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In Memory of John Semander

It is with deep sadness that the TGA announces the passing of John Semander. Semander gave selflessly of his time, energy and resources to promote golf in Texas for many years. His contributions to the game of golf are immeasurable and have impacted the state’s entire golfing community. The longtime TGA volunteer and Past Director passed away on July 27. He was 89 years old.

Semander was a gentle spirit who didn’t know a stranger. He seemed to be friends with everyone and had a warm-hearted story to share about each one to back it up. The Houston native was recognized numerous times for his steadfast dedication and efforts in helping the TGA.

He was the recipient of the 2005 South Texas Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2009 Bob Wells Distinguished Service Award, the TGA’s highest honor for individuals who’ve contributed to the growth of the game through their volunteerism and meritorious service.

In addition to duties as a TGA Director, Semander also served as a member of the TGA Rules Committee, as well as the USGA Junior Amateur Committee.

In 2010, Semander captained the South Texas team to victory in the Texas Shootout held at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands.

The longtime Shell employee was also very active with the Houston Golf Association among other pursuits.

In 2017, the TGA established the John Semander Family Scholarship to financially assist golfers who are seeking higher education. Semander’s dedication, character and lifelong connection to golf were attributes that the scholarship program endeavored to honor and encourage in the next generation of golfers.

The TGA mourns the loss of John Semander and sends its condolences to his family and friends.

 

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Regional Amateurs Set for Aug. 6-8

The 2021 North and South Regional Amateur Championships will be held concurrently from Aug. 6-8.

The North Regional Amateur will be contested at The Bridges Golf Club in Gunter. Galveston Country Club will host the South Regional Amateur.

Located about 50 miles north of Dallas, The Bridges Golf Club is a Fred Couples Signature Design and opened for play in 2008. Galveston Country Club, which traces its roots back to 1898, moved to its current location at Pirates’ Beach in 1946 and was designed by Carlton Gipson and Ralph Plummer. The course has undergone several renovations over the years, most recently in 2003 overseen by Jacobsen Hardy Golf Design.

First played in 2003, the Regional Amateurs are open to male amateur golfers who belong to a TGA Member Club, have a World Handicap System Index of 8.4 or less and reside in the region relative to their respective championship. The TGA uses the 31st parallel in Salado as the delineation between the North and South regions.

The format for the 84-player starting field in both Regional Amateurs is 54 holes of individual stroke play with no cut. The winner and runner-up in each championship, if eligible, earn exemptions into this year’s Texas Mid-Amateur to be held Sept. 10-12 at The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Hockley. Additionally, the top three finishers will receive automatic exemptions into the 2022 Texas Amateur.

The 2020 championships were canceled due to health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Will Adams of Odessa won the 2019 North Regional Amateur on the second playoff hole over Tom Bevington of Frisco and Christopher Wheeler of Addison. The three players were tied at 8-under-par 208 after 54 holes of regulation play at The Courses at Watters Creek in Plano. At the 2019 South Regional Amateur held at Sterling Country Club in Houston, local resident Cody Banach finished at 13-under 203 to win the title by five strokes over runner-up Tyler Uhlig of Magnolia.

Live scoring updates, daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available once the action gets underway from The Bridges Golf Club and Galveston Country Club.

News



Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play Set for July 22-25

The state’s top amateur golfers age 25 and older will gather at Trinity Forest Golf Club for the 23rd Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play from July 22-25.

This will be the first TGA championship held at Trinity Forest Golf Club. One of the most unique venues in Texas, Trinity Forest served as the site of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson in 2018-19 and annually hosts an NCAA invitational tournament and additional high-profile professional and amateur events.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to conduct this year’s Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play at Trinity Forest Golf Club,” said Chris Untiedt, TGA Tournament Director. “With numerous risk-rewards options and the demand for creative shot-making, the course is ideally suited for match play and is certain to identify a worthy champion.”

Opened in 2016, Trinity Forest was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Built in the Great Trinity Forest and surrounded on its edges by thousands of majestic hardwood trees, the classic links-style course artistically meanders through an open meadow of rolling, rumpled sand recalling the wind-swept land of Great Britain or the coastline of the Northeastern U.S.

With fairways twisting and turning at odd distances and angles, bold green complexes and surrounds plus firm and fast playing conditions, Trinity Forest provides a true challenge that tests the skill and cleverness of players of all levels.

“Hosting important championships was one of the original tenets of Trinity Forest Golf Club, and we are honored to welcome the state’s best mid-amateurs at the upcoming Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play,” said Richie Hare, Director of Golf at Trinity Forest.

First conducted by the TGA in 1999, the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play is the only individual event on the annual schedule to feature head-to-head competition.

The championship format is 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on July 22, with the low 32 scores advancing to match play. First- and second-round matches will be played Friday, July 23; quarterfinals and semifinals on Saturday, July 24; and the final on Sunday, July 25. All matches are 18 holes.

At last year’s Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play, held at Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler, host club member Aaron Hickman defeated defending champion Corby Harwell of San Antonio, 5 and 4. Playing in front of a large crowd of friends, family and other well-wishers, Hickman never trailed in the final, building a 5-up lead after nine holes on Harwell, who also won the 2017 championship, before closing out the match on No. 14.

Once the action gets under way from Trinity Forest, log on to txga.org for match play brackets, starting times, live scoring updates and daily recaps.