Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bechtol-Russell Design Team Splits Up

randy russell roy bechtol
One of the most prominent and successful design teams in Texas has broken up. Austin-based Randy Russell and Roy Bechtol are going their separate ways after working together for around 10 years.

In that span, sometimes working with Tom Kite or Carter Morrish, often working just as a tandem, Russell and Bechtol have produced some outstanding and notable golf courses. And nearly all of them in Texas: Comanche Trace in Kerrville; The University of Texas Golf Club in Austin; Legends Golf Club in Kingsland; The Golf Club at Star Ranch in Hutto; The Ambush at Lajitas; Riverplace Golf Club in Austin.

All together, they have created around 50 courses. The most recent opening is ConCan Country Club, and they will work together to complete five golf courses already in the works at the time of their split.

Both designers downplayed any suggestion their split has anything to do with disagreements over work or personal matters, each saying it was just time to go his own way.

(Photo by Carlton Wade)

Conde Nast Traveler Golf Poll

Conde Nast Traveler recently surveyed it readers for its 2007 Golf Poll. Readers were asked to vote on the top golf resorts in North America, the Caribbean and British Isles. Alas, as so often happens in these polls, there weren't a ton of Texas properties to make the cut. But a few did. Here are the ones mentioned by the readers:

Top 100 Overall Golf Resorts
17. Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio
41. Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio
50. Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin

That's it. But good for these three.

Monday, May 28, 2007

U.S. Open Sectionals in Texas

There are two USGA Open sections in Texas this year, one for the men and one for the women. These are one-day, 36-hole qualifiers. The number of golfers who advance into the respective Open fields is determined based on number of players in the field and strength of field.

U.S. Open Sectional
June 4, Northwood Country Club, Dallas

Among the recognizable names in the field are Tommy Armour III, Jaxon Brigman, Greg Chalmers, Justin Leonard, Hunter Mahan, Brad Ott, Ryan Palmer and Corey Pavin.

Yes, Justin Leonard and Corey Pavin have to qualify to get into the U.S. Open. Their exemptions as past major champions have expired.

U.S. Women's Open Sectional
June 11, Westwood Golf Club, Houston

The field for this Women's Open qualifier has not yet been released. We'll update when the USGA releases field information.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tour Not Charitable to Texas

Over at Sports Illustrated's golf site, golf.com, Texas-based writer Art Stricklin has a commentary on Texas' tour events, charitable contributions, and why our tournaments have gotten short-shrifted by the PGA Tour.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem once told me that fans don't realize how much the pros factor in the amount of money a tournament raises for charity when figuring out their playing schedules.

These days I find his argument unconvincing. There used to be something on Tour called the Texas swing, during which three of the four events in the Lone Star State — the Houston Open, the Byron Nelson and the Colonial — were played in near succession. (The Texas Open was usually held later in the year.)

The proximity in dates and distance of the tournaments added to their appeal because a pro could stay in a single state, albeit a big one, for almost a month. The events also had long traditions and famous frontmen. Jack Burke Jr. remains Houston's Mr. Golf, an honorific bestowed in Dallas on the late Byron Nelson (who personally rounded up player commitments) and in Fort Worth (home of the Colonial) on the legendary Ben Hogan.

Further, all of the Texas tournaments have been good to charity. According to several tournament directors, in 2006 the Texas Open ranked first on Tour in charitable contributions with $7 million, while the Nelson was third ($6.3 million), Houston fifth ($4.5 million), and the Colonial kicked in $2.6 million. That's $20 million from Texas.

By Finchem's standard, that kind of generosity should have turned the players' heads. Then why are so many of the top-ranked pros taking a pass on the Texas swing?

Art answers his question a little later in the column: it's because the Tour has put each of the four Texas tournament in a terrible spot on the schedule, changing their traditional spots to much worse ones this year.

