David Ortego & Mike Vacek Win South Senior Amateur
SAN MARCOS – After taking a first round lead by one stroke, David Ortego, Spring, walked up to 18 tee in a tie with Mike Booker, Houston, for the Senior Division of the South Senior Amateur at Kissing Tree Golf Club. Ortego bridied the closing hole to finish two-under par 70 on the day, and seven-under par for the tournament. Booker climbed up the leaderboard after shooting six-under par 65 for the final round following his one-over par 73 during Monday’s first round. In the Super Senior Division, Weimar’s Mike Vacek was able to find his way atop the leaderboard with a final round even-par 72. Monday’s first round leader, Chuck Ellenwood, Fair Oaks Ranch, shot four-over par 76 on Tuesday, and four-over par for the tournament to finish in third behind Kent Samuel, The Woodlands, who finished his second round two-over par 74, and three-over par over the two-day tournament.
1.) David Ortego, Spring 67-70 – 137
2.) Mike Booker, Houston 73-65 – 138
3.) John Pierce, San Antonio 69-70 – 139
4.) Andrew Hydorn, Houston 69-73 – 142
5.) Scott Smith, Houston 71-73 – 144
Super Senior Division
1.) Mike Vacek, Weimar 74-72 – 146
2.) Kent Samuel, The Woodlands 73-74 – 147
3.) Chuck Ellenwood, Fair Oaks Ranch 72-76 – 148
T-4.) David Pocknall, Katy 74-75 – 149
T-4.) David Wagner, Fair Oaks Ranch 74-75 – 149
Top Finishers – David Ortego, who won the South Senior Amateur (Senior Division) back in 2015 Woodforest Golf Club, was able to hold off the strong, late push from two-time champion Mike Booker. San Antonio’s John Pierce played consistent, under-par golf in each round to finish at five-under par and one stroke behind Booker. Andrew Hydorn and Scott Smith, both of Houston, rounded out the top-five at two-under par and even-par for the tournament. The Super Senior Division also had a close finish with Mike Vacek besting Kent Samuel by one stroke. Round one leader, Chuck Ellenwood, ended the day in third, while David Pocknall, Katy, and David Wagner, Fair Oaks Ranch, came in at a tie for fourth, each at five over-par.
Weather: Monday’s first round started cool and with a two-hour delay due to dense fog covering the course, but by early in the afternoon, the sun shined and brought the temperate up to a high of 80 degrees. The second round began calm in the high-60s with mostly overcast skies that took a quick turn to sunny and a high of 84 degrees. Consistent wind of about 15 mph became an added challenge for the field, especially when gusts upwards of 32 mph came howling through as groups were playing their last few holes.
Host Course: Designed by local Texan, Gary Stephenson, Kissing Tree Golf Club is a semi-private 18-hole golf course set on the banks of the Texas Hill Country. The course opened in October of 2018, and each hole provides an extension of the natural landscape – blending grades of edges, slopes and contours of the landscape into its striped fairways and angulated greens.
Next Up: The South Regional Series next event will be at the South Four-Ball at Quail Valley Golf Course in Missouri City on April 22-23.
Paul McNamara wins North Mid-Amateur
Allen – Paul McNamara of Dallas held his commanding lead throughout the weekend to clinch the North Mid-Amateur title. His impressive rounds of 67-66-71 gave him a final score of 204 (12-under-par) which put him in the lead by 5 strokes. Forth Worth’s Gary Ezmerlian had steady rounds of 72-70-72 to win the Mid-Master title by one shot over Rob Couture of Dallas.
- Paul McNamara 67 – 66 – 71 – 204
- Anthony Estorga 72 – 67 – 70 – 209
- Christopher Wheeler 73 – 67 – 70 – 210
- Ben McCaslin 70 – 70 – 71 – 211
- Gary Ezmerlian 72 – 70 – 72 – 214
Top Finishers – Anthony Estorga of Dallas came in second with a 7 under-par total of 209, only one shot ahead of Addison’s Christopher Wheeler. Ben McCaslin of Dallas finished with a 5 under-par 211 to come in forth, while Gary Ezmerlian of Forth Worth finished with a 2 under-par 214 claiming fifth.
