Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Texas Amateur Deadline Approaching

The entry deadline for the Texas Amateur Championship is fast approaching. If you're interested in playing you must submit your entry by April 8.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Texas Amateur. It is scheduled for Miramont Country Club in Bryan, June 25-28. Past champions include Mark Brooks, Charles Coody, Ben Crenshaw, Bob Estes, Bruce Lietzke and Scott Verplank.

Entries in the Texas Amateur are open to male golfers with handicap indexes of 6.4 or lower, and who belong to a club that is a current member of the Texas Golf Association. While a handful of golfers are exempt from qualifying, most entrants will have to play in a qualifier. Qualifying tournaments will take place across the state from April 21 through June 3, 18 of them in all.

More information, including the full list of eligibility requirements as well as the schedule of qualifiers, is available on the TGA Web site. Golfers can also enter online through that link.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hot Couture in TGA North Mid-Am

A report from the Texas Golf Association North Mid-Amateur Championship:

The weather caused havoc on the North Mid-Amateur Championship, but the outcome was still very familiar. After the first round was played in damp conditions, the second round was cancelled due to severe weather. The weather came into play once more, with a frost delay to start the final round on Sunday. However, the delay could not stop the inevitable, Rob Couture winning the North Mid-Amateur. Relief came Sunday, as the final round was played with calm winds and sunny skies.

Three players entered the final round tied for the lead after opening rounds of 69. Rob Couture was able to break out of that group and cruise to a three shot lead. Couture, the reigning State Player of the Year, won the North Mid-Amateur Championship for the third consecutive year. Couture, a Dallas native, used rounds of 69 and 73 for a two under par total. Rob Couture has dominated the TGA championships in North Texas for the last three years. He has captured at least one regional championship victory in each of the three years and was North Player of the Year in 2007.

John Bearrie, was off to a great start when disaster struck. Bearrie was one under par through five holes and in good shape to win before an 8 on the par 3 sixth hole derailed his chances at victory. Bearrie recovered to shoot 78 and tie for sixth place. Scott Maurer also entered the final round tied for the lead, but suffered a similar fate to Bearrie. Maurer made four birdies on the front nine, but played the last three holes in four over par to tie for sixth place. Jack Eckardt and Baron Buss were the only players to break par on Sunday with one under par rounds of 71. Eckardt tied for second place with Michael Ambriz, three shots behind Couture. The shot of the day went to Bart Goodwin of Flower Mound. Goodwin made a hole in one on the sixth hole, one of the hardest holes on the course.

Top 5
Rob Couture, Dallas, 69-73--142
Jack Eckardt, Dallas, 74-71--145
Michael Ambriz, Denton, 72-73--145
Baron Buss, Dallas, 75-71--146
Lewis Stephenson, Mansfield, 73-73--146
Full Results

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kortan Claims Adams Series Opener

The Adams Golf Pro Tour Series got its 2009 season off to a stormy start in Louisiana this weekend. The Capital One Classic took place at Ellendale Country Club in Houma. Unfortunately, heavy rains forced tournament organizers to cancel the final round. And that meant 36-hole leader Brian Kortan of Albuquerque, N.M., was the winner.

Kortan posted back-to-back 66s to finish at 12-under, two strokes ahead of Waco's Adam Meyer. Kortan earned $15,000 for the victory, Meyer $8,200 for his runner-up showing.

Top 5
Brian Kortan, Albuquerque, NM, 66-66--132
Adam Meyer, Waco, 67-67--134
Ryan Nelson, Dickinson, 68-67--135
Casey Clendenon, Houston, 66-70--136
Joey Lamielle, Sarasota, FL, 66-70--136
Full Results

Next up is the Lake Charles Open, April 1-4, at Mallard Cove Golf Club in Lake Charles, La.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Results: NTPGA Horseshoe Casino Pro-Pro Championship

The Horseshoe Casino Pro-Pro Championship is one of the Northern Texas PGA's major championships. It wrapped play today in Shreveport, La. Here is the report from the NTPGA:

Shreveport, LA – The team of Britt Patton, head professional at Dallas National Golf Club, and Mark Walker, PGA Member, fired a two round total of 64-67--131 to capture the title at the Northern Texas PGA Horseshoe Casino Pro-Pro Championship. Walker calmly rolled in a 12 foot birdie putt on the final hole to clinch victory for the team. Patton and Walker shared $3,800 for first place.

