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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.

News



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.


85th Texas Senior Amateur

Champions Golf Club

September 9-11, 2022

General Information

Date: September 9-11, 2022
Host Club: Champions Golf Club (Jackrabbit Course)
Address: 13722 Champions Dr, Houston, TX 77069
Phone: (281) 444-6449
TGA Staff Contact: Tournament Director, Justin Guthrie

Entry & Eligibility Information

Entries Open: June 8, 2022 at 9:00 AM
Entries Close: August 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM
Exempt Deadline: August 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Entry Fee: $325

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers who reside in the state of Texas age 55 or older as of the first round of tournament play, with a WHS Handicap Index of 6.4 or less. Please reference TGA Policies and Procedures for further details, including Policies and Procedures, and Terms of Competition.

Entry Procedure: The field will be established by handicap index (lowest to highest) using the handicap “Effective Revision Date” of Wednesday, August 3. All applications, including exemptions, must be received by the entry close date of Wednesday, August 3 at 5:00 PM. After the entry deadline has passed, spots in the field will be allocated to any remaining exempt players and then the lowest handicap index players until the field is full. Those not making it into the field will be placed on the waitlist in rank order of their handicap index (lowest to highest).

Players will be notified by 5:00 PM Friday, August 5, if they are in the field, or where they stand on the wait list. Each week thereafter, TGA Staff will circulate an updated waitlist prior to the championship in an effort to keep players informed of their status.

The TGA reserves the right to select players to be in the field. For exemption request details, please view TGA Policies and Procedures. Exempt players must enter by the published deadline or they will lose their exempt status and spot in the final field.

Championship Information

Format/Field Size: Play will be contested over 54 holes of individual stroke play. All players will be competing in one division from the same tees and yardage. The field is limited to 144 players. At the completion of the 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties.

For full player information for the 85th Texas Senior Amateur, click here

All events will take place at Champions GC, unless otherwise noted. Championship schedule is subject to changes and additions.

Thursday, September 8
8:00 AM – Practice Rounds Begin
6:00 PM – Golf Course Closes

Friday, September 9
8:00 AM – Round 1, Wave 1 Begins (#1 & #10 Tees)
11:30 AM to 3:30 PM – Player Lunch
1:00 PM – Round 1, Wave 2 Begins (#1 & #10 Tees)

Saturday, September 10
8:00 AM – Round 2, Wave 1 Begins (#1 & #10 Tees)
11:30 AM to 3:30 PM – Player Lunch
1:00 PM – Round 2, Wave 2 Begins (#1 & #10 Tees)

Sunday, September 11
8:00 AM– Final Round Begins (#1 & #10 Tees)
Following Play – Awards Presentation

Provided players are otherwise eligible, exemptions are given to the following:

a) Last five (5) Texas Senior Amateur Champions 

  • Gary Durbin (2021)
  • John Derrick (2020)
  • Gary Durbin (2019)
  • Lewis Stephenson (2018)
  • Ed Brooks (2017)

b) Top 20 (and ties) in previous year’s Senior Amateur

  • Gary Durbin, Kyle Kelting, Hollis Sullivan, Chuck Gardner, Lee Sandlin, Lewis Stephenson, Jed Shreve, Alan Hill, John Pierce, John Dowdall, Steve Love, Mike Lohner, Larry Corson, Rob Teets, Vern Spurlock, Jacky Lee, Michael Jones, John Derrick, Rob Addington, Larry Nunez, Jerry Hudgins, Michael Guerrette, Bill Jackson

c) Finished in the top 20 (and ties) in current year’s Texas Amateur or current and/or previous year’s Texas Mid-Amateur 

  • N/A

d) Any player that qualified for the final field of the current year’s U.S. Senior Open and/or U.S. Senior Amateur 

e) Top five (5) finishers (and ties) in current year’s West Texas Amateur

  • Kelly Eng, Joe Sconiers, Mike Booker, Lewis Stephenson, Jeff Ray, Terry Rice, Rick Houston

f) Top fifteen (15) finishers (and ties) in the current year’s Regional Senior Amateurs 

