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Gary Durbin Wins Texas Senior Amateur

KINGWOOD – Gary Durbin of Houston won the 82nd Texas Senior Amateur on Sunday after he started the Final Round six strokes behind the 36-hole leader. The 2012 Greater Houston Men’s Senior Amateur Champion adds his first TGA Major Championship to his decorated amateur career after rounds of 73-71-73 for 1-over-par 217 to win by two strokes at Deerwood Club.

“With all the great golfers who play in Texas, it’s truly an honor,” Durbin said. “I take great pride playing in the Texas Golf Association tournaments, and of course winning the tournament is kind of unbelievable.”
 
Durbin arrived to Deerwood early Sunday morning. Due to suspension of play late Saturday evening, he had six holes left to play in Round 2. Durbin was 1-under on the round and even par for the championship when play resumed on the par-3 fourth. He made four straight pars out of the gates followed by a birdie on the par-3 eighth. He closed out his second round with a bogey on the par-4 ninth to card a 1-under 71.
 
The former Penn State University standout was even-par and six strokes behind John Dowdall of Fulshear to begin Sunday afternoon’s Final Round.
 
Dowdall, the 36-hole leader, had shown no signs of weakness after rounds of 67-71. However, the former PGA Tour professional started his final round with a bogey on the par-4 first and never regained his confidence.
 
Dowdall carded five bogeys, a double-bogey on the par-5 10th and a quadruple-bogey on the par-4 13th en route to an 11-over 83. His playing competitor, Craig Hurlbert of Magnolia, started Sunday’s Final Round just three shots off the lead at 3-under par. He also struggled to find his rhythm from his first 36 holes and carded a 7-over 79.
 
As the leaders let more of the field back into the championship, Durbin remained steady. He carded seven straight pars to begin his round followed by a birdie on the par-3 eighth. His bogey-free 35 on the front nine left him within two shots off the lead with nine holes to play.
 
“I never looked at the leaderboard,” Durbin said. “I just tried to stay focus and play my best on every hole.”
 
Durbin showed patience as the field continued to struggle. Despite consecutive bogeys on the par-4 13th and par-4 14th, his closing 1-over 73 was enough to clinch the championship.
 
“We just had to stay patient,” Durbin said. “I’m shocked and almost at a loss for words.”
 
Kip Estep of Rockwall and John Pierce of San Antonio finished in a tie for second at 3-over 219 for the championship. Hurlbert and Mike Lohner of Southlake rounded out the top-5 at 4-over 220.
 
Deerwood Club played host to its fifth TGA Major Championship. This year, the club joined an exclusive list of clubs in Texas to have hosted all four TGA Men’s Major Championships. Deerwood played host to the 1986 and 1999 Texas Amateurs, 1989 Texas Mid-Amateur, 2014 Texas Four-Ball and rounds out the distinction with the 2019 Texas Senior Amateur.
 
The Texas Golf Association extends its sincere appreciation to the staff and members of Deerwood Club as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the 82nd Texas Senior Amateur a memorable and success event.
 
For more information on the Texas Senior Amateur, click here. For Full Leaderboard, click here

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John Dowdall Leads Texas Senior Amateur

KINGWOOD – John Dowdall holds onto his lead at Texas Senior Amateur following a 1-under-par 71 Saturday at Deerwood Club. Fulshear’s Dowdall holds a two-shot lead over Craig Hulbert from Magnolia headed into Sunday.
 
The second round was suspended due to darkness at 7:12 p.m. with 18 groups left to complete their round. Play will resume Sunday morning, with the Final Round scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.  
 
Due to inclement weather suspensions in Friday’s first round, play was suspended late that evening due to darkness. Play resumed at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Kip Estep of Rockwall posted the lowest score of the wave with a round of 1-over 73.
 
Round 2 promptly began at 10 a.m. with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Dowdall, the overnight clubhouse leader, was in the second group off to start Round 2. The former PGA Tour professional bogeyed the par-4 11th, his second hole of the day, but found his rhythm from Day 1 with birdies of the par-3 12th and par-4 14th.
 
“I birdied the very next hole after bogeying my second hole, so I had a good bounce-back,” Dowdall said. “Every time I made bogey I made a bounce-back birdie so that kept the round going pretty good.”
 
The 2007 South Texas Mid-Amateur Champion turned in 1-under 35, but bogeyed the par-4 second hole. But as he has shown throughout his first two rounds, he never wavered. Dowdall birdied the par-3 fourth. He displayed poise down the stretch as well. The former Northeast Louisiana University standout followed a bogey on the par-5 seventh with a beautiful tee shot from 159 yards on the par-3 eighth to birdie his third par-3 of the day.
 
“Wind kicked up a little bit and it played pretty tough,” Dowdall said. “But I’m very happy with how I hit the ball and I’m playing pretty solid right now.”
 
Dowdall’s ball-striking has been the key to his success. After 36-holes, he has only missed a handful of greens in regulation and has made five of his 10 birdies on par-3’s.
 
Hurlbert, with five holes left in Round 2, sits in solo-second. The 2010 Montana Mid-Amateur Champion quickly got his second round into red figures after a birdie on his third hole of the day, the par-3 12th. He followed with consecutive bogeys, but birdied the par-5 16th.
 
On the par-3 17th, Hurlbert showed his only signs of distraction with two short missed putts and made double-bogey. But that’s when he caught fire. Hurlbert birdied three of his next five holes to get to 1-under on his round and two shots off the lead at 4-under overall. Hurlbert will resume play Sunday morning on the par-5 fifth.
 
Gary Durbin of Houston is in solo third and six shots behind Dowdall at even par. The 2012 Greater Houston Men’s Senior Amateur Champion is through 12 holes in Round 2 and will resume play on the par-3 fourth.
 
Following completion of Round 2, the field will be cut to low-54 and ties for Sunday’s Final Round. The Final Round will be a shotgun start at 11:00 a.m.
 
Deerwood Club is playing host to its fifth TGA Major Championship. This year, the club joined an exclusive list of clubs in Texas to have hosted all four TGA Men’s Major Championships. Deerwood played host to the 1986 and 1999 Texas Amateurs, 1989 Texas Mid-Amateur, 2014 Texas Four-Ball and rounds out the distinction with the 2019 Texas Senior Amateur.
 
For more information on the Texas Senior Amateur, click here. For Full Leaderboard, click here