Around the Green
The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.
Holden Wisener Wins the 113th Texas Amateur
TYLER – SMU junior Holden Wisener poured in a 16-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the 113th Texas Amateur at historic Willow Brook Country Club on Sunday. As the ball dove into the cup, Wisener gave an emphatic fist pump and yelled, “Let’s go!”
The Dallas native finished at 14-under-par 270 for the 72-hole championship. That was good for a tie with Bobby Massa from Dallas and Jake Doggett from Hutto. The big-hitting Massa, who led for the first three days, just missed his birdie try from 18 feet on the extra hole. Doggett missed his attempt at a chip in from about 25 feet. The Midwestern State senior took runner-up honors for the second straight year.
For Wisener, the Father’s Day victory tripped a flood of emotions. His grandfather, who taught him the game, passed away earlier this year. His mom and dad were greenside for the win, and the three shared a big, sweaty family hug.
“It’s tough, but to be able to celebrate this with my dad is really special,” Wisener said, fighting through tears. “This is the biggest win of my career, and I’m just so honored that it was a TGA event. I grew up coming out to TGA events and caddied in a Texas Am for one of my best friends when I was 14 years old. I’ve always been around the TGA, and I grew up on the Legends Junior Tour. This means so much to me.”
On the 72nd hole, Holden missed a putt from about 4 feet. In the playoff, his birdie putt to win was on almost the same line, just longer.
“It was about 4 feet, same line, and I left it low,” said Wisener, who went 68-66-68-68 for the week. “In the playoff, some sort of clarity came over me. I rolled it really well and it found the bottom thankfully.”
And now Wisener goes into Texas golf history, and his name will go onto the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I’ve never been more nervous on a golf course. To come out on top, it feels insane. It’s awesome. When I got to the playoff, all I did was pray. And it paid off.”
Former Texas Amateur champion Zach Atkinson from Colleyville, Hayes Hamilton from Kingwood, and Francois Jacobs from League City shared fourth place at 12-under 272. Atkinson, who won the 95th Texas Amateur at the Club at Carlton Woods, fired a final round 65 to climb up the leaderboard.
“I was just trying to hang on,” Atkinson said. “I got everything out of my round I could. I don’t get to play a ton, so to get to come out here and walk four rounds in this heat, and finish like this is an accomplishment for me.”
Making the 113th Texas Amateur extra special, this year is the 100th anniversary of Willow Brook Country Club. Founded in 1922 as a nine-hole course, the tricky, shot-maker’s course has gone through many renovations, including mostly recently in 2016-18 when Tripp Davis & Associates modernized the thrilling track with rebuilt and reshaped tee boxes, greens, and bunkers.
The rolling, tree-lined fairways dogleg both left and right, which puts a premium on strategy and accuracy off the tee. The well-guarded, thoughtfully contoured green complexes demand precise irons shots to find the optimal sections of the putting surfaces.
PGA Tour winner and longtime Texas-based instructor Marty Fleckman attended the final round. Fleckman won the 1964 Texas Amateur, which was the last time the prestigious championship was contested at Willow Brook. The proud club also played host to the 1967 and ’96 Women’s Texas Amateur, the 1993, 2003, and ’13 Texas Senior Amateur, the 2019 Texas Shootout, and the 2020 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play.
The TGA extends its warmest appreciation to Willow Brook Country Club, including its members and staff, for their hard work in delivering such an enjoyable championship week. From the primo condition of the golf course and the quality of the food to the hospitality and general good vibes from all the members who attended and assisted during the championship throughout the week, we can’t thank them all enough.
Extra special gratitude goes out to General Manager Lana Adams, Head Golf Professional Chris Hudson, Superintendent Ken Bowman, Executive Chef Melvin Guevara, Director of Events Niki Self, Assistant Golf Professional Katelyn Sepmoree, and Club President Clay Cavender for all their efforts in creating a successful week.
We’re also grateful for our TGA Volunteers, who give their time and expertise to ensure the competitors in the Texas Amateur receive a world-class championship experience.
Next summer, the 114th Texas Amateur heads to the Clubs at Houston Oaks in Hockley. For more information on this year’s championship, including complete scoring, click here.