The team of Rick Woodson, director of instruction at Woodbridge Golf Club, and Vince Jewell, PGA Member, finished one stroke behind Patton and Walker in second place.

The four-ball stroke play Northern Texas PGA major championship featured 42 two-man team PGA professionals competing at Southern Trace Country Club, a par 72, 6,867 yard Arthur Hills designed private facility located in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Northern Texas PGA Horseshoe Casino Pro-Pro Championship was presented by Ace Laminates of Texas, Club Car, CMC Golf, The Green Grass Golf Group, KBS Tour Steel Shafts by FST and TaylorMade-adidas Ashworth Golf.

Top Finishers
Britt Patton/Mark Walker, 64-67--131
Richard Woodson/Vince Jewell, 67-65--132
Tom Strueber/Perry Arthur, 68-65--133
Greg Antunes/Jon Antunes, 68-68--136
Casey Paulson, Richie Hare, 68-68--136
Full Results

Golfweek's Best Public Courses in Texas

Golfweek has published its 2009 state-by-state rankings of the best public-access golf courses. They might be resorts, or daily fees, or municipals, but they are courses the public can get onto. Here is how the magazine calls the best public courses in Texas:

1. Crown Colony, Lufkin
2. Pine Dunes Resort & Golf Club, Frankston
3. Rawls Course at Texas Tech, Lubbock
4. Butterfield Trail, El Paso
5. Barton Creek Fazio Canyons, Austin
6. Waterwood National, Huntsville
7. Memorial Park, Houston
8. Barton Creek Fazio Foothills, Austin
9. Wolfdancer, Austin
10. Texas Star, Euless
11. TPC Las Colinas, Irving
12. Horseshoe Bay - Ram Rock, Horseshoe Bay
13. La Cantera - Resort Course, San Antonio
14. The Bandit, New Braunfels
15. Cowboys, Grapevine

Monday, March 23, 2009

Katy's Pocknall Wins TGA South Mid-Am

Congratulations to David Pocknall of Katy, the winner of the Texas Golf Association South Regional Mid-Amateur Championship. Here is the report from the TGA:

Houston - The 2009 South Regional Mid-Amateur Championship ended like it started, clear skies, a steady breeze, and David Pocknall leading at the end of the day.

Pocknall, of Katy, had a share of the lead after the first round and was one shot off the lead after round two.

After nine holes on his third round, Pocknall still had the lead, but the competition was bearing down on him. John Dowdall of Houston made the turn at 2-under for the day, jumping him up to third place; and Aaron Hickman (Houston), who started the day only three back of the leaders, was playing steady at even par.

But on the back side it was a different story.

Pocknall proceeded to birdie three of the next five holes, putting him comfortably at 3-under for the day and 4-under for the championship. Four pars on the final four holes was all he needed to secure a four-shot victory, his second in as many years.

Second round leader Dwayne Morley, who played in the final group with Pocknall, couldn't seem to get it going on his home course where he was club champion just two years ago. Coming in at 4-over par 76, Morley could only muster two birdies to go along with four bogeys and a double bogey on his 54th hole.

Top 5 Finishers
David Pocknall, Katy, 71-72-69--212
Aaron Hickman, Houston, 73-73-70--216
John Dowdall, Houston, 79-68-70--217
Jonathan Shipley, Katy, 71-74-73--218
Dwayne Morley, Houston, 71-71-76--218
Full Scores

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Texas Open Qualifiers Set

Here's the news from the STPGA on the pre-qualifier and Monday qualifier for the Valero Texas Open (which, remember, is now being played in mid-May rather than in October):

The PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open, played during the fall for the past four decades, has been repositioned to May as part of the Tour’s FedExCup competition— this year’s tournament will take place May 14-17 at on the Resort Course at La Cantera Golf Club in San Antonio.

