Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Bret Gray Leads 114th Texas Amateur with 18 Holes to Play
HOCKLEY – Eighteen holes separate San Antonio’s Bret Gray from etching his name into Texas golf history at The Clubs at Houston Oaks. After a second consecutive 4-under-par 67 on Saturday in the third round of the 114th Texas Amateur, the Sam Houston State junior holds a two-shot lead at 13-under 200 overall.
“Today was a grind,” said Gray, the 2022-23 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year. “On the front nine, I made nine straight pars. I didn’t really get any putts to go in, but I made some good pars. On the back nine, the putter started to heat up, and I made a few putts coming in.”
Gray made five birdies on his back nine, including four on the final six holes. He recorded six top-10s for the Bearkats last season, topped off by a victory at the Bayou City Classic in February. Gray also won the All-American Intercollege in 2022 as a freshman. He said he’ll draw on those college wins for confidence during Sunday’s final round.
“The course set up the past two days definitely has felt like a college tournament,” Gray said. “The guys I’m playing with are guys I see in college events, so it has a college feel to it, for sure. One thing I can pull from is really taking it one shot at a time and making golf almost easy. Just hit the fairway, hit the green, and two-putt. If you make a putt, awesome. But just playing simple golf, and that’s how I’ve gotten my two wins. Hopefully we can get a third.”
To make that a reality, he’ll have to fend off Oklahoma sophomore Jase Summy from Keller one more time. Summy, also a collegiate winner, shot a 3-under 68 on Saturday. Through three rounds, he sits at 11-under 202, just two shots behind Gray.
“The round today was OK,” said Summy, who drained a 20-foot birdie on 18 to inch a little closer to Gray. “It was clean, not a lot of bogeys. I’m right there. I’ll have a good day tomorrow and see what happens.”
Gray and Summy two have separated themselves from the pack with their tremendous play. The next closest chasers are Baylor junior Luke Dossey and former TCU standout Travis Woolf, who are tied for third place at 5-under 208. Dossey posted the low round of the day, a stellar 5-under 66.
“I think I’ll need a little bit of help, but another day like today with more putts dropping and hopefully I’ll put myself in a position tomorrow,” Dossey said.
With Gray and Summy respectively eight- and six-shots clear of the field, Sunday might have a match play feel to it. The operative word there is “might,” because there is a host of talented amateurs who could make things interesting before it’s over. That group includes Woolf, Dossey, and University of Houston redshirt junior Jacob Borow, who shot 2-under 69 on Saturday to climb into solo fifth place at 2-under 211.
Four more players are tied for sixth place at even-par 213, including Houston Oaks member Kade Stewart, 111th Texas Amateur champion Trey Bosco from Austin, Plano’s Ethan Fang, and Houston’s Jeffery Zatorski.
The National Weather Service’s Extreme Heat Warning remained in effect on Saturday for South Texas. A bit of cloud cover in the morning helped ease the effects of the heat, but it burned off by about 10 a.m. The heat index reached 100 degrees by noon, while the actual temperature hovering around 90 degrees.
Despite the soaring temperatures, all the players remaining in the field, as well as the Houston Oaks staff, the TGA Championships team, and the spectators enjoying the display of elite golf have been mindful to stay hydrated and soak up as much shade as possible. Thankfully, there have been no instances of anyone overheating this week.
The final round of the 114th Texas Amateur begins Sunday at 8 a.m. at Houston Oaks. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.
Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Gray Maintains Lead through 36 Holes at 114th Texas Amateur
HOCKLEY – Bret Gray from San Antonio fired a 4-under-par 67 on Friday at The Clubs at Houston Oaks in the second round of the 114th Texas Amateur. He maintained a one-shot lead at the halfway point of the state’s most celebrated amateur championship.
The Sam Houston State junior sits at 9-under 133 overall, one stroke in front of Keller’s Jase Summy, who lit up Houston Oaks on Friday morning for a course-record 7-under 64.
“Yeah, I saw (the 64) as I was about to tee off,” said Gray, a two-time collegiate winner and the 2022-23 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year. “I didn’t really think about it too much, but I knew the number I needed to get to if I wanted to stay in the lead, obviously. I knew this afternoon wave was going to hard. The wind is blowing, it’s hot as heck. I had a number in my head, but I didn’t think about it too much. I just kept playing my game.”
Gray said Thursday he likes to keep things simple: fairways, greens, no three-putts. He stuck to the program again Friday. He rolled in five birdies and chipped one in from off the green for par on No. 15 after a loose tee shot. He suffered just one bogey on the day.
“It was hot out there,” he said. “I was most proud of myself for staying in it all day, taking it one shot at a time, and not letting the heat get to me or making an excuse for that. I stayed even keeled. I was proud of that.”
Summy displayed a similar approach to his round earlier in the day. He poured in nine birdies on his way to breaking the competitive course record at The Clubs at Houston Oaks with his electric 64. The University of Oklahoma sophomore birdied three of his first five holes, then four of his first five on his second nine.
Only a lipped out par putt from 4 feet on his final hole kept him from sharing the lead headed into Saturday’s third round.
“I normally make a lot of birdies, so if I can clean it up and not make any big numbers, I’ll shoot pretty good normally,” said Summy, who won the 2023 Boilermaker Invitational in April and was a Big 12 All-Conference selection last season. “I had one three-putt today – I try not to have any of those; it’s always a goal – and I just thought I played a really clean round of golf. It could’ve been better, but it was just really clean.”
Gray and Summy separated themselves a bit from the rest of the field of top amateurs in the state. Third place belongs to Austin’s Sean-Karl Dobson, who shot a 3-under 68 in the second round to get to 4-under 138 overall. The incoming Stanford freshman is five shots back of Gray.
Fort Worth’s Travis Woolf is six shots behind in fourth place. The former TCU standout sits at 3-under 139 after his solid round of 2-under 69 on Friday. Houston’s Justin Kaplan rallied late with four birdies in his final seven holes to shoot 5-under 66 in the second round. He holds fifth place at 2-under 140.
Seven players are under par after two rounds at the sublime, par-71 Chet Williams-designed Houston Oaks course. Three more are at even-par 142, but they’re all looking up at Gray and Summy with two rounds to play.
With half the state of Texas under a Heat Advisory, it was another scorcher at Houston Oaks during the second round.
Friday’s weather unfortunately didn’t include the early morning cloud cover the field enjoyed on Thursday, which created a steamy environment almost from the start of the day. It was much breezier in the morning, too, with 15-20 mph gusts whipping through Houston Oaks by as early as 9 a.m.
At noon, the temperature at Houston Oaks was a toasty 93 degrees with a 103 index. The steady 20-25 mph winds helped ease the heat’s effects, but it also played havoc on plenty of competitors’ golf balls. The mercury topped out at 98 degrees from around 3-4:30 p.m. with “Feels Like” temperatures climbing to 108.
Hydration was a priority, and the 61 players who made the 36-hole cut at 8-over 150 or better can expect two more days of searing heat at one of the best golf courses in Texas. Among those who survived the cut were three past Texas Amateur winners.
Austin’s Trey Bosco, a senior at Baylor, won the 111th Texas Amateur in 2020 at Boot Ranch. He’s tied for 11th place currently at 1-over 143. Pottsboro’s Austyn Reily, a senior at the University of Houston, claimed the 112th Texas Amateur in 2021 at Midland Country Club. Reily shares apiece of 27th place at 4-over 146. Holden Wisener from Dallas, the defending champion who won the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy last summer at Willow Brook Country Club, is tied for 42nd place at 6-over 148.
The third round of the 114th Texas Amateur begins at 8 a.m. at Houston Oaks. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.