News



TGA’s Rich History at Willow Brook CC

Tyler — Back in the early 1960s, Marty Fleckman was one of the best amateurs in the country. The Port Arthur native certainly dominated in Texas.

 

In the last Texas Amateur conducted as a Match Play Championship, Fleckman won the 1964 title at Willow Brook Country Club with a 2-and-1 victory in the final match against Richard Yates. Fleckman was a Third-Team All-American that year at the University of Houston, and he was an integral part of the Cougars’ victory at the 1964 NCAA Championship.

 

“It’s been more than 50 years, but I remember really liking Willow Brook Country Club,” said Fleckman, who has been the Director of Instruction at BlackHorse Golf Club in Cypress for 22 years. “I was a power player back then, with some finesse around the greens. Willow Brook set up good for me.”

 

That probably can be said for almost every course Fleckman played back then.

 

The following year, Fleckman won the 1965 NCAA Individual Championship with a record-setting, two-day total of 135. Led by legendary coach Dave Williams, UH won the team title in 1965, too. Fleckman was named First-Team All-American that season.

 

Guess what happened in 1966! Yep, the Cougars won another NCAA Championship.

 

“Dave Williams won 14 national championships,” Fleckman said. “I was on three of those teams.”

 

Fleckman’s 1966 season at UH was a big one. In addition to his third team national championship, he won the Eastern Amateur, was Medalist at the Western Amateur and earned another First-Team All-American selection.

 

In 1967, he won the Northeast Amateur and was a member of the victorious Walker Cup team that defeated Great Britain & Ireland, 15-9, at Royal St. George’s.

 

Before he turned professional, Fleckman played as an amateur in the 1967 U.S. Open at Baltusrol Golf Club. He led a field that included Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer after 18 holes. Fleckman led again after 54 holes, but ultimately finished T18 and won Low Amateur honors.

 

“I shot a 67 the first day and led the tournament,” Fleckman told the Houston Chronicle in 2010. “I shot 73 in the second round, then came back with a 69 in the third round to lead by one shot. I was having the time of my life.”

 

Once Fleckman turned pro, his first PGA Tour event was the Cajun Classic Open Invitational in Louisiana. Fleckman birdied his final two holes to get into a playoff, then he drained a 30-foot birdie on the first extra hole to win his first-ever professional start.

 

He played on the PGA Tour for 13 years. He was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1986, and into the University of Houston Hall of Honor in 2006. Fleckman, who gives credit to Byron Nelson, Carl Lohren, and Jim Hardy for advancing his game, won the Southern Texas PGA’s Teacher of the Year award in 2007.

 

In addition to Fleckman and his 1964 exploits, when the 113th Texas Amateur returns to Willow Brook this June, another giant in the game will be on the minds of TGA staff members and volunteers.

 

Alexander James “AJ” Triggs was a two-time TGA President and a longtime member at Willow Brook. Triggs, who passed away in 2015, was the Tournament Chairman in 1964, when Fleckman put his name on the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.

 

Triggs became a Director on the TGA Board in 1970 and served for more than 35 years with 10 of those on the Executive Committee. While he was probably best known for his tireless volunteerism and passion for giving back to the game, Triggs was a prolific amateur golfer, too.

 

He won 55 amateur tournaments and was a key member of the University of North Texas golf team that won four consecutive NCAA Championships from 1949-52. Triggs would join Fleckman in the Texas Golf Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013 Inductees.

 

Late in his life, Triggs, who never met a stranger and was an incredibly engaging storyteller, wrote an unpublished memoir. It was called View from the Back Nine: Stories from My Life.

 

In it, Triggs wrote, “I’ve taken more from golf than I given back, but I’ve tried to return some of the benefits by working behind the scenes with the TGA. Sometimes, it’s kind of boring, not really much fun. But somebody did this organizational work so I could come along and enjoy playing. Now it’s my turn.”

 

With Willow Brook celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, it’s an opportune time to reflect not only on the club’s rich history, but also on the two individuals with enduring legacies as ambassadors for the game of golf. Though their futures in competitive golf took different paths following the 1964 Texas Amateur at Willow Brook, both Fleckman and Triggs made significant and lasting contributions to the entire Texas golf community that continue to help grow and strengthen the game.

News



Austyn Reily Wins the 112th Texas Amateur

MIDLAND – Minutes after Austyn Reily calmly tapped in a 3-foot par putt on Sunday to win the 112th Texas Amateur by a single shot, he didn’t credit supreme ball-striking, accuracy off the tee or a deft putting stroke for the historic victory. Reily, a University of Houston junior from Pottsboro, displayed all of those characteristics on his way to posting the winning score of 10-under-par 278. But it was something else, he said, that carried him at Midland Country Club.

“Patience and humbleness,” Reily said. “You can’t get too out in front of yourself, and you can’t get too high on a pedestal. You have to stay level-headed, as low to the ground as possible and control what you can control. And just do your best from there.”

His best was outstanding. Now his name will be etched onto the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy alongside the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Charles Coody, Scott Verplank and Will Zalatoris.

