Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Baugh Leads Texas Senior Amateur after 36 Holes

AMARILLO – Bobby Baugh of San Antonio finished with back-to-back birdies on Saturday and climbed atop the 86th Texas Senior Amateur leaderboard after two rounds. Baugh is 5-under through 36 holes at Amarillo Country Club.

“I had a really good drive on eight to set up a pitching wedge from 137 yards, which was hit to five feet and I made it,” said Baugh regarding his finish. “The final hole I hit a drive in the left rough, then missed the green to the left. Hit a flop shot to about six feet and I made the putt.”

Baugh hit 16 of 18 fairways and greens in his second round but credited his putter for his solid play on Saturday.

“That’s what I’ve been struggling the most with lately, the putting,” said Baugh. “I’ve hit the ball well and luckily the hole got in the way of the ball a few times today.”

Following rounds of 69-68 in the first two days, Baugh seeks the Texas Senior Amateur title and will play alongside the last two champions of the tournament.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and feel a lot better after having a good round of putting.”

Joining Baugh in the final pairing on Sunday, will be Round 1 co-leaders Gary Durbin and Sandy Pierce of Houston.

Durbin shot even-par 71 in the second round. He was the winner of this event in 2021 and 2019 and looks to become the sixth three-time winner of this event. Durbin’s rounds of 67-71 have him at 4-under-par.

Pierce posted a round of 2-over 73 on Saturday and is the defending champion. He is looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Don Addington won in 1997-1998. Through 36 holes he has made eight birdies and four bogeys or worse and is 2-under-par.

Tied for fourth is Texarakana’s Chuck Gardner and Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson. Gardner played 2-under in his second round, making four birdies as he moved 12 spots up the leaderboard. Stephenson, who is also a two-time winner of this event, stayed consistent with rounds of 71-72 to get to 1-over.

Terrence Miskell of New Braunfels is in sixth place at 2-over-par, while Aledo’s Wayne Wright is in seventh at 3-over. Five players are tied for eighth at 4-over, two players tied for 14th at 5-over and six players tied for 15th at 6-over.

The tournament was cut following the second round with 58 players finishing at 10-over or better on Saturday.

Through 36 holes, the 144-player field amassed 435 birdies and played to an average score of 77.6 at Amarillo Country Club. There were five total eagles with three of them coming on the par-5 ninth which plays 502 yards. The course played 6,622 yards in the second round.

Amarillo Country Club underwent a renovation in 2013 and features a compact par-71 layout on the northwest side of town. The routing offers a variety of left-to-right and right-to-left holes that are bordered by trees. There are only six penalty areas around the routing with the perimeter being the lone boundary to avoid.

This is the first time Amarillo CC is hosting the Texas Senior Amateur and joins an exclusive list of past host sites such as Champions Golf Club, Oak Hills Country Club, Brook Hollow Country Club and Midland Country Club. The tournament was first held at San Antonio Country Club in 1937 and was held there for the first 23 years. The Texas Senior Amateur returned to West Texas for the first time since 2010, when Odessa Country Club hosted.

Temperatures started in the low 60s on Saturday and reached the low 90s by the afternoon. Winds were steady but not as strong as the previous day as gusts were up to 20 miles per hour in the afternoon.

The Final Round is set to begin at 8:00 am off the No. 1 and 10 tees on Sunday, September 10. Pairings can be viewed by clicking here. For more information on the 86th Texas Senior Amateur, click here. To see all the scores from the first two rounds, click here.

Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Pierce and Durbin Share Lead at Texas Senior Amateur

AMARILLO – Sandy Pierce and Gary Durbin of Houston each posted rounds of 4-under 67 at Amarillo Country Club and sit atop the 86th Texas Senior Amateur field after the first round. Both players are seeking another win in the Texas Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship.

Pierce’s round started off hot with birdies on the par-4 first, fourth and seventh holes and finished the front nine with a four on the par-5 ninth. He added another birdie on the par-3 12th to get to 5-under, but made bogey on the par-4 12th.

“All-in-all I’m thrilled,” said Pierce following his round. “Sixty-seven on this course is a great score for me.”

Pierce is defending his win from last year’s championship, which was held at Champions Golf Club in Houston. He posted rounds of 72-71-68 to get to 2-under overall and won in a playoff.

“Coming back this year and just seeing how many good players there are competing helped me realize what an achievement it was,” said Pierce. “As far as this week goes I’m going to try and keep doing what I’m doing and at the end of the week we’ll see where I stand.”

Durbin played in the afternoon and made an eagle on the par-5 ninth to get to 4-under-par and match the low score posted on Friday.

“I hit a really good drive and had 183 yards left, hit a seven iron to five feet and rolled it in,” said Durbin regarding his eagle on his last hole of the day.

Durbin is seeking his third victory in the Texas Senior Amateur after winning in 2021 at Westwood Golf Club and in 2019 at Deerwood Club. This is his first time playing Amarillo Country Club and he spoke about the importance of keeping the ball in the fairway.

“I think it’s critical at this golf course to drive the ball well,” said Durbin. “This is my first time being up at Amarillo Country Club and it’s a really good golf course.”

In third place is Terrence Miskell, who shot 3-under 68 in his opening round. The New Braunfels native was even-par through his first ten holes but made birdie on four of his next five holes. He dropped a shot on the par-4 eighth and made par on the ninth, which was his final hole, to finish at 3-under and one stroke behind the leaders.

Bobby Baugh of San Antonio made eagle on the par-5 18th to finish at 2-under 69. Baugh was one of four players to finish in red numbers on the par-71 layout at Amarillo CC, which played to 6,685 yards in the First Round.

Amarillo’s Ralph Ellis posted a score of even-par 71 and sits tied for fifth. Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson equaled his even-par score on Friday and is a two-time champion of this event (2016 & 2018).

Five players finished tied for seventh at 1-over, while four players finished tied for 12th at 2-over heading into Saturday’s second round.

Amarillo Country Club was established in 1919 and boasts a deep tradition of hosting amateur and professional events. The club hosted the Amarillo Open in 1990, which was won by Lindy Miller from Fort Worth. The course saw a renovation in 2013 by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard before hosting the 2016 Women’s Senior Stroke Play and the 2018 West Texas Amateur, which are both conducted by the Texas Golf Association.

This year’s field features 144 of the top senior golfers in the state, including 10 past champions as well as the reigning Senior Player of the Year. Players earned their way into the tournament through exemptions or competing in one of five qualifiers around the state. This was the first year, the TGA installed 18-hole qualifying for the Texas Senior Amateur.

Temperatures started in the low 60s on Friday but crept up into the mid-90s by 2:00 pm. The winds also intensified for the afternoon wave with gusts out of the north up to 35 miles per hour.

The Second Round is set to begin at 7:45 am off the No. 1 and 10 tees on Saturday, September 9. Pairings can be viewed by clicking here. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties heading into Sunday’s Final Round.

For more information on the 86th Texas Senior Amateur, click here. To see all the scores from the first round, click here.