  • North: Neal Barfield, Lewis Stephenson, Michael Goff, Steve Love, Donald Oconnor, John Schaefer, Kevin Grimes, Bill Brown, Sam Manning, John Donahue, Scott Wolf, Chuck Palmer, Lance Tjaden, Larry Corson, Brad Stumpf
  • South: Mike Booker, Kurt Lilley, Jed Shreve, Bill Shock, Todd Lacoste, Bobby Baugh, John Pierce, Kurt Martin, Charlie Jabbia, Tommy Tucker, Titus Harris, Michael Allen, Andy Hydorn, Fred Gintert, BK Cody, Tony Escoyne, John Dowdall

g) Low two (2) Seniors that make the cut in the current year’s Texas Amateur 

  • N/A

h) Previous year’s Statewide Senior Player of the Year 

  • Lewis Stephenson

i) Current year's Mid-Amateur Match Play winner and runner-up

  • N/A

j) Top three (3) finishers (and ties) in the current year’s Texas Super Senior Amateur (Super Senior Division) 

  • Chuck Gardner
  • Gary Durbin
  • Hollis Sullivan

k) Three (3) Host Club exemptions

85th Texas Senior Amateur

Champions Golf Club

September 9-11, 2022


TOURNAMENT INFORMATION

General Information

Date: September 9-11, 2022
Host Club: Champions Golf Club (Jackrabbit Course)
Address: 13722 Champions Dr., Houston, TX 77069
Phone: (281) 444-6449
TGA Staff Contact: Tournament Director, Justin Guthrie

Entry & Eligibility Information

Entries Open: June 8, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Exempt Entry Deadline: August 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM
Entries Close: August 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM

Entry Fee: $325

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers who reside in the state of Texas age 55 or older as of the first round of tournament play, with a WHS Handicap Index of 6.4 or less. Please reference TGA Policies and Procedures for further details, including Policies and Procedures, and Terms of Competition.

Entry Procedure: The field will be established by handicap index (lowest to highest) using the handicap “Effective Revision Date” of Wednesday, August 3. All applications, including exemptions, must be received by the entry close date of Wednesday, August 3 at 5:00 PM. After the entry deadline has passed, spots in the field will be allocated to any remaining exempt players and then the lowest handicap index players until the field is full. Those not making it into the field will be placed on the waitlist in rank order of their handicap index (lowest to highest).

Players will be notified by 5:00 PM Friday, August 5, if they are in the field, or where they stand on the wait list. Each week thereafter, TGA Staff will circulate an updated waitlist prior to the championship in an effort to keep players informed of their status.

Exemptions: Provided players are otherwise eligible, exemptions are given to the following:

a) Last five (5) Texas Senior Amateur Champions

b) Top 20 (and ties) in previous year’s Senior Amateur

c) Finished in the top 20 (and ties) in current year’s Texas Amateur or current and/or previous year’s Texas Mid-Amateur

d) Any player that qualified for the final field of the current year’s U.S. Senior Open and/or U.S. Senior Amateur

e) Top five (5) finishers (and ties) in current year’s West Texas Amateur

f) Top fifteen (15) finishers (and ties) in the current year’s Regional Senior Amateurs

g) Low two (2) Seniors that make the cut in the current year’s Texas Amateur

h) Previous year’s Statewide Senior Player of the Year

i) Current year Mid-Amateur Match Play winner and runner-up

j) Top three (3) finishers (and ties) in the current year’s Texas Super Senior Amateur (Super Senior Division)

k) Three (3) Host Club exemptions

The TGA reserves the right to select players to be in the field. For exemption request details, please view TGA Competition Policies. Exempt players must enter by the published deadline or they will lose their exempt status and spot in the final field.

Championship Information

Format/Field Size: Play will be contested over 54 holes of individual stroke play. All players will be competing in one division from the same tees and yardage. The field is limited to 144 players. At the completion of the 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties.