The Southern Texas PGA will conduct Pre-Qualifying for the 2009 Valero Texas Open on Thursday, May 7, 2009, at The Club at Comanche Trace in Kerrville. The top 50 (plus ties) golfers from the 18-hole, stroke-play pre-qualifying event will advance to Open Qualifying, which will take place on May 11, also at Comanche Trace.
The top four golfers from the Open Qualifier will then advance into the field of the 2009 Valero Texas Open.

The Pre-Qualifying event is open to professionals and to amateurs with a USGA Handicap Index that, when applied to the slope of the qualifying course, generates a handicap of 2.0 or less.

The entry fee for the Pre-Qualifier is $200 for professionals and amateurs and includes a green fee and practice range use on the day of the competition. Practice rounds must be arranged with the host facility— fees for practice rounds are at the discretion of the host facility.

Golfers advancing into the Open Qualifier will pay an additional entry fee of $200.
The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2009.

More info is available on the STPGA Web site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Conner Wins STPGA Senior Series Opener

San Antonio resident Frank Conner won the season opener of the STPGA Senior Series. Conner has an interesting history. He was an All-American tennis player at Trinity University in San Antonio, and played professional tennis for a while before turning to golf later on. In fact, he is one of only three individuals to have played in both the U.S. Open tennis and U.S. Open golf championships.

Here's the report from the STPGA:

Former PGA Tour professional Frank Conner of San Antonio fired a 36-hole total of 68-70—138 to take the overall victory in the first of 10 Southern Texas PGA Senior Series tournaments planned for 2009.

Conner’s 4-under-par total on the course at La Torretta Del Lago Resort in Montgomery was a stroke better than that posted by The Woodlands’ Troy Schleicher and earned $300.

In addition, Conner took home $650 as the victor in the tournament’s Super Senior Division for golfers ages 58 to 65.

Fort Worth’s Wayne Wright finished in second place in that group, winning $550 for his effort of 74-72—146. Houston’s David Lundstrom finished in third place at 77-73—150 for $470 in earnings.

Schleicher, at 66-73—139, took home the top prize of $510 in the Senior Division (for golfers ages 50-57). Amateur Juan Salcedo of The Woodlands took second place in the Senior Division with a score of 68-73—141, good for a $420 merchandise certificate.
Austin’s Garry Rippy took the third spot in the Senior Division, earning $340 for his score of 69-73—142.

The next tournament on the 2009 STPGA Senior Series schedule will take place Apr. 13-14 on the Slick Rock Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort.

Visit the STPGA Web site for full results.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

STPGA Scholarships Open for Application

Junior golfers looking for a little help with coming college bills should take a look at the Southern Texas PGA Foundation's 2009 scholarships. The STPGA Foundation has doled out more than $300,000 in scholarships since 1999, rewarding 136 deserving students. In 2009, at least 11 scholarships totaling nearly $30,000 are available. Some of those scholarships are described below. Students and parents wanting more information or an application form should visit the STPGA Web site and navigate to the Junior Golf and Scholarships page.

Applications must be submitted by April 1.

Here is a rundown of some of the STPGA scholarships available this year:

  • Three Tommy Aycock Scholarships, named after the late PGA Professional who won the STPGA Section Championship six times, will be presented in 2009. Valued at $1,000 each, the Tommy Aycock scholarships will be awarded to students residing in the seven-county area (Nueces, San Patricio, Aransas, Kleberg, Wells, Bee and Refugio counties) around which Aycock spent much of his career.

  • The Joe Finger Scholarship, valued at $2,500, was created in 2004 by the members of Riverhill Country Club in Kerrville, and Mark Caldwell, the club’s head golf professional. It is named in honor of the late golf course architect, Joe Finger— Riverhill is one of many course designed by Finger. The scholarship will be awarded to a resident of Kerr County.