Reily started the final round tied for the lead with Hutto’s Jake Doggett, and despite the best efforts from a bevy of pursuers, in the end it came down to those two.

“I kind of had a feeling going into 15, the par 5, that it was just us two,” Reily said. “Once we got to 17, I knew it was definitely between us. I was one up on Jake going into 16, and then we flip-flopped and basically all square going into 17.”

The final few holes had a distinct match play feel, as Reily and Doggett separated themselves by a couple shots. Up by a shot, Reily airmailed the par-3 16th and made bogey. Doggett, a fifth-year senior at Midwestern State, made par. They were tied at 10-under with two holes to play.

Doggett then overshot the par-4 17th and made bogey, while Reily made a routine two-putt par to go back up by a shot. Doggett had a chance to force extra holes on the par-4 18th, but his birdie effort came up short. Reily shot 2-under 70 in the final round. Doggett posted 1-under 71.

“It’s so surreal,” Reily said of the accomplishment. “It hasn’t even settled in yet. Just to put my name on that trophy with so many great names, too many to count, just to put my name up there with theirs is very special to me and my family.”

In a Father’s Day twist, Reily’s mom Melissa was on the bag for her son at Midland Country Club. The two shared a tearful embrace on the 18th green. Reily said it meant the world to him to have his mom by his side; he called her his best friend.

“It was amazing,” Melissa Reily said. “It was such an honor to caddie for Austyn these past few days. I just love watching him play. I’m just so proud of him.”

Doggett represented himself well throughout the week, too. He finished in solo second at 9-under 279. The two talented amateurs were the only players in the field to post all four rounds under par on an exacting golf course that features hallway-like fairways lined on both sides with gnarly fescue and wispy grasses.

Third place belonged to JT Pittman, a UNLV junior from Monahans who set fire to the back nine at Midland Country Club in his final round. Starting at even-par for the day, the 2020 North Texas Player of the Year rolled in a 35-foot birdie on the par-4 first hole, then ran one in from 15 feet on the par-4 fifth hole.

Then Pittman found something in his iron game and started throwing darts.

“I hit it to about 2 feet on 11,” said Pittman, who won the 2020 West Texas Amateur at Bentwood Country Club. “I birdied 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.”

Six birdies in row! He tied Midland Country Club’s competitive course record with an 8-under 64. It’s the same score Tyler’s Clay Hodge shot in Thursday’s opening round.

“On the back nine, those birdies, I think my proximity to the hole was about 4 feet,” said Pittman, who posted 8-under 280 for the championship.

Clayton King from Uvalde took fourth place after he shot 69-68 on the weekend to finish at 7-under 281. Michael Heidelbaugh from Dallas and Chris Berzina from Fort Worth tied for fifth place at 6-under 282. The Top 15 finishers earned exemptions into 113th Texas Amateur next June at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler.

Now in its 94th year, the current version of Midland Country Club was designed by Ralph Plummer in the mid-1950s and completely redone by Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design in 2017. The nearly $9 million project included brand new greens, tees, bunkers and lakes. The renovation renewed Plummer’s original tactical nature of the course.

The 112th Texas Amateur was the fourth time Midland Country Club has played host to the state’s oldest amateur championship. It was here in 1965, won by Houston Cougar Randy Petri. In 1971, Bruce Lietzke, another UH alum, added his name to the H.L. Edwards Trophy in Midland. Ed Brooks did the same in 1997. The proud club also welcomed the 1963 and 2001 editions of the Women’s Texas Amateurs, won by Sandra Palmer and Denis Flores, respectively.

The competitors in Sunday’s final round played Midland Country Club from 7,339 yards and recorded a stroke average of 72.40. For the 72-hole championship, the best amateurs in Texas comprised for a stroke average of 74.25. Twenty-two players finished under par for the week.

The TGA owes an immense gratitude to Midland Country Club, including its members and staff, for their dedication and efforts in making the 112th Texas Amateur such a memorable experience. The buy-in and enthusiasm from the club was felt by the competitors, their friends and family who attended, and especially the TGA staff.

Extra special thanks are due to General Manager Evan Johansen, Head Professional Evan Dunkerson, Superintendent Fore Brown and his grounds crew, Executive Chef Ben Lesnick and Communications Director Noelle Oster. Each played critical roles and contributed to the week’s success.

We’re also grateful for our TGA Volunteers, who donate their time and expertise to ensure another first-class championship experience. For more on the 112th Texas Amateur, click here.

News



Clay Hodge Leads 112th Texas Amateur

MIDLAND – Clay Hodge from Tyler scorched Midland Country Club on Thursday with a bogey-free, 8-under-par 64 to grab the lead after the first round of the 112th Texas Amateur. Hodge leads Aaron Hickman, another Tyler resident, by two shots headed into Friday’s second round.

“I just hit the ball really well,” said Hodge, who won the 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur at Cordillera Ranch. “Honestly, I had not been coming into this championship, but I did today.”

That might be an understatement. Hodge hit all 18 greens at Midland Country Club in regulation. He made an eagle from the fairway on the par-4 18th – his ninth hole of the day – after he dunked a wedge from 145 yards.

