Monday, June 29, 2009

Burgoon Stumbles, Sacheck Capitalizes for Texas Am

James Sacheck is the winner of the 100th Texas Amateur Championship, taking advantage of Bronson Burgoon's stumbles over the final nine. Here is the recap from the Texas Golf Association:

Bryan -- Another hot day welcomed the players the at Miramont Country Club. But none of that mattered to the remaining players in the field as their main focus was to finish the day crowned the 2009 Texas State Amateur Champion. In the end, James Sacheck took the title playing in his first ever Texas Amateur.

Sacheck, who shot a course record (in competition) 7-under par, 64 on Friday to take a commanding 5 stroke lead into the weekend found himself on the outside looking in after a disastrous third round where he carded no birdies and posted a disappointing 7-over par 78 putting him 6 shots back of The Woodlands’ Bronson Burgoon.

Burgoon looked unstoppable on Sunday as he made the turn at 1-under par putting him at 8-under for the championship and a 5 stroke lead over the eventual champion. But no birdies on the back nine with a double bogey sandwiched in between two bogeys brought Burgoon in at 2 over for a Sunday total of 74, putting him at 4-under for the championship.

Sacheck remained focused throughout the day as he completed his round bogey-free, finishing the day with two birdies a side for the clubhouse lead at five under. It then became a waiting game as three groups behind him Bronson Burgoon was trying to keep his composure as a costly double bogey on the par 3 13th hole put him in a virtual tie for the lead with Sacheck with five holes to play.

But another costly bogey on the other par 3 15th hole dropped him one shot behind Sacheck. Pars on 16 and 17 kept him alive but needed a birdie on the par 5, 18th to force a playoff with Sacheck who was waiting anxiously behind the gallery ropes.

A perfect drive on 18 left Burgoon a chance to go for the green and but his approach shot landed short in the green-side bunker. A nicely played bunker shot left Burgoon with a makeable 5 foot putt to force a playoff with Sacheck, but was unable to roll it in as the crowd stood in disbelief, including James Sacheck who was wondering just a second prior if he would need to start warming up for a playoff. A few moments later reality had sunk in for the TCU standout. He was now officially the 100th winner of the Texas Amateur Champion.

Congratulations again to The Woodlands' James Sacheck and all of those tied at 15th or higher who will receive automatic exemptions into next years championship to be held at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.

Top Finishers
James Sacheck, The Woodlands — 70-64-78-67—279
Johnathan Schnitzer, Houston — 70-69-70-71—280
Bronson Burgoon, The Woodlands — 69-72-65-74—280
Jordan Spieth, Dallas — 71-70-71-69—281
Travis Woolf, Fort Worth — 74-65-69-73—281
Full Scores

Friday, June 26, 2009

Corpus' Kings Crossing to Close

Kings Crossing Country Club in Corpus Christi will cease golf course operations at the end of July, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The newspaper reports the clubhouse will remain open for social activities, but that the land currently used as a golf course will be up for grabs by developers, with housing the expected end result.

Kings Crossing opened in the late 1980s to much fanfare, a quasi-links design by architect Bill Coore, who went on to much greater fame as Ben Crenshaw's design partner (Coore also did a solo design at Rockport Country Club).

The club was sold in 2005 to a company called Kingley Properties. As part of the sale, Kingley was required to keep the golf course open for three years, but after that, the newspaper reported, no restrictions applied.

During those three years the new owners often antagonized the homeowners in the Kings Crossing neighborhood by sending letters threatening to shut the club if more residents didn't sign up for social memberships. Rather than scaring the homeowners, the letters seemed to have the opposite effect, generating a backlash against the club.

Now, the end of the golf course has actually arrived.

Aussie Wins Texas Women's Open

Australian golfer Katy Jarochowicz is the 2009 champion of the Texas Women's Open, just completed at Eastern Hills Country Club in Garland. Here is a recap from the Northern Texas PGA:

Garland, TX – Katy Jarochowicz of Australia captured the Texas Women's Open at Eastern Hills Country Club by one shot over Adrienne McDonald of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Jarochowicz fired a one-under par, 69 in round one followed by an even-par 70 in round two for a total of one-under par, 139, taking home the first place prize of $3,000.00. This is her fifth year as a professional golfer and the Texas Women’s Open is her first professional victory. In addition to a crystal trophy and first place prize money, the Honorable Joe Driver presented Jarochowicz with a Texas State flag that was flown over the Capitol building in Austin this morning.

Jarochowicz stated in her acceptance speech, "To be mentioned in the same sentence as Babe Zaharias and Polly Riley as a champion is truly amazing. I still can't believe it. I joked yesterday that if I won I would get a tattoo of the Texas Lone Star on my foot and now that I have actually won I think I'm going to do that."