  • The Byron Nelson Scholarship was created in 2004 by members of Riverhill Country Club— Mark Caldwell, Riverhill’s head golf professional, heads up fundraising efforts for the scholarship. The scholarship is named for the record-setting Hall of Fame professional golfer who teamed with Joe Finger to design Riverhill’s golf course. The scholarship, valued at $2,500, will be presented to a resident of Kerr County.

  • The Joe Moore Scholarship, valued at $1,000, is available to all STPGA Foundation Scholarship applicants. It is named for and was created by a San Antonio golfer whose history includes two San Antonio Amateur Championships and a role on a late-1940s NCAA Championship team at Louisiana State University. Moore, a member at San Antonio’s Woodlake Country Club, played on the PGA Tour for several years and later became the head golf professional at Lackland Air Force Base’s golf course. He retired in the 1980s.

  • A pair of George Hannon Scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, will be presented to students whose primary residence lies with the Austin area (Travis County and the counties contiguous to Travis County). The George Hannon Scholarships are named for the former University of Texas golf coach who served as the president of the Southern Texas PGA in 1972-73 and was twice honored as the STPGA Golf Professional of the Year. Hannon is a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame.

  • Established last year, the Ross T. Collins Scholarship is valued at $2,500. It was created by the members of Kerrville’s Riverhill Country Club to honor Ross Collins, the 1972 PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year. Collins spent the last six years of his career as the head golf professional at Riverhill and retired in Kerrville. The Ross T. Collins Scholarship will be awarded to a resident of Kerr County.

  • The Ginny Termeer Scholarship was created in 2008 to honor the life and memory of the mother of Steve Termeer, the head golf professional at The University of Texas Golf Club in Austin. Mrs. Termeer was a chemistry teacher in Conroe for more than 20 years and was a dedicated golfer. She was a former president of the Women’s Golf Association at Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club in Montgomery and a volunteer scorer at the Houston Open, the PGA Tour Championship and numerous other tournaments. The Ginny Termeer Scholarship, valued at $3,000, will be awarded to a junior golfer residing in Montgomery County or any contiguous county.

  • The Bill Sitton Sr. Scholarship, valued at $2,400 annually (for four years; a total of $9,600) and renewable for up to four years, is available to all STPGA Foundation scholarship applicants. It was created last year to "assist aspiring college-bound students with furthering their educations." Billy Sitton Jr., the managing director of Club Corp’s international office, said the scholarship honors "a hard-working guy who enjoyed golf and introduced me to it."
  • Friday, March 06, 2009

    Nelson Announces Sponsor Exemptions

    The HP Byron Nelson Championship has announced that defending champion Adam Scott will be back to defend that title. The tournament takes place May 21-24 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving.

    Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard and J.B. Holmes are among other notables who've said they'll be there.

    Also, the tournament has announced four players who've accepted sponsor exemptions:

    • Rich Beem
    • Michael Schachner
    • Shigeki Maruyama
    • Jesper Parnevik

    Beem, Maruyama and Parnevik are very well known to golf fans. Schachner is a former collegiate star at Duke University.

    Sunday, March 01, 2009

    Shell Houston Open Qualifying Near

    Want to try to play your way into the PGA Tour Shell Houston Open? The tour event takes place April 2-5, but the two qualifying events - the Pre-Qualifying Tournament and the Monday qualifier - are fast approaching.

    Golfers who hold no PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour status are required to go through the Pre-Qualifier. To participate, you must have a course handicap of 2.0 or less at the qualifying site, the Tradition Course at Cypresswood Golf Club in Spring. The Pre-Qualifier is open to both amateurs and professionals who meet that requirement.

    The Pre-Qualifier takes place on March 25. The top 50 from the Pre-Qualifier advance to the Open Qualifier (a k a the Monday qualifier) during tournament week. Entry fee for the Pre-Qualifier is $200.

    Visit the STPGA Web site for more details and registration information.