“I was a little in between clubs,” he said. “I took the shorter one and hit it hard. It was right online, and I was yelling at it to get to the hole. It barely made it to the hole and fell in.”

The 36-year-old Hodge tied for third place in the 2015 Texas Mid-Amateur at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas. Hodge also was part of the 2009-10 Texas A&M national championship team.

Hickman, a 43-year-old TGA Director who was the 2011 and ’16 North Texas Player of the Year, got off to a hot start in the relatively cool West Texas morning air. He one-putted his first six holes and birdied three of them to make the turn at 4-under par. Hickman got it to 7-under after consecutive birdies on his 13th and 14th holes, but he gave one back with a three-putt bogey on his 17th hole.

“I got all the par 5s,” Hickman said. “I birdied all the par 5s. That’s a good way to get it going. I kept the ball in front of me and played pretty well.”

Four players share third place at 4-under 68. That group includes JT Pittman, the 2020 North Texas Player of the Year and a sophomore at Midland College, Wyatt Koricanek from New Braunfels, Leander’s Ryan O’Rear, winner of the 2020 Texas Mid-Amateur at Oak Hills Country Club, and San Antonio’s Andres Acevedo.

Defending champion Trey Bosco, a Baylor sophomore from Austin, is tied for seventh place at 3-under 69.

Thirty players finished in red numbers on the stern 7,373-yard, par-72 setup. The stroke average in Round 1 was 75.27. The par 3s were among the toughest holes on the day, especially the 209-yard third. It proved the most difficult hole of the day with a stroke average of 3.41. Twelve players made double bogey on the third hole. Much of the field got a shot back on the 551-yard, par-5 12th. There were 50 birdies on the hole, which yielded a 4.87 stroke average.

Founded in 1927 as a nine-hole course near downtown, Midland Country Club moved to its current location in the mid-1950s when Ralph Plummer designed the 18-hole course. The course has changed throughout the years, including in 2017 when the Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design completed a comprehensive renovation in time for the club’s 90th anniversary. The nearly $9 million project saw the installation of new greens, tees, bunkers and lakes, all of which fortified the strategic nature of Plummer’s original design.

While there’s not much elevation change through the course, it can stretch to nearly 7,500 from the back tees. The fairways are deceptively narrow, with rugged native areas and wispy grasses just off the edges. It’s a fair and challenging championship test, one that rewards quality shots and punishes anything less than that.

This is the fourth time Midland Country Club has played host to the state’s oldest amateur championship. The Texas Amateur came out west to Midland in 1965 (won by Randy Petri), 1971 (Bruce Lietzke) and 1997 (Ed Brooks). The 1963 and 2001 editions of the Women’s Texas Amateurs also were played at Midland Country Club (won by Sandra Palmer and Denis Flores, respectively).

In recent years, the 2020 TGA Women’s Four-Ball (won by Faith Delagarza and Amari Smith) and 2019 West Texas Amateur (won by Jackson Markham) were contested at Midland Country Club.

NOTES

Awards & Dignitaries

During Wednesday night’s player reception at Midland Country Club’s par-3 course – called “The Judy” after Midland golf royalty Judy Rankin – the TGA welcomed some local celebrities and handed out several awards.

Rankin, the 26-time winner and two-time LPGA Player of the Year, spoke to the 112th Texas Amateur participants about what to expect from the golf course and told a few stories about how much Midland Country Club meant to her and the success she achieved. Midland Mayor Patrick Payton also was in attendance.

San Antonio’s Colby Harwell picked up his second Texas Player of the Year award for performances during the 2020 season. Harwell, who also won the award in 2017, was runner-up at the Texas Mid-Amateur and Mid-Amateur Match Play events last year. He also finished T16 in the 111th Texas Amateur at Boot Ranch Golf Club.

Others who received awards included 2020 North Texas Player of the Year JT Pittman from Monahans and 2020 South Texas Player of the Year Kevin Liberto from Cypress.

A host of awards also were distributed to some of the TGA’s most important contributors. Past President Jim Brown from Dallas was honored with the Bob Wells Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given in Texas amateur golf for volunteerism. Robert Woodward from Dallas received the 2020 North Texas Volunteer of the Year award, and Steve Suhey from Horseshoe Bay won the 2020 South Texas Volunteer of the Year award.

Because of the pandemic, the TGA was unable to hand out the 2019 Volunteer of the Year awards. On Wednesday night, Roger Davis from Spring picked up the 2019 South Texas Volunteer of the Year, and Chuck Flowers from Wylie was handed the 2019 North Texas Volunteer of the Year award.

Last, but by no means least, Carey Schulten of Dallas was recognized for his years of tireless service to the TGA. Schulten was the association’s President from 2018-19 and has been a constant fixture at championships as one of the TGA’s most trusted Rules Officials.

High Demand

Nearly 1,000 male golfers in Texas with Handicap Indexes of 6.4 or better registered to qualify for the 112th Texas Amateur at Midland Country Club. In all, the TGA received 986 entries for this year’s championship. It’s the second-highest entry total in the tournament’s history.