Weather – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s weather was sunny with mild winds and temperatures in the low 70’s.
Host Course: Named by Golf Digest among the best daily fee golf courses in the state of Texas, The Golf Club at Twin Creeks’ magnificent Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course was designed to blend seamlessly with its pristine natural surroundings amidst the emerald hills of Allen, Texas. Mature stands of trees frame gently rolling fairways and large undulating greens, with two creeks traversing the course and five beautiful lakes creating both strategic diversity and a breathtaking backdrop for golf. While challenging for scratch golfers, multiple tees on each hole enable golfers of all ages and skill levels to experience the mastery, craftsmanship and creativity of The King, one of the most beloved and iconic player/designers in the world.
Next Up: The North Regional Series next event will be at Wildhorse Golf Club @ Robson Ranch for the North Senior Amateur April 8-9M.
For more information on the North Regional Series and North Mid-Amateur, please visit www.TXGA.org.
Robert Gwin Wins South Mid-Amateur
MONTGOMERY – Bentwater Yacht & Country Club’s own Robert Gwin claimed the South Mid-Amateur title after shooting even-par 72 on the final day, for a three-day score of five-under-par on the Weiskopf Course at Bentwater Yacht & Country. Entering the final round, Gwin was one stroke behind Cypress’ Kevin Liberto, who finished tied for second going three-over-par 75, for a tournament score of three-under-par. Tied with Liberto was Todd Albert, of Katy, who fired a four-under-par 68 final round. John Hunter, The Woodlands, and Padden Nelson, Houston, finished tied for fourth with three-day scores of two-under-par. With Nelson’s final round two-over-par 74, he claimed Mid-Master Award, which recognizes players in the field that are 40 years of age or older. Clay Fullick, from Conroe finished one stroke behind Nelson, while Cypress’ Kurtis Lilley was two strokes behind Nelson in the Mid-Master Recognition.
1. Robert Gwin, Montgomery 69-70-72 – 211
T-2. Todd Albert, Katy 73-72-68 – 213
T-2. Kevin Liberto, Cypress 72-66-75 – 213
T-4. John Hunter, The Woodlands 72-71-71 – 214
T-4. Padden Nelson, Houston 70-70-74 – 214
Top Finishers – Robert Gwin finished the first round leading by one stroke, only to find Kevin Liberto one stroke ahead of him after the second round of play. Gwin’s birdie on the par four 16 on Sunday provided enough cushion to take a two-stroke lead after Liberto bogeyed that same hole. Todd Albert battled the windy conditions and was able to climb up the leaderboard to finish in a tie for second following his four-under-par 68 on the final day. John Hunter’s one-under-par 71 on Sunday allowed him to move into a tie for fourth with Padden Nelson.
Notable Moment: Michael Glisan, from Houston, had a hole-in-one on the par three hole 3 from 197 yards during the second round play on Saturday. This was Michael’s first career hole-in-one.
Weather: The sun shined across clear skies for the first round of play on Friday as the temperature rose to around 85 degrees by mid-afternoon. Saturday morning began with overcast skies that lingered for much of the second round, with the high for the day at 82 degrees. The course wasn’t the only challenge for the field on Sunday, as wind was a big factor with gusts reaching 24 mph by noon. Light rain fell early in the afternoon while the temperature eventually got to 65 degrees as the final round finished.
Host Course: Bentwater Yacht & Country Club in Montgomery features 36-holes across the Miller and Weiskopf courses. The 18-hole Weiskopf Course at is a collaboration between Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. Rolling fairways and TifEagle greens are surrounded by thick forests of hardwood and pines. The 14th hole par three offers a picturesque setting, perched on the water’s edge from tee to green.
Next Up: The South Regional Series next event will be at the South Senior Amateur at Kissing Tree Golf Club in San Marcos on April 5-6.
Registration for the 112th Texas Amateur at Midland Country Club is open until Wednesday, March 31. Players can register for a qualifier by following this link.
For more information on the South Regional Series and South Mid-Amateur, please visit www.TXGA.org.