Practice Round Information: Each player is allowed one (1) complimentary practice round on Thursday, September 8 only. Players must contact the golf shop directly to schedule a practice round tee time.Golf Shop: (281) 444-6262.

Registration Information: Player registration will take place on Thursday, September 8th from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Registration will be located outside the golf shop. Please check-in prior to your scheduled practice round. If you are unable to play an official practice round on Thursday, September 8th, please inform the TGA staff that you cannot register, but intend to compete in the championship.

Starting Times/Pairings Information: Starting times/pairings for the first and second rounds will be made no later than Tuesday, September 6 online at www.txga.org. Final round starting times/pairings will be available in the evening preceding play (approximately one hour after the completion of play) online at www.txga.org. Final round starting times/pairings will be re-drawn based on total score following the previous rounds of play.

Caddies: Caddies are permitted and must adhere to all TGA Competition Policies and host club policies.

Cancellation/Withdrawal Procedure: Prior to the entry deadline players looking to withdraw should do so online through their Golf Genius user profile or by contacting the TGA Staff Contact directly. After the entry deadline has passed players should either call the Texas Golf Association at (214) 468-8942 or email the TGA Staff Contact directly. Only withdrawals on the day of the competition should be directed to the host club golf shop.

Transportation: Players may walk or ride at their own discretion. Cart fees are included in the players entry fee. The TGA ‘One-Seat’ Policy is in effect. Spectators must walk at all times. For more information on TGA ‘One-Seat’ Policy, click here.

Medical Cart: 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 IV.

Score Posting: The TGA will post all scores for individual stroke play events to players GHIN number. Players are asked to not post scores for individual TGA stroke play events as it will result in a duplicate posting.

Policies & Procedures

To ensure competitors the best experience at all Texas Golf Association (TGA) events, it is helpful to be knowledgeable of TGA Policies & Procedures. For complete TGA Competition Policies, click here.


News



Gary Durbin Wins the 84th Texas Senior Amateur

HOUSTON – Gary Durbin won his second Texas Senior Amateur on Sunday at Westwood Golf Club, a one-shot victory in the 84th edition of the major championship. He played the classic parkland course at even-par 216 for 54 holes.

This one was quite a bit different from his 2019 win at Deerwood Club in Kingwood. Durbin stormed back from a six-shot deficit in the final round to win the 82nd Texas Senior Amateur. This time around, the Houstonian entered the last day with a two-shot lead and had to scrap and claw to hold on to victory.

“I was nervous,” said Durbin, who has also won the Greater Houston City Amateur twice (1989, ’91). “It was excitement and nervousness coming down 18. This is the biggest tournament we have for senior amateurs in Texas. Winning it twice is really special.”

Durbin credited his solid putting for his steady play all week at Westwood. He made a birdie right out of the gate Sunday to grab momentum. He walked off the first green at with a three-shot lead at 3-under par overall. He gave the shot back with a bogey on the difficult par-4 second hole, but pars on the next three holes led to a brief four-shot lead.

The field kept the heat on Durbin, however. TGA Director Lee Sandlin from Dallas birdied the sixth and eight holes to stay close; former TGA Executive Director Rob Addington from Dallas applied early pressure on Durbin as well.

After a bogey on the par-4 10th hole that saw Durbin’s lead shrink to one shot, he rolled in birdies on the 11th and 12th holes. He nearly made a third in a row on No. 13. From there, Durbin played the final five holes at 2-over to capture the one-shot victory over Kyle Kelting from Amarillo.

“This means a lot to me,” Durbin said. “I’m 64 now, so maybe it means more if you can win when you’re older, not just at 55 or 56. I’ve worked really, really hard on my swing the past two years. I have a great family and a wife who supports my golf, which is huge. I have friends at work with and really everyone in my life has been very supportive. It’s pretty cool. I feel very blessed.”

Kelting, the runner-up, shot a final round 71 to finish at 1-over 217. He’s a two-time winner of the Texas Father-Son; he and his son Derick won in 2020 and again earlier this summer. Kelting also finished fourth at the 80th Texas Senior Amateur in 2017 at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.