That record was set last at Boot Ranch Golf Club in the Hill Country. A total of 1,010 amateurs registered for the 111th Texas Amateur.

Round 2 of this year’s championship begins Friday at 7:30 a.m. For more information on the 112th Texas Amateur, including complete scoring, click here.

News



112th Texas Amateur Set for June 17-20

The state’s foremost amateur golfers are headed west and will gather at Midland Country Club from June 17-20 for the 112th Texas Amateur Championship.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to return to Midland Country Club,” said Chris Untiedt, TGA Tournament Director. “The club has a long history of supporting amateur golf and we are confident the course will rigorously test every facet of a player’s game and identify a worthy champion.”

This will be the fourth Texas Amateur and sixth TGA major championship to be contested at Midland Country Club.

The three previous Texas Amateurs were played in 1965 (won by Randy Petri), 1971 (won by Bruce Lietzke) and 1997 (won by Ed Brooks). Midland Country Club also hosted the 1963 and 2001 Women’s Texas Amateurs (won by Sandra Palmer and Denis Flores, respectively).

More recently, Midland Country Club hosted the 2020 TGA Women’s Four-Ball (won by Faith Delagarza and Amari Smith) and 2019 West Texas Amateur (won by Jackson Markham). The club also was the site of the Web.com Tour’s WNB Golf Classic from 2002-14.

“It is a huge honor to welcome the Texas Amateur back to Midland Country Club,” said Head Golf Professional Eric Dunkerson. “Midland Country Club is proud to have such a rich history of championship golf and we are excited to continue this legacy and showcase our club by once again hosting the state’s premier amateur championship.”

Midland Country Club was founded in 1927 and moved to its current location in the mid-1950s with an 18-hole course designed by Ralph Plummer. Over the years numerous upgrades have been made to course, and in 2017, Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design completed a comprehensive renovation in time for the club’s 90th anniversary. The $8.9 million dollar, 11-month-long project included building new greens, tees, bunkers and lakes, which has fortified the strategic elements of Plummer’s original design.

“The newly renovated course will provide a great stage for this year’s Texas Amateur,” Dunkerson said. “It’s a par-72 that can stretch to over 7,400 yards from the back tees. The course will be in excellent condition for the championship and when you factor in the West Texas winds it will present a true test of skill for the state’s best amateurs.”

The TGA accepted a record 985 entries for the 112th Texas Amateur at Midland Country Club, eclipsing the previous high of 883 for the 2019 championship at Dallas Athletic Club. A total of 33 players were fully exempt from qualifying based on past performance. To determine the remaining 111 spots in the 144-player starting field, 18-hole qualifiers were held at 14 sites across the state from April 6 – June 9.

The list of decorated amateurs who will assemble at Midland Country Club is headed by Baylor University sophomore Trey Bosco of Austin, who won last year’s championship at Boot Ranch Golf Club in Fredericksburg. Bosco carded rounds of 72-71-67-69 to finish at 5-under 279 and earned a one-stroke victory over runner-up Caleb Hicks of Arlington. He will look to defend his title and become the first player to win back-to-back championships in nearly 20 years.

A large contingent of elite players from the junior, collegiate and mid-amateur ranks will be looking to dethrone Bosco, including 2019 Texas Mid-Amateur champion Chris Wheeler of Addison, two-time Texas Junior Amateur champion Zach Heffernan of Fair Oaks Ranch, 2020 Texas Player of the Year Colby Harwell of San Antonio, reigning Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play champion Aaron Hickman of Tyler, 2020 LJT Player of the Year Matthew Comegys of Plano and 2020 West Texas Amateur champion J.T. Pittman of Monahans, to name a few.

Format for the championship is 72 holes individual stroke play. All contestants will play 18 holes June 17-18. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties heading into the final two rounds on the weekend.

Live scoring updates, daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available once the action gets underway from Midland Country Club. For more on the 112th Texas Amateur, click here.

News



Trey Bosco Wins 111th Texas Amateur

FREDERICKSBURG – Trey Bosco won the 111th Texas Amateur late Sunday afternoon after carding a final round 2-under-par 69 at Boot Ranch Golf Club. The 18-year-old from Austin captures the victory with a 72-hole total of 5-under 279.

Sunday at Boot Ranch played much like the third round. Fast and firm greens complemented by swirling gusts made the Hal Sutton-designed championship golf course challenging yet again. Playing in the final group, Bosco showed little nerves from the outset. He split the fairway with his opening drive on No. 1, found the putting surface and drained an 18-foot birdie putt. He quickly pulled within one shot of the 54-hole leader Caleb Hicks.

Bosco, Hicks and Andres Acevedo, the third player of the final group, battled throughout the front nine. By the time they made the turn, all three players were over par for the round. The leaderboard was stacked and 10 players were within two shots of the lead.

Bosco, who begins his collegiate golf career at Baylor this fall, showed poise on his closing nine. He birdied the par-5 11th, but followed it with a bogey on the par-3 12th. After pars on holes 13 and 14, he knew he needed to make a charge.