It should be noted that the Texas Open - the king of charitable fund-raising - has been promised a move to the Spring as soon as a spot opens on the schedule. We shall see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

NTPGA/Adams Golf Pro-Scratch Championship

The Northern Texas PGA's Pro-Scratch Championship, sponsored by Adams Golf, paired a golf professional with a scratch amateur partner in a four-ball stroke-play format. The tournament was played at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas. The recap from the NTPGA:

Dallas, Texas – After the first round of the NTPGA / Adams Golf Pro-Scratch Championship, the team of Chris Winton, Assistant Golf Professional at Hank Haney at Vista Ridge, and amateur partner David Benner were one of three teams two shots off the lead. However, after carding a 6-under par 65 during today’s final round, Winton and Benner stood alone atop the leader board with a two day total of 10-under par, 132.

Winton and Benner started their final round strong by carding birdies on three out of their first five holes en route to 3-under par 32 on the front nine. The team matched their front nine score with a 3-under par 33 on the back nine. Winton and Benner preceded today’s 65 with a 4-under par 67 on Monday to capture the title.

The four-ball stroke play NTPGA major championship featured 82 teams of one professional teamed with one scratch amateur competing at Bent Tree Country Club located in Dallas, Texas. Dean Larsson, Assistant Golf Professional at Bent Tree Country Club, and amateur partner Scott Fawcett finished one shot behind the champions with a two day total of 9-under par, 133.

The 82 teams in the field competed for a share of the $19,020.00 purse. Winton and Benner took home $1,500.00 for first place. Amateurs are awarded gift certificates.


Top 5 Finishers
1. Chris Winton (Hank Haney at Vista Ridge)/David Benner (a), 67-65--132, $1,500
2. Dean Larsson (Bent Tree Country Club)/Scott Fawcett (a), 67-66--133, $1,200
3. Jim Stalder (Hurricane Creek CC)/Clay Price (a), 69-66--135, $930
3. Judd Whiteman (Dallas National Golf Club)/Greg Smith (a), 68-67--135, $930
5. Cameron Doan (Preston Trail Golf Club)/Joel Eastman (a), 66-70--136, $770
5. Ronny Glanton (Sherrill Park Golf Course)/Mark Motes (a), 68-68--136, $770
Full results

STPGA Callaway Tradition Championship

Wes Skaggs of Leander is the winner of the STPGA Callaway Tradition Championship, played at Bentwater Country Club in Montgomery. From the Southern Texas PGA:

Turns out there is a benefit to getting out of the gate quickly. Wes Skaggs, the head golf professional at Crystal Falls Golf Club in Leander, posted a first-round score of 5-under-par 67 on the Weiskopf Course at Montgomery’s Bentwater Country Club.

Skaggs held a one-shot lead over four golfers heading into the second round of the Southern Texas PGA’s 2007 Callaway Tradition Championship and that turned out to be the winning margin with the tournament’s second and final round was cancelled due to heavy rains that inundated the area.

Skaggs earned $3,000 for the victory. Austin’s John Wagner, Houston’s Steve Parker, Robert Thompson of Huntsville and Bryan’s Brad Lardon ended up in a second-place tie at 68, taking home $1,712.50 each.

Jim Dickson of The Woodlands won the tournament’s Senior Division, his second consecutive victory in a Southern Texas PGA event. Dickson, who won the Section’s Srixon Spring Classic in April, carded a 69 on the Bentwater course to finish two strokes up on Chuck Bishop of Helotes.

The win earned Dickson $1,750, while Bishop took home $1,250 as the runner-up. Bryan’s Bob Ellis and Chuck Westergard of San Antonio finished in a third-place tie at 73 and earned $725 each.


Top 5 Finishers
Wes Skaggs, Leander, 67, $3,000
John Wagner, Austin, 68, $1,712.50
Steve Parker, Houston, 68, $1,712.50
Robert Thompson, Huntsville, 68, $1,712.50
Brad Lardon, Bryan, 68, $1,712.50

Senior Division Top 5
Jim Dickson, The Woodlands, 69, $1,750
Chuck Bishop, Helotes, 71, $1,250
Bob Ellis, Bryan, 73, $725
Chuck Westergard, San Antonio, 73, $725
Charlie Epps, Richmond, 74, $525

U.S. Open Local Qualifying

More results from U.S. Open - men's and women's - local qualifying sites in Texas. Only those advancing to sectionals, and alternates, are listed. An "a" in parentheses indicates amateur; an "a" before a player's name indicates alternate.

