

  • No TGA Staff and Referees/Officials on-site;
  • No Operations setup (signage, tents, tables, feather banners, etc.);
  • No Hole Location Sheets;
  • No bottled water on the 1st or 10th tee (see pro shop for F&B and/or on-course beverage cart)


However, the following is a list of what TO EXPECT during your time playing:

  • Tournament scorecards provided each round;
  • Tournament Cart Signs (carts provided with tournament entry fee);
  • Practice tee range balls (provided with tournament entry fee);
  • Optional Skins Game (see Format below);
  • Fun and enjoyable experience;
  • Chance to meet other great people and networking;
  • Great competition

Eligibility
All players who maintain an active World Handicap System (WHS) handicap of 15.0 or less through a TGA member club are eligible to compete in the TGA Medalist Series events. There are no regional restrictions (found in North and South Regional events); members can play in either the North or Hill Country Series. Players needing a WHS Handicap who are not members of a TGA member club can join the Medalist Golf Club (managed by the TGA online) by clicking here.

Format
Each TGA Medalist Series event will be individual 36-hole stroke play competition with no cut. Each event will have an Open and Senior Division. Senior Division requires the player to be age 55 or older by the first round of the tournament. Each division will play from a separate yardage throughout the tournament rounds. Separate Champions will be crowned for each division as well.

The TGA Medalist Series also offers players a chance to participate in an optional skins game for each round ($10 per round – enter with the golf shop). Open and Senior Divisions will compete in the same pool for a chance at the available pot. 100% of entries are paid out.

Entries
Online entries will be accepted and available on the TGA Competitions Calendar of the TGA website beginning in the first week of the year (for all TGA Medalist Series events). The TGA accepts credit card payment from VISA, Master Card or American Express.

2023 TGA Medalist Series Schedule

Medalist North
February 18-19 – Indian Creek Golf Course, Carrollton, TX
March 18-19 – Irving Golf Club, Irving, TX
TBD
TBD
TBD
Medalist Hill Country
Febraury 18-19 – Frio Valley Ranch, Concan, TX
TBD
TBD
Medalist Gulf Coast
TBD
TBD

Earned Exemptions
For each event players play, they will earn Medalist Player of the Year points based on their overall finish. There will be one (1) Medalist South POY and one (1) Medalist North POY and one (1) overall Medalist POY. Medalist POY points are only available to players participating in the Open Division. Earning POY points will only count for that respective series the points were earned (i.e. playing in the Medalist North #1 will only count towards the Medalist North POY standings – not Hill Country).

Provided players are otherwise eligible, earned exemptions and their qualifications are given out into the following tournaments:

  1. Texas Mid-Amateur Championship – The Medalist Player of the Year in both the North and Hill Country Series receive exemptions into the 2022 Texas Mid-Amateur Championships at TBD
  2. North Mid-Amateur – Top five (5) players on previous year’s Medalist North points list
  3. South Mid-Amateur – Top five (5) players on previous year’s Medalist Hill Country points list
  4. North Amateur – Top five (5) players on current year’s Medalist North points list
  5. South Amateur – Top five (5) players on current year’s Medalist Hill Country points list

Points Breakdown
Points are awarded base on the final finishing positions in the respective event. All ties, other than first place, which is determined by a sudden death playoff, will receive that positions full points (i.e. two players tie for second place will both receive the full allotment for second place).



TGA Medalist Series Point Value Table

1) 50010) 13019) 40
2) 35011) 12020) 30
3) 25012) 11021) 25
4) 20013) 10022) 20
5) 17514) 9023) 15
6) 17015) 8024) 10
7) 16016) 7025) 5
8) 15017) 60
9) 14018) 50


To view the TGA Medalist Player of the Year standings for both the North and South, click here.