“Coming down to 15, 16, 17, I was like, OK, might need to turn on the jets a little bit,” Bosco said. “I made a bomb on 15, and then from there I just had this tunnel vision to where all the putts just seemed to drop.”

He birdied the long par-5 16th and par-3 17th for three consecutive and led the field by two shots with one hole to play. Bosco finished with a routine par to clinch the biggest amateur title in his young golf career.

“It’s still kind of sinking in, but it means the world,” Bosco said. “I’ve had kind of a rough summer with the whole quarantine and all that stuff, so to get this before I go off to college is a dream come true for sure.”

Bosco is the second straight Bear to hoist the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy. Ryan Grider, a redshirt junior at Baylor, won last year at Dallas Athletic Club’s Blue Course. Bosco’s name will also be etched alongside the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Charles Coody, Mark Brooks, Scott Verplank and a host of other Texas golf legends who have won the Texas Amateur.

“Being a Texas Am Champion, you get to go down in the record books,” Bosco said. “It brings me a lot of confidence. It means that I can play with all these guys and I can compete with all the top college players.”

Finishing runner-up was Hicks, who led the field through 54 holes. The UT Arlington junior struggled on the front side en route to a 4-over 39. However, he didn’t let up his fight. Hicks carded a bogey-free 3-under 33 on the back nine including a birdie on the 72nd hole to finish just one-shot off Bosco’s 5-under.

Four players shared third place at 2-under 282. Tommy Morrison, a 2023 University of Texas commit, fired the low round of the day. The 15-year-old carded five birdies and an eagle on Sunday to climb 23 spots up the leaderboard.

“I knew this morning something low had to happen,” Morrison said. “Me and my caddie just went out there and figured we had nothing to lose.”

Morrison’s closing 5-under 66 was enough to hold the clubhouse lead until the final group finished. Also at 2-under par for the championship, were Jimmy Lee, a sophomore at Texas A&M, Jacob Sosa, a 2022 Texas commit, and Andres Acevedo, a senior at Seton Hall.

Reid Davenport of Austin finished seventh at 1-under-par 283. Austyn Reily of Pottsboro and Stephen Campbell Jr. of Richmond tied for eight at even-par 284. Defending Texas Mid-Amateur champion and last year’s runner-up Chris Wheeler of Addison rounded out the top-10 at 1-over 285.

The TGA extends sincere appreciation to Boot Ranch, its attentive staff and engaged membership, as well as our volunteers for all their help and support ahead of and during the 111th Texas Amateur.

In May of this year, the TGA was forced to reschedule the Texas Amateur from its original mid-June dates after the COVID-19 crisis preempted the ability to conduct statewide events. The TGA and Boot Ranch worked together to ensure a safe and competitive championship was held in 2020.

Extra special thanks to General Manager Emil Hale, Head Golf Professional Alex Rhyne, Golf Course Superintendent Patrick Joy and his amazing grounds crew, Director of Club Operations Monica Kendrick and Executive Chef Casey McQueen. The 111th Texas Amateur would not have been possible without their efforts.

For more information on the 111th Texas Amateur, click here.

 

News



Caleb Hicks Leads 111th Texas Amateur by Two Shots

FREDERICKSBURG – Caleb Hicks from Arlington is 18 holes away from capturing the biggest amateur title in his young career. The 20-year-old UT Arlington junior battled difficult conditions on Saturday and carded and even-par 71 in the third round of the 111th Texas Amateur. Hicks leads by two shots headed into Sunday’s final round at Boot Ranch Golf Club.

Moving day at this year’s Texas Amateur was defined by swirling winds, firm and fast greens and a player’s ability to manage their fatigue. The Hal Sutton-designed championship golf course stretches across rugged Texas Hill Country landscape highlighted by dramatic elevation changes. Including Wednesday’s practice round, Hicks, as well as the 56 other players who made the 36-hole cut, walked their fourth round of golf this week. The 54-hole leader said Round 3 was about staying patient.

“It was a tough one today,” Hicks said. “Greens were getting crispy and firm and hard and fast. You had to golf your ball to shoot a low number today.”

Hicks carded three birdies and three bogeys to remain at 5-under overall. He was the only player in the final two groups to post a round at even par or better. After taking a break from golf during the quarantine, Hicks has approached this week with a relaxed attitude. He’ll begin the final round with a two-shot lead in the state’s oldest and most prestigious amateur championship.

“I’m just going to go hang out with the guys and try not to think about it,” Hicks said. “I’ll show up to my tee time and hit that tee ball.”

Trey Bosco of Austin made the biggest move on Saturday. The 2020 Baylor University commit began the day T17 and eight shots off the lead. He carded birdies on the par-3 second, par-5 third and par-4 ninth en route to a 3-under 32 on his opening nine. He closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th to card a 4-under 67, the second lowest round of the day. Bosco will join Hicks and Andres Acevedo in Sunday’s final group.

Acevedo, who is playing in his first Texas Amateur, played alongside Mark Reppe of Dallas and the 36-hole leader Chris Wheeler of Addison. Throughout their third round, all three players struggled. The wind steadily picked up throughout the afternoon making Boot Ranch more and more difficult. Acevedo finished 3-over par on his round and is tied second.