Shadow Lake Golf Club, Richmond
Brett Callas, Houston, 67
Kyle Kelley (a), Houston, 67
Ryan Nelson, Houston, 67
Mark Smith, Afghanistan, 67
Cory Whitsett (a), Houston, 67
Adam Meyer, Fort Worth, 68
Shawn Stefani, Bayton, 68
a-Brian Rowell, Lafayette, La., 68
a-Blake Redmond (a), Sugar Land, 69

San Antonio Country Club
Gibby Martens, San Antonio, 68
Justin Otto, Horseshoe Bay, 70
Ted Soule, Austin, 70
Steven Yawn (a), San Antonio, 70
Mark Macejewski (a), San Antonio, 71
a-David Petry, San Antonio, 71
a-Geoff Howard (a), San Antonio, 72

Canyon Creek Country Club, Richardson
Kate Ackerson (a), Allen, 75
Megan Dowdy (a), Leander, 75
Carrie Chambers, Elk City, Okla., 76
Wendy Mazza, Oklahoma City, Okla., 76
Lindsay Cullen (a), Dallas, 77
Mina Hardin (a), Fort Worth, 77
Anita Ojeda (a), Chile, 77
Ashley Rollings (a), Austin, 77
Lisa DePaulo, Austin, 78
Kendall Dye (a), Edmond, Okla., 78
Shannon Fish (a), Spring, 78
Nicole Melton, San Antonio, 78
Susan Redman, Spanish Fort, Ala., 78
Amy Ruengmateekhun (a), Garland, 78
Sarah Zwartynski (a), Allen, 78
Jennifer Ackerson (a), Dallas, 79
Kelly Fuchik (as), Tulsa, Okla., 79
Tanya Wadhwa (a), India, 79
a-Anna Schultz (a), Rockwall, 79
a-Stephanie Smith (a), The Woodlands, 79
a-Ana Carrillo (a), Mexico, 79
a-Lisa McCloskey (a), Montgomery, 79

Monday, May 21, 2007

Miskell, Kuehne Team for State Four-Ball Win

The powerhouse team of Trip Kuehne and Terrence Miskell did what many expected them to do at the Texas Golf Association's State Four-Ball Championship - win. Here is the report from the TGA:

Horseshoe Bay – Trip Kuehne birdied two of the first four holes in the final round of the 2007 TGA State Four-Ball to help he and partner Terrence Miskell open up a three shot lead on the field in route to a two shot win over defending champions David Leachman and Artie Starrs. Kuehne, of Irving, was a member of the US Walker Cup Team and Miskell, of New Braunfels, is the defending TGA Player of the Year.

Kuehne and Miskell finished with a four under par 67 and a three round total of 15 under par 199. The win at the Horseshoe Bay Resort gives Miskell his third TGA State Four-Ball title, having won in 2003 and 2004 with Titus Harris as his partner. This was the first State Four-Ball victory for Kuehne.

Leachman and Starrs, both from Dallas and winners of the event last year at Gleneagles Country Club, had the day’s low round with a six under par 65 to finish as 13 under par 201. The final round was played on the Ram Rock Course at Horseshoe Bay, which also hosted the first round, with the second round played at the Slick Rock Course. Ron Kilby of McAllen and Richard LaPierre of San Antonio finished third with a final round 68 (202).

Dru Fenimore and Mark Lindberg, who were tied for the lead with Kuehne and Miskell going into the final round, had an up and down round of even par 71 to finish fourth at 203.

Even with a three stroke lead going into the final hole, the winning team provided some excitement on #18 when both players hit their tee shots out of bounds. Miskell was able to salvage a bogey and ensure the two shot win. The final round was played under ideal conditions, as were the first two rounds, but almost immediately after the trophy presentation thunderstorms pounded the area.


