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

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