“I wasn’t putting it as solid and ball striking was a little off,” Acevedo said. “I held it together for most of it.”

Acevedo’s 74 was the low-round in his group. Reppe carded a 4-over 75, while Wheeler signed for a 6-over 77. Despite giving back a few strokes, Acevedo says he was pleased overall with his fight.

“I was pretty happy with the way I grinded,” Acevedo said. “I haven’t been in contention in a while so it’s nice. I just got to prepare for conditions just like this. All I can do is focus on my mental game and see where that takes me.”

Five players share fifth place at 2-under 211. They include 2020 University of Texas commit Scott Roden, 2020 University of Oklahoma commit Stephen Campbell Jr., 2022 University of Texas commit Jacob Sosa, University of Houston sophomore Austyn Reily and Baylor University senior Mark Reppe. They begin Sunday’s final round three shots behind Hicks.

The 111th Texas Amateur’s final round looks to be a battle. Fourteen players are within five shots of the lead. Nothing is certain in major championship golf; however, the final round of this year’s Texas Amateur is set up for a dramatic finish. It all gets started Sunday at 8:00 a.m. For live scoring, videos and more information, click here.

News



Chris Wheeler Holds Lead at 111th Texas Amateur

FREDERICKSBURG – Chris Wheeler started the second round of the 111th Texas Amateur with a one-shot lead. Despite a slow start Friday afternoon, the 37-year-old mid-amateur from Addison didn’t waiver. He carded an even-par 71 to hold onto his one-shot advantage headed into the weekend at Boot Ranch Golf Club.

Wheeler bogeyed three of his first six holes and was 2-over when he approached the par-3 seventh hole. It played 179 yards with a little helping wind. Wheeler found the putting surface and drained the putt for birdie. He birdied four of his next six holes to reach 10-under par for the championship.

“I just did my best on what was in front of me,” Wheeler said. “The rest should take care of itself as long as you’re in right position.”

Despite a bogey on the par-4 14th and a double-bogey on the par-3 17th, Wheeler’s even-par day secures a one-shot lead with 36 holes to play in the state’s oldest and most prestigious amateur championship. The defending Texas Mid-Amateur champ and 2019 Texas Amateur runner-up will look to lean on his experience this weekend.

“Today was a little different than yesterday with the wind,” said Wheeler, who played professionally and reinstated as an amateur in 2011. “I kind learned the hard way that it definitely dictates how this course is going to play. I’m going to keep an eye on the wind tomorrow morning and try and stay rested.”

Andres Acevedo, who fired an opening 5-under 66, played in the morning wave on Friday. With three birdies, an eagle and four bogeys, the senior at Seton Hall University fought his way to a round of 1-under 70. He sits at 6-under 136 for the championship.

“Today, I had some hiccups, but my putter stayed solid,” Acevedo said. “I made the right decisions.”

Acevedo’s father, Ernest, is on the 21-year-old’s bag this week. The father-son duo has managed its way around Hal Sutton’s daunting championship golf course for the first time since Andres was a junior. Their composed demeanor as a team has proven to be a part Acevedo’s early success.

“He just keeps me calm and we both have super calm personalities,” Acevedo said. “He knows the game and it’s awesome to have him by my side.”

Tying for the low round of the day, Mark Reppe’s 5-under 66 moved him seven spots up the leaderboard and into a tie for second. The senior at Baylor University carded eight birdies. He’s just one shot behind Wheeler.

“I found a few more putts to go in, and I hit a few more fairways,” Reppe said. “I gave myself more opportunities and ended up with lower scores.”

Reppe, who is playing in his second Texas Amateur, said Boot Ranch is a demanding, yet fair golf course. He plans to stick with his strategy this weekend and let the scores fall where they may.

“I think it’s just important to stick to your game plan and not waiver from it,” he said. “There’s lots of holes where you have to make lots of decisions. I think if you stick to your game plan you can give yourself opportunities and make birdies.”

Two shots behind Wheeler at 5-under 138 is Caleb Hicks. The junior at UT Arlington carded four birdies and five bogeys to shoot 1-over 72 in the second round. Tyler Uhlig, who is playing in his final Texas Amateur before turning professional, remained at 4-under for the championship with an even-par 71 on Friday. He is solo fifth and will begin the weekend three off the lead.

Two Vanderbilt Commodores share six place at 3-under 139 overall. Cole Sherwood and Reid Davenport of Austin are four back and well within contention with 36 holes to play.

There were two aces on Friday. Mason Nome, who is T12 at 1-under 141, cashed in from 193 yards on the difficult par-3 12th. Andrew Gibson, who carded an even-par 71 and made the cut by two strokes, recorded his second career hole-in-one on the 181-yard par-3 fifth.

Through two rounds, there are 11 players under par for the championship. Eight of them are within five shots of Wheeler, setting the stage for a competitive finish over the weekend. The field played Boot Ranch from 7,059 yards in Round 2 and 57 players made the 36-hole cut at 6-over 148.

The third round of the 111th Texas Amateur begins Saturday at 8 a.m. at Boot Ranch. For more information on this championship, click here.