See the full results

Adams Series - Inn of the Mountain Gods Classic

Ruidoso, NM - Alex Rodger left now doubt to who is "King of the Mountain" with his record tying 24 under par total at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Classic. He posted rounds of 67 - 66 - 64 - 67 to win the 2nd annual event by five shots over Chad Ginn (Alexandria, LA). Even though Ginn posted a final round 64, he was simply too far back to catch Rodger.


Top 5 in the tournament, completed Sunday:

Alex Rodger, Fort Worth, 67-66-64-67--264
Chad Ginn, Alexandria, La., 69-70-66-64--269
Ryan Vermeer, Lawrence, Kan., 68-66-67-69--270
Travis Hurst, Erie, Kan., 66-72-66-67--271
Andrew Dresser, Carrollton, 68-68-67-69--272
Judd Cornell, Omaha, Neb., 66-69-66-71--272

Rodger earned $12,700 for the win. See the Adams Golf Pro Tour Series Web site for full results.

Kelli Kuehne to Coach UT?

kelli kuehne university of texas coachOne of my favorite female golfers, the delectably cute Kelli Kuehne (that's right, I said it!), has struggled on the LPGA Tour the past couple years. She might have a new calling, however: coach of the University of Texas women's golf team.

Longtime UT coach Susan Watkins resigned recently after 14 years. Golfweek college golf writer Beth Ann Baldry recently asked Kuehne if she would consider returning to Austin to become a college golf coach. Kelli's answer: Yes, but probably not right now.

From "Blog University," Golfweek's college golf blog:

Couple more thoughts on the open position at Texas. Talked to Kelli Kuehne last night and happened to float out the possiblity of her returning to Texas.

“Crazily enough the thought has crossed my mind,” said Kuehne. “There’s something about everyone who goes to Texas that makes you want to bleed orange.”

But she quickly went on to say that she’s not ready to hang up her cleats yet. Kuehne spent time as a volunteer assistant at Texas in 2005 while rehabbing her knee. The former Lone Star turns 30 years old Friday and said she sees settling down in Austin to coach as a possiblity after she’s remarried and ready to start a family.

Word on the street is there’s another former Texan who is interested in the job – Cindy Figg-Currier.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

San Antonians Sweep at Carlton Woods Invitational


The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands was the site for the second annual Carlton Woods Invitational last week. The tournament brings together a field of some of the top amateurs in Texas and the U.S., competing in mid-amateur (ages 25-55) and senior (55 and up) divisions.

And this year, two San Antonians - Bob Hullender in the senior division and Jonathan Macias in the mid-am division - took the titles. That's Hullender in the photo watching his winning putt find the cup on the final hole.

Here is the tournament report from Carlton Woods:


THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Early in the first day of the Carlton Woods Invitational, 70-year-old Bob Hullender jokingly asked if the tees could be moved up for him, due to his age. By the end of the tournament, Mark Steinbauer, the Director of Golf, was jokingly referring to the tournament as the “Bob Hullender Invitational” and promising that the tournament committee would be “looking into things” to assure he wouldn’t break par next year.

The 72-hole tourney, held at The Club at Carlton Woods saw a pair of San Antonio residents, Hullender and Jonathan Mathias, pull out wire-to-wire victories by riding first-round 2-under-par 70’s to the finish line.

Hullender took the senior division with a 70-73-72—218, eight strokes better than his nearest competitor, while Mathias shot 70-72-78—220 to hold off a late challenge by Dan Crockett by two strokes.

It was Hullender who was the headline grabber, taking the title for the second consecutive year, and grabbing the honor of the first in tournament history to finish in the red.

While the first day of golf at the difficult Nicklaus Course saw several golfers walking off the course muttering: “I hit the ball pretty well, I don’t know how I ended up with 80,” Hullender and Mathias jumped out to commanding leads by firing a pair of 70’s.

Hullender built on his lead on Day 2, played at the Fazio Course, extending it to six strokes, while Mathias’ margin was cut to four when Reno’s David Nelson went 2-under.