“I played pretty good,” Kelting said. “I’m getting accustomed to Bermudagrass greens a little bit. We don’t have Bermuda in Amarillo; everything is bentgrass. All in all, the ball-striking was good. I enjoyed the guys I played with. The tournament was fantastic. I just wish it was a different outcome.”

Sandlin, along with Hollis Sullivan, a TGA Director from Westworth Village, and Texarkana’s Chuck Gardner, tied for third place at 2-over 218. Outside of Durbin, Mansfield’s Lewis Stephenson might have that the most impressive showing this weekend. After shooting an uncharacteristic 80 in the first round, the two-time Texas Senior Amateur champ went 70-70 in the final two rounds to earn a share of sixth place at 4-over 220. Jed Shreve from The Woodlands also tied for sixth with Stephenson.

The TGA extends its most sincere gratitude to Westwood Golf Club, including its staff and members, for all their hard work in creating such a welcoming atmosphere and memorable championship week. Special thanks are due to General Manager Ricky Lyons, Clubhouse Manager/Director of Membership Sales Jennifer Gonzalez, Head Golf Professional Andrew Riddle, Golf Course Superintendent Wesley Curtis and Chef Joseph Tyler. Each of them played an essential role in making the 84th Texas Senior Amateur a success.

By every measure, Westwood knocked it out of the park with its first TGA major championship. In addition to the wonderful food and the attentive and professional staff, Westwood’s golf course thoroughly challenged the best senior amateurs in the state, a testament to the conditioning and preparation by the club’s grounds crew.

It also speaks the thought-provoking routing and course design, originally done by the famed John Bredemus in 1928 when Westwood was founded as a nine-hole course. Ralph Plummer in 1957 transformed the venue into an 18-hole championship course. More recently, Keith Foster completed a comprehensive renovation in 2002, and Kevin Hargrave added new tee boxes, greens, and bunkers in 2018.

Several players throughout the week told TGA staff members how impressed they were with the golf course and hospitable atmosphere of the club.

The TGA also is grateful for our volunteers, who donated their time and expertise to ensure another first-class championship experience. For information on the 84th Texas Senior Amateur, click here.

News



Gary Durbin Leads 84th Texas Senior Amateur after 36 Holes

HOUSTON – Gary Durbin is 18 holes away from winning the 84th Texas Senior Amateur. The Houston resident fired a tidy 2-under-par 70 in Saturday’s second round at Westwood Golf Club and leads Lee Sandlin from Dallas by two shots headed into Sunday’s final round.

Durbin, who rolled in three birdies Saturday against a lone bogey, also won the 82nd playing of the Texas Senior Amateur, a two-shot victory at Deerwood Club in Kingwood in 2019. Through 36 holes this time around, he sits at 3-under 141. The accomplished amateur has made winning a habit in his hometown.

Durbin won the Greater Houston City Amateur twice (1989, ’91), and he captured the Greater Houston City Senior Amateur in 2012. He’d love to further validate his 2019 Texas Senior Am championship with a victory tomorrow.

“To win a tournament as prestigious as this one a second time, it would be awesome,” he said.

Durbin hit 16 greens in regulation for the second straight day, which is easier to do at Westwood from the fairway. The rough at the classic parkland course in Southwest Houston is thick and unpredictable, as several players have noted.

“I’m driving the ball well, which is important with the high rough out here,” Durbin said. “I made two long putts for birdie, but I had about four or five putts under 15 feet that I didn’t make. The greens are tough. The golf course is set up fair, but it’s tough.”

Sitting two shots back is Sandlin, a TGA Director and longtime supporter of amateur golf in Texas. Sandlin shot 1-under 71 on Saturday. He’s posted 1-under 143 through 36 holes.

“I hit 15 greens yesterday,” Sandlin said. “I was all over the place today and just managed to get the ball in the hole, which is probably what I do best. I struggled off the tee; the rough is really tough. You have to play for a flyer, but it’s a guessing game a lot of the time.”