News



Chris Wheeler Grabs First Round Lead at the 111th Texas Amateur

FREDERICKSBURG – Chris Wheeler of Addison holds the first-round lead of the 111th Texas Amateur after turning in a brilliant 7-under-par 64 at Boot Ranch Golf Club. The 37-year-old mid-amateur finds himself in contention once again at a TGA Major Championship.

Wheeler, who finished runner-up at last year’s Texas Amateur at Dallas Athletic Club’s Blue Course, poured in birdie after birdie Thursday morning. The former professional who was reinstated as an amateur in 2011 totaled seven of them on the day on his way to a bogey-free opening round. Wheeler will carry a one-shot lead over Arlington’s Caleb Hicks headed into Friday’s second round.

“I made a lot of 5- to 10-foot putts and kept it on the golf course,” Wheeler said. “I hit my driver well, and that’s really what drove the score.”

Wheeler, who played collegiate golf at Tulane University, scored one collegiate win and two other amateur victories during his time in New Orleans. After he graduated, he won a couple of mini-tour events as a professional before returning to the amateur game.

These days, Wheeler plays with a brace on his left knee after a flag football injury nine years ago left him without an Anterior Cruciate Ligament. The ACL injury hasn’t slowed him in the least, as evidenced with his recent success at the amateur level.

Last year, following a second-place finish at the Texas Amateur, Wheeler carded rounds of 74-70-70 at Maridoe Golf Club to win the Texas Mid-Amateur and first TGA title. Since then, he has continued to find himself in contention at big events.

“I love this championship, and it means a lot to me,” Wheeler said. “I think about it all year. Boot Ranch is such a good facility, which makes it extra special.”

Foremost among those chasing Wheeler is Hicks, the UT-Arlington junior who made six birdies to post a 6-under 65. After taking some time away from competitive golf due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Hicks recently finished T15 three weeks ago at the West Texas Amateur.

“During quarantine, I kind of took a break off and then kind of had to prepare the last month,” Hicks said. “I played the West Texas Amateur and played okay and kind of found my game.”

At Boot Ranch on Thursday, Hicks said he just remained patient. He didn’t try to force anything.

“I just kind of kept toting along,” Hicks said. “I was just trying to see what I could do every shot. I guess it clicked today.”

Alone in third place is San Antonio’s Andres Acevedo, who teed off late Thursday afternoon. The wind gusts were reaching upwards of 20 mph. The Seton Hall University senior showed poise and carded five birdies and an eagle en route to a 5-under 66. His only dropped shots were on the par-4 fourth and par-4 18th. His 66 was the lowest round of the afternoon wave by three shots.

“Me and my dad, who is on my bag, we just picked out the right numbers and missed it in the right spots,” Acevedo said. “For me it’s just about putting and if I can get the ball rolling. Today, it feels good to be able to roll some putts in.”

Tyler Uhlig of Magnolia sits solo fourth following a 4-under 67 and is three shots behind Wheeler. The 23-year-old jarred four birdies and went around the Hal Sutton-designed championship course without a bogey. Uhlig is playing in his fifth and final Texas Amateur before turning professional in 2021.

“This is my last state amateur going forward for the time being,” Uhlig said. “I just wanted to enjoy this time, hopefully play well and enjoy the experience.”

Mason Nome, a sophomore at the University of Texas; Jimmy Lee, a sophomore at Texas A&M University; Jacob Sosa, a 2022 University of Texas commit and Sean Heidrick of Plano share fifth place at 2-under 69.

Opened for play in 2006, Boot Ranch was designed by PGA Tour great and 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton. The 7,155-yard, par-72 layout, which is being played as a par-71 for the Texas Amateur, meanders through groves of trees, natural water features and along the ridges and valleys of the scenic Texas Hill Country.

Sutton’s imaginative routing challenges players at every turn, with a variety of long and short holes, doglegs, sloping fairways, swirling winds and undulating green complexes. It is a demanding, but fair test of a golfer’s entire skill set that places a premium on intelligent course management and confident shot-making. Since its debut, Boot Ranch has garnered rave reviews and has consistently ranked as one of the best courses in Texas by national and state golf publications.

Boot Ranch Golf Course Superintendent Patrick Joy and his team worked tirelessly to prepare the course for the best amateurs in the state. The pure greens, lush fairways and overall immaculate condition did not go unrecognized by the players in Round 1.

“It’s perfect conditions out there,” said Nome, who is playing in his first Texas Amateur. “The greens couldn’t be better. It’s a very fair golf course. If you play your game and hit the right shots, you’re going to be rewarded. We’re just so happy to be here.”

The 132-player field played the highly rated course at 7,026 yards in the first round. Fourteen players broke par on the day. Eight of them posted scores in the 60s.

Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:30 a.m. Two groups will finish their first round Friday morning. The second round of the 111th Texas Amateur begins at 7:40 a.m. Once play concludes the field will be cut to the low 54 scores, including ties. For more information, click here.