Nelson faded with an 80 on the third day, again played at the Nicklaus Course, but Mathias briefly allowed the door to open when went bogey, quadruple bogey, on holes 3 and 4.

Looking to squeeze into the lead was Crockett, of Franklin, Tenn., who made his run by finishing the third day at 2-under-70 and tied the Mid-Am course record.

But Mathias was able to settle down and stop the bleeding by shooting 1-over on the back nine to seal the championship. “You know that’s golf. I’ve been playing a lot of competitive golf over the last couple of years and I’ve learned from that experience. I knew I still had fifteen holes left and the tournament wasn’t over yet,” said Mathias. “I knew that as hard as this course was playing and as comfortable as I am on this golf course that I could still post a good score and win this tournament.”

Hullender, on the other hand, never had to sweat, using his surprising length (possibly the biggest hitter in a division of men 10-15 years his junior) and steady putter to calmly tick off the holes until he reached the clubhouse.

“I guess you could say I played a little more defensive today,” said Hullender. “Starting off with a six-shot lead I didn’t feel like I had to get too aggressive, so there were several times where I played it safe.”

“I don’t know how you’ll be able to keep me away, if I’m alive, I’ll be here,” said Hullender. “It was nice to take both titles back to San Antonio.”


More about the tournament - including full-field scores - can be found at www.carltonwoodsinvitational.com.

Report: Lajitas Resort May Face Foreclosure

Lajitas Resort, the luxury resort in West Texas that is home to the Roy Bechtol-Randy Russell designed The Ambush at Lajitas golf course - one of only a handful of "carpet of green" desert-style golf courses, of the Phoenix/Scottsdale variety, in Texas - is in danger of foreclosure, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.

The newspaper reports:


Billed as the "Ultimate Hideout," for the rich and powerful, the $100 million Lajitas Resort in far West Texas may be headed for the ultimate indignity.

A New England finance company, which a year ago lent the resort $12.5 million for improvements, has filed for foreclosure in Brewster County.

According to the public notice posted this week, the property — which is open for business — is set for sale to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps in early June.



Stephen Smith, the Austin telecom tycoon who built the resort, could not be reached for comment. His resort manager told the paper that it was basically much ado about nothing, a pressure tactic being applied by a lender with which the resort has had running disputes.

However, the article goes on to report that the improvements that were supposed to have been made with the $12.5 from the lender have, for the most part, not even been started. And that the Lajitas Resort's tax statements tell a tale of financial woes:


... the mantra, "If you build it, they will come," apparently works better in fictional baseball movies than for real-life West Texas resorts.

Lajitas never has broken even. Land sales in the planned subdivisions have been slow, and the resort sometimes resembles a well-primped Western ghost town in the hot summer months.

Signs of financial stress continue to hover over the resort, which for the second consecutive year was late in paying its Brewster County taxes.

Hotel receipts reported to the comptroller's office reflect a slow but steady decline in business.

For the past four quarters, Lajitas generated $1.65 million in receipts, down from $1.8 million for the year before that, and from $2 million for the year earlier.

Smith's personal finances also have been under stress lately. In April, a suit filed by him in U.S. Tax Court against the IRS over $140 million in contested tax shelters was dismissed before going to trial.


Full report (you may need to visit bugmenot.com is you are unable to get into the site to read the article)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

U.S. Open Qualifying - Midland

Only those making it through the first stage to advance to the second stage are listed. An "a" in parentheses - (a) - means amateur; an "a" before a player's name means alternate.

Midland Country Club
Mark Jones (a), Odessa, 64
Andrew Dresser, Dallas, 64
Jeb Stuart, Plano, 67
a-Marcus Jones, Graham, 67
a-Casey Devoll, Cooper, 70

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TGA State Four-Ball This Weekend

Here's a preview of the State Four-Ball Championship from the Texas Golf Association:

The Texas Golf Association's 2007 State Four-Ball will be held from May 18-20 at the Horseshoe Bay Resort, located on the shores of Lake LBJ just outside Marble Falls. Format for the competition is 54-hole four-ball stroke play, with the field cut to the low 40 teams after 36-holes.