Chuck Gardner from Texarkana and former TGA Executive Director Rob Addington are one shot behind Sandlin and three behind Durbin at even-par 144. Gardner made three birdies on his way to a 1-under 71 in the second round.

Addington, meanwhile, shot an even-par 72 Saturday that also included three birdies. He was the TGA’s Executive Director from 2001-18. In addition to growing the TGA into one of the strongest Allied Golf Associations in the country, Addington conducted numerous championships over the years, including several Texas Senior Amateurs.

He said it’s a lot of fun to be on the other side of the ropes as a competitor this week.

“It’s been a blast to play,” Addington said. “The staff does such an amazing job. It’s very enjoyable. I probably haven’t played in an individual tournament in 20 years. It’s a lot of fun to compete. To play well is just a bonus.”

Richmond’s Michael Guerrette holds fifth place alone at 1-over 145. He posted 3-over 74 on Saturday. Six players share a piece of sixth place at 2-over 146, including defending champion John Derrick from Waco.

Saturday blessed the competitors with another sun-kissed day of near-perfect scoring conditions. After a cool morning, the temperature rose to the mid-80s and stayed there all day with little wind.

Sixty-three players advanced through Saturday’s 36-hole cut at 9-over 153.

Although he missed the cut, Beaumont’s Charlie Jabbia provided some fireworks Saturday morning. He aced the 168-yard, 15th hole with a 6-iron.

“It was into the sun,” he said. “I hit it good, but I couldn’t see it go in. I looked with my rangefinder and couldn’t see it, so I thought I might’ve hit it over the green. But then the guys on the next tee box were hooting and hollering, so I knew it went in.”

It was Jabbia’s second hole-in-one, both which have come during competitions.

The second round of the 84th Texas Senior Amateur starts Sunday at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.

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Four Tied for Lead after Round 1 at 84th Texas Senior Amateur

HOUSTON – On one of the best weather days of the year in Southeast Texas, Westwood Golf Club stood tall against the best senior amateurs in the state. Four players finished at 1-under-par 71 on the classic parkland course to share the lead at the 84th Texas Senior Amateur.

Michael Guerrette from Richmond, Kenneth Coutant from Dallas, Michael Jones from Richardson and Houston’s Gary Durbin – the only players to finish under par – hold a one-shot lead over seven others headed into Saturday’s second round of the 54-hole stroke play major championship.

“It’s a tough golf course,” said Coutant, who finished as the runner-up at the 77th Texas Senior Amateur in 2014. “I hit it well and made a couple putts. If I can keep it in the fairway and out of this tough rough the next couple days, I should do OK.”

Near-perfect playing conditions greeted the competitors in the opening round. After a cool morning that saw temperatures start in the 60s, the mercury hung in the low- and mid-80s for most of the day without much breeze. Still, Westwood’s gnarly rough and tricky green complexes provided plenty of challenges.

“After playing in 100-degree weather all summer, it was so nice to have a break,” Guerrette said. “I was just trying to keep it in the fairway and out of the rough.”

Durbin, the 82nd Texas Senior Amateur champion, had it to 4-under through seven holes. He rolled in birdies on the second, fourth, fifth and seventh holes. He struggled a bit from there, but he remained upbeat and positive after he finished.

“I hit 16 greens today,” he said. “I was really striking the ball nicely. Then I had some long lag putts, and the greens kind of got me a little bit. But it was a good day. I had a lot of putts that touched the lips and could’ve gone in.”

Included in the seven-player logjam at even-par 72 were three players with strong TGA ties. Former Executive Director Rob Addington from Dallas had an impressive birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie stretch during the middle of his round. TGA Directors Hollis Sullivan from Westworth Village and Lee Sandlin from Dallas had five and three birdies, respectively.

Addington, Sullivan and Sandlin are tied for fifth place with Jeff Kramer from The Woodlands, Knox Wright from Houston, Bill Jackson from Van Alstyne and Bill Steen from Frisco.

Defending champion John Derrick from Waco shot a 3-over 75 in Round 1. He’s tied for 29th place.