News



111th Texas Amateur Set for Aug. 6-9

Boot Ranch Hole 10 with trophy

The 111th Texas Amateur will be contested Aug. 6-9 at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg. This year’s championship was originally slated for June but was rescheduled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conducted by the Texas Golf Association since 1906, the championship brings together the state’s most accomplished amateur players to compete for the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.

“We are incredibly thankful to everyone at Boot Ranch for their flexibility and support as we worked through the logistics of the date change,” said Ian Davis, TGA Tournament Director. “It is a privilege to be able to conduct this edition of the Texas Amateur on one of the state’s most acclaimed courses, which undoubtedly will identify a worthy champion.”

This will be the first Texas Amateur and second TGA major held at Boot Ranch. Previously the club was the site of the 2010 Texas Mid-Amateur, won by Mike Minicucci of Austin.

“Boot Ranch’s ownership, members and staff are excited to host the 111th Texas Amateur,” said Alex Rhyne, Head Golf Professional at Boot Ranch. “It is our honor to host one of Texas’ oldest traditions. The entire Boot Ranch family is committed to providing a memorable experience during the Championship.”

Opened for play in 2006, Boot Ranch was designed by PGA Tour great and 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton. The 7,155-yard, par-72 layout, which will play to a par-71 for the Texas Amateur, meanders through groves of trees, natural water features and along the ridges and valleys of the scenic Texas Hill Country.

Sutton’s imaginative routing challenges players at every turn, with a variety of long and short holes, doglegs, sloping fairways, swirling winds and undulating green complexes. It is a demanding, but fair test of a golfer’s entire skill set that places a premium on intelligent course management and confident shot-making. Since its debut, Boot Ranch has garnered rave reviews and has consistently has been ranked as one of the best courses in Texas by national and state golf publications.

With a $2 million renovation completed in 2017 that included reconstruction of all bunkers and regrassing of all greens with TifEagle Bermuda, Boot Ranch will be in superb condition when the Lone Star State’s foremost amateur golfers gather in Fredericksburg.

The starting field for the 111th Texas Amateur will include 132 players, who earned entry into the championship through an exemption category or 18-hole sectional qualifying at one of 12 sites across the state from June 29 – Aug. 3.

Format for the championship is 72 holes individual stoke play. All contestants will play 18 holes Aug. 6-7. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties heading into the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

At the 110th Texas Amateur, played on the Blue Course at Dallas Athletic Club, Ryan Grider of Lewisville was declared the champion after lightning and thunderstorms washed out the final round. The 20-year-old junior at Baylor University captured the title with a 54-hole total of 11-under-par 205. Addison’s Chris Wheeler took second place at 9-under 207. Scott Abbott of Dallas and Arlington’s Paul Gonzalez shared third place at 5-under 211. Katy’s Michael Cotton, who won the 106th Texas Amateur in 2015, took fifth place at 4-under 212.

Once the action gets under way from the 111th Texas Amateur at Boot Ranch, log on to txga.org for live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as starting times and pairings.

News



Men’s Championship Updates (COVID-19)

TGA COVID 19 Update

For the first time in just under three months, the TGA returned to conducting first-class competitions for the benefit of its membership. With new health and safety protocols in place, the 21st Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, held June 2-4 at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, went off without a hitch.

The gradual easing of state and local lockdown restrictions, coupled with the successful implementation of new tournament safety guidelines for players, staff, volunteers, spectators and host club staff, has allowed the TGA to revisit and make adjustments for the upcoming Men’s Championships listed below.

 

Texas Father-Son (July 10-12, Omni Barton Creek, Austin)

With the state moving into Phase 3 of reopening, the Texas Father-Son starting field size will be expanded to the original 80 teams (160 players). The championship will also be played under the original format. There will also be shared carts and the utilization of double-tee, double-wave starting times.

For more information about the Texas Father-Son, click HERE.

 

West Texas Amateur (July 17-19, Bentwood CC, San Angelo)

The West Texas Amateur will be played under the original format and will return to the original field size of 144 participants in three divisions (Championship, Senior and Super Senior).

Entries will now be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Those that have earned an exemption will have a reserved spot in the field provided they register by the Exempt Entry Deadline. With the expanded field size there will be a cut following 36 holes of play. There will also be shared carts and the utilization of double-tee, double-wave starting times.

For more information about the West Texas Amateur, click HERE.

 

Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play (July 23-26, Willow Brook CC, Tyler)

The Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play will be played under the original format and original field size (84 players).  Shared carts ridership will be allowed throughout the championship, including the Stroke Play Qualifying Round.

For more information about the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play can be found HERE.

 

111th Texas Amateur (Aug. 6-9, Boot Ranch GC, Fredricksburg)

When the decision was made in April to reschedule the 111th Texas Amateur to August 6-9, 2020, the starting field size was reduced from 144 to 120 participants. At the time, this change was seen as necessary because of the expected lower qualifying numbers as a whole, given the reduced number of sites and new dates for the qualifying rounds.

However, due to higher than anticipated qualifying numbers, the TGA will be increasing the field size to 132 players. The field size cannot increase to 144 players due to roughly 45 minutes less daylight in August as opposed to June.

For more information about the 111th Texas Amateur, click HERE.