Both the Ram Rock and Slick Rock courses at Horseshoe Bay will be utilized for this year's championship. All teams will play their first and third rounds on Ram Rock, with Saturday's second round being contested on Slick Rock.

A total of sixty-six teams are entered, headed by defending champions David Leachman and Artie Starrs, both of Dallas, who claimed the title last year at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano. Other past winners in the starting field are Kent Wiese and Chris James (2005), Alan Hill and Jeff Harvey (2001), and Chris Goodspeed and Bill Steen (1996-97, 2002). Terrence Miskell, of New Braunfels, who partnered with Titus Harris to capture back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004, is teaming up this year with Irving's Trip Kuehne.

Opened in 1971, the Horseshoe Bay Resort boasts three championship courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.: Slick Rock, Ram Rock and Apple Rock. Through the years the club has been host to a number of TGA championships, most notably the 2000 Senior Amateur, 2002 State Amateur, and the 2005 State Club Team. Later this summer, the TGA will return to Horseshoe Bay for the 2007 Father-Son, to be held from July 13-15 on the Apple Rock course.

Tee-times and parings for the first two rounds are posted on the Texas Golf Association's web site (www.txga.org). Once the action gets under way, live scoring updates and daily recaps will be available throughout the championship.

U.S. Open Qualifying

More results from U.S. Open local qualifiers. Only players who advance to the second round, plus alternates, are listed (an a in parentheses indicated amateur; an a before a player's name indicates alternate):

Spanish Oaks Golf Club, Bee Cave
Jeff Burns, San Antonio, 69
Adam Wennerstrom (a), Austin, 71
Corbin King, Round Rock, 72
Conrad Shindler (a), Westlake, 73
a-Henrik Simonsen, Bee Cave, 73
a-Jaime Gomez, McAllen, 73

Painted Dunes, Desert Course, El Paso
Christopher Baryla, Canada, 67
Jacob Rogers, Tucson, Ariz., 67
a-David McDaniel (a), Tucson, Ariz., 69
a-Gabe Reynolds, Austin, 69

Sherrill Park Golf Course, Richardson
Luke Lane, Fort Worth, 66
Chris Wheeler, Allen, 66
Chris Cureton, Dallas, 67
Dustin Risdon, Canada, 67
Nicholas Sheedy (a), Norman, Okla., 67
Matt Weibring, Cleveland, 67
a-Brandon Immel, Dallas, 68
a-Scott Parton (a), Dallas, 68

Monday, May 14, 2007

Texas' Taylor Leon in the News

taylor leon trent tylerThat's a photo of University of Georgia golfer Taylor Leon and her brothers, Tyler (left) and Trent (right), who play for Oklahoma State University. The golfing Leons are a Dallas family, and the siblings all accomplished great things in Texas junior golf before heading off out state for their collegiate careers.

And Taylor has been in the new a lot lately. One of the top-ranked collegiate female golfers, Taylor announced a few days ago that she is turning pro after this, her sophomore, season.

Why go pro now? Well, the news that came out Monday might have something to do with it: Georgia women's golf coach Todd McCorkle recently resigned, and it was learned Monday that he quit after a university investigation revealed that his players believed he was making inappropriate sexual comments and behavior.

And it turns out, according to the AP report, that the Leon's father, Art Leon of Dallas, is the one who first tipped off the school to the potential problem. It's a sordid story; you can read the AP article if you want the details.

I'll focus instead on Taylor's pending leap to the professional ranks. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a lengthy article about it, and it sounds like the family is convinced that Taylor will be a superstar, based as much on her looks and personality as on her golf:

She has Breck Girl hair, a Revlon face and a Colgate smile. She also has a killer golf game, and all sports marketing types clamoring to represent her.

Enjoy an endorsement-free look at Taylor Leon now. Because in the next few weeks or so, the Georgia golf star probably be hawking something, likely golf-related but not necessarily.