The is the first Texas Senior Amateur and first TGA major championship held at Westwood. The well-conditioned, tree-lined course in southwest Houston has welcomed the TGA several times, however. Westwood has hosted numerous USGA championship qualifying tournaments, such as U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Amateur qualifiers.

Formerly known as Westwood Country Club when it was founded in 1928, the club holds the distinction of being Houston’s second-oldest private club that remains on its original site. Famed Texas architect John Bredemus created Westwood’s initial nine-hole routing. It was expanded to 18 holes in 1957 by Ralph Plummer, who once was an assistant under Bredemus.

There was a major renovation to the course in 2002 by Keith Foster. More recently, Kevin Hargrave completed upgrades in 2018 that included new tee boxes, greens and bunkers.

During Thursday night’s Players’ Reception, Lohner received his 2020 Texas Senior Amateur Player of the Year award. Lohner was the runner-up at the 83rd Texas Senior Amateur, losing in a playoff to John Derrick last summer at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco. Third place West Texas Amateur, T5 at 2020 Texas Four-Ball, T43 at the 2020 Mid-Amateur.

The second round of the 84th Texas Senior Amateur starts Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.

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84th Texas Senior Amateur Set for Sept. 24-26

The state’s top amateur golfers aged 55 and older will gather at Westwood Golf Club in Houston from Sept. 24-26 for the 84th Texas Senior Amateur, the last of this year’s four men’s major amateur championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association.

This is the first TGA championship to be held at Westwood. The club was originally scheduled to host the 2020 South Regional Mid-Amateur, but the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to conduct this year’s Texas Senior Amateur at Westwood Golf Club,” said Justin Guthrie, TGA Tournament Manager. “We are grateful to the club for their continued commitment to amateur golf and know they will provide an amazing championship experience.”

Founded in 1928, Westwood Golf Club (formerly Westwood Country Club), is the second oldest private golf club in Houston on its original site. Noted Texas architect John Bredemus designed the club’s initial nine-hole layout, which opened for play in 1930. The course was expanded to 18 holes in 1957 under the supervision of Ralph Plummer, a former assistant to Bredemus. Keith Foster completed an extensive renovation and redesign in 2002, and in 2018 Kevin Hargrave oversaw continued enhancements to the golf course that included rebuilding and resurfacing all tees, greens and bunkers.

“We look forward to welcoming the best senior golfers from across the state to Westwood for the 84th playing of the Texas Senior Amateur,” said Ricky Lyons, Westwood Golf Club’s General Manager. “The newly renovated course will be in great condition thanks to our superintendent Wesley Curtis and his crew, and we believe the strategic design will challenge every facet of a player’s game and identify a worthy champion.”

The Texas Senior Amateur is open to male amateurs who belong to a TGA Member Club, have a World Handicap System 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. 24-25. At the completion of the 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 54 players and ties for the final round.

At the 2020 championship, held at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, host club member John Derrick posted a gutsy 2-over-par 72 on the last day in difficult scoring conditions to win the title in front of a large hometown crowd. His 7-over 217 total was good for a one-stroke victory over Mike Lohner of Southlake.

This year’s Texas Senior Amateur will once again feature an impressive lineup of accomplished veteran competitors. In addition to Derrick, who looks to be the first to win back-to-back titles in over 20 years, seven other past champions will be on site at Westwood Golf Club. They are Gary Durbin of Houston (who won in 2019), Lewis Stephenson of Mansfield (2016, ’18), Mike Booker of The Woodlands (2015), Ron Kilby of McAllen (2011, ’14), Mike Peck of Irving (2013), Chuck Palmer of Dallas (2012) and John Grace of Fort Worth (2010).

Lohner, the 2020 runner-up and reigning Senior Player of the Year, heads a roster of other notable players who will be vying for the title which includes 2021 North Regional Senior Amateur champion Dave Davis of Saginaw, 2021 South Regional Senior Amateur champion David Ortego of Spring and 2017, ’19 Senior Player of Year John Pierce of San Antonio.

Live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available at txga.org once the action gets underway from Westwood.