"She's being pursued by a number of sports agency firms," said her father, Art Leon, who has been approached by IMG, Octagon and SFX Golf, among others. "She's attractive with a beautiful smile and an outgoing personality, and she can play the game of golf. They all want Taylor Leon to be a brand name, like Mizuno or Titleist. You'll see her face and recognize who she is."

There's also an interesting article from last year on the Leon clan that appeared in Golf World.

Adams Golf Pro Tour Series Debuts

The Adams Golf Pro Tour Series - the "replacement" for the Tight Lies Tour, whose schedule was suspended, and which now appears defunct, as a result of the U.S. Pro Golf Tour's financial crisis - debuted with the Lubbock Open this past weekend. The new tour was founded by the original founder of the Tight Lies Series, and its schedule this year picks up where the Tight Lies left off.

Congratulations to Adam Meyer of Fort Worth, who can always claim to be the inaugural winner of the Adams Series. Here are the Top 5 finishers at the Lubbock Open:

Adam Meyer, Fort Worth, 66-69-66--201
Richard Swift, Victoria, 66-70-66--202
Kevin Messer, Houston, 66-69-67--202
Chad Ginn, Alexandria, La., 68-71-64--203
Chad Wellhausen, Madison, Ms., 74-67-64--205

Check out the full results.

Friday, May 11, 2007

ConCan Country Club Officially Opens

The Concan area has long been a favorite Hill Country getaway, but mostly for Garner State Park and the fishing cabins along the Frio River.
Now the area has an upscale getaway, too: ConCan Country Club at Mountain Valley. The resort development, which includes a spa and an 18-hole, bentgrass green golf course designed by the Austin duo to Randy Russell and Roy Bechtol, had its official grand opening golf tournament a couple days ago.
The Uvalde newspaper reports:

... Golfers invited to play in the event received gifts of balls, towels and hats and were then treated to a variety of food and beverages on the course, ranging from grilled quail legs to smoked pork tacos.

The real treat was the course itself, a par-72 track that carves a graceful path through the eye-soothing Hill Country terrain. Playing 7,333 yards from the championship tees or 5,187 yards from the forward tees, golfers can bite off as much as they want of the zoysia-padded fairways.

Former Uvalde High School golf coach Willie Edwards, whose team of H.T. Langford, Win DuBose and Karl Gager won the golf scramble with a nifty score of nine under par, gave the course a thumbs-up.

'“It is a beautiful piece of property and quite a test of golf,” Edwards said. “Given time I think it will build a reputation as one of the best golf courses in Southwest Texas.“I was really impressed with the course condition, considering its newness and weather issues. Those people who were getting the grass and getting everything going did a hell of a job,” Edwards said.

...

John Junker, whose Southern Golf Properties will manage the golf at ConCan Country Club, said he plans to market the course to areas within one-and-a-half-
to two-hour drive from Concan.

“I feel it is going to be a great destination for corporate groups that do overnights or weekends. I think it will be one of the best venues in Texas for that,” Junker said.

Junker said he will also target men's and ladies' groups from throughout the state that are looking for an unusual getaway destination.

“It is so unique. You can really wind down out there,” Junker said.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

U.S. Open Qualifying - Irving

The first of the USGA's local qualifiers in Texas for the U.S. Open was played this week at Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving. The following golfers move on to the sectional qualifying level:

Stuart Deane, Arlington, 65
Brad Ott, Frisco, 66
Edward Loar, Dallas, 67
Jaxon Brigman, Frisco, 67
Todd Rossetti, Dallas, 67
Tyler Leon, Dallas, 67
Adam Rubinson, Benbrook, 68
Greg Chalmers, Irving, 68
Trent Leon, Dallas, 68

These two players are alternates:

Scott Gutschewski, Reston , Va. , 68
Shawn Devan, Carrollton, 68

Some of the recognizable names who failed to advance: Emlyn Aubrey, Brad Weesner, Joel Edwards, Kris Cox, B J Staten, Greg Sonnier, Steven Bowditch, Kelly Grunewald. This must have been one of the toughest local qualifying sites.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot 72. Former Steelers and Broncos quarterback Tommy Maddox shot 75. NHL great Brett Hull was entered, but withdrew.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Caddie for the Pros at Colonial

The charitable organization Caddy for a Cure is currently (as this is written) running four auctions on eBay for the opportunity to caddie for a tour pro at Colonial.

The four golfers "up for grabs," so to speak, are Tom Lehman, Rory Sabbatini, Stephen Ames and John Rollins. The winning bidder of each auctions gets to carry the bag for his respective player during a practice round on Tuesday, May 22. Also included in the winning bid is a 3-day, 2-night trip to an Arizona golf resort.

You can find out more about the organization and the auctions at
www.caddyforacure.com, or go straight to the eBay auctions at http://stores.ebay.com/Caddy-For-A-Cure. The Colonial auctions close on Friday, May 11.

Monday, May 07, 2007

USGA Open Qualifying

It's that time of year - the time of year when hopefuls across the country take a shot at the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open through local qualifying rounds.

Local qualifiers for the men's and women's Opens must be terribly nerve-wracking affairs. After all, that dream each golfers is harboring gets only 18 holes in which to become reality ... or to be crushed.

Here are the sites and dates for local qualifiers coming up in Texas:

U.S. Open


  • Tuesday, May 8 - Hackberry Creek Country Club, Irving
  • Monday, May 14 - Spanish Oaks Golf Club, Bee Cave (Austin); Painted Dunes Golf Course, Desert Course, El Paso; Sherrill Park Golf Course, Richardson
  • Tuesday, May 15 - Midland Country Club, Midland
  • Monday, May 21 - Shadow Hawk Golf Club, Richmond; San Antonio Country Club, San Antonio

U.S. Women's Open


  • Monday, May 21 - Canyon Creek Country Club, Richardson

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Notebook

Seguin's Chaparral Golf Club, a semi-private course whose advertising has long claimed "the best greens in Texas," has been sold. The new owners plan course upgrades, starting with new bunkers. And they've changed the name of the course to The Golf Club of Seguin.

Former owner T.J. Bates is quoted in the article saying, "Chaparral has always been known to have the best greens in Texas, they were head and shoulders above everybody else."

What a crock. Not that there has ever been anything wrong with Chaparral's - excuse me, The Golf Club of Seguin's - greens on the several times I've played there. They've been fine. But the best greens in Texas? Gimme a break.

If a newspaper interviews me and I say, "Bogey McDuff has long been known to be the best driver of the golf ball in Texas, and to be desired by every woman he meets between the ages of 18 and 48," would a newspaper just rush that into print?

C'mon, everyone knows I'm just an average driver.

Elsewhere:

  • Scott Verplank jumped 37 spots in the World Golf Rankings after winning the Byron Nelson Championship, from No. 68 to No. 31.

  • The NCAA women's golf regionals are coming up May 10-12. Texas A&M is the No. 5 seed in the East Regional. The Central Regional includes No. 7 TCU, No. 8 Baylor and No. 15 SMU.

  • The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle newspaper has a profile of Shawn Strohman, head pro at The Escondido Club at Horseshoe Bay (the Wyoming paper misidentifies Escondido as being in Dallas). Why is this in a Wyoming paper? Because Strohman - who was previously head pro at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas - is from Cheyenne.

  • In 2005, Sam Houston State University purchased Ravens Nest Golf Course from the City of Huntsville as part of establishing a Professional Golf Management program at the school. The university's newspaper, the Houstonian, takes at a look at how that purchase has worked out (short version: very well, thank you).

  • Some of our readers may recall that I used to be involved with BunkerShot.com. Alas, too much work in other areas caused me to leave those duties behind. Lucky for BunkerShot.com readers, because Tony Vaught - long involved in Central Texas golf and currently tour director in San Antonio and Austin for the Golf Galaxy Tour - took over. And Tony has just been named editor of a new South Central U.S. edition of BunkerShot.com that will cover Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.