Finishing at solo second place at even-par for the tournament was Adrienne McDonald. This is the second consecutive year that McDonald has finished runner-up. Allyson Ferguson of Houston, Texas, was the low amateur with rounds of 72-71 totaling three-over par, 143.

The 36-hole stroke play event featured a field of 132 top playing professionals and amateurs competing at Eastern Hills Country Club located in Garland. The 6,104-yard, par 70 layout has played host to the Texas Women’s Open since 2001.

Top 10
Katy Jarochowicz, Australia, 69-70--139
Adrienne McDonald, Gun Barrel City, 71-69--140
Christina Lecuyer, Conway, AR, 68-73--141
Ashley Sholer, Hamilton, ON, 74-68--142
Tara Goedeken, Dodge City, KS, 70-72--142
Dawn Shockley, Glen Haven, CO, 70-72--142
Mallory Blackwelder, Versailles, KY, 73-70--143
Brittany Johnston, Akron, OH, 71-72--143
Allyson Ferguson (a), Houston, 72-71--143
Brooke Beeler (a), Butler, IL, 71-73--144
Sarah Hurt (a), Southlake, 72-72--144
Full Results

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't Play Slow in Austin - You Might Get Shot

According to the Austin American-Stateman, a 73-year-old man playing Lions Municipal in Austin thought the group ahead was playing too slow. A confrontation ensued on the ninth hole.

At the end of the round, the 73-year-old accosted the group again, this time in the parking lot. And pulled a gun:

After finishing the game, Dailey and the others ended up in the parking lot where he provoked another argument with the men, the affidavit said. Dailey pointed an automatic handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets at one of the men and screamed, "If I feel threatened, I am morally obligated to destroy you," according to the affidavit.

Slow play has always been a problem in golf. Now, too, apparently so are morons with guns.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Corpus Christi Hoping for Revitalization at Public Courses

The Corpus Christi newspaper has an article out today about the state of play at the two municipal courses in town, Oso Beach and Gabe Lozano Sr. Golf Center. Rounds at the two tracks have dropped nearly 50 percent, and the courses are bleeding money, losing hundreds of thousands per year.

Pretty dramatic. The paper explores the reasons why, citing the economy, a general drop in play among all golfers, and more. But here's the nut sentence:

The Gabe Lozano course, on Old Brownsville Road, was closed for nearly eight months for improvements, and the Oso Beach course had sections closed throughout the past three years, Gavlik said.

When your two munis are inaccessible - at least in their full form - for eight months or three years at a time, of course the rounds are going to fall off a cliff. And rounds in Corpus have, dropping from a combined 140,000 (!) per year to "only" 80,000 per year. (It should be noted that the vast majority of golf courses in America would consider 40,000 rounds very heavy traffic; even for most municipals, that would be in line with norms.)

Whether the courses can make money going forward depends on getting them open and keeping them open. The quality of the renovations at Oso and Gabe's? Sure, that matters, but not as much as it would in larger cities. While golfers in Corpus have more options today than they did 10 years ago (mostly because of previously private clubs allowing public play on at least a limited basis), Oso and Gabe's are still the only games in town for muni golfers.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Stonebridge Ranch Team Claims Title

Report from the Northern Texas PGA:

Grand Prairie – PGA Professional Joe Menton teamed with Mickey Freed, James Freed and Eric Kelley representing Stonebridge Ranch Country Club to post a 21-under-par total 123, winning the Northern Texas PGA Championship and earning a berth in The 2009 McGladrey Team National Championship.

The team representing Stonebridge Ranch Country Club won by a two-stroke margin and will compete among a 41-team field on Oct. 26-28, in the National Championship at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort.

The team of David Foster and amateurs Wayne Beeler, Steve Ciulla and Doug Dendy fired a 19-under-par 125 finishing at second place by winning a playoff against third place finishers Philip Bleakney and three amateurs from The Golf Club of Dallas. There were seven teams in the Section Championship field.

Conducted by The PGA of America, The McGladrey Team Championship is the first grass-roots amateur best-ball championship managed by The PGA of America. PGA Professionals and amateurs compete for a combined purse of $14,070 at the Section Championship and $200,000 at the National Championship. Amateurs’ purse compensation will be in the form of gift certificates.

The164-player National Championship field will compete on three of Pinehurst’s premier layouts, Nos., 2, 4 and 8.

The McGladrey Team Championship is a result of the partnership between The PGA of America and RSM McGladrey, the official accounting, tax and business consulting firm of The PGA of America. RSM McGladrey is the fifth largest accounting, tax and business consulting firm in the country when considered with McGladrey & Pullen LLP (a partner-owned CPA firm).

2009 Texas Publinx Results

Report from the Texas Golf Association:

Austin, TX - The first cloud cover of the week brought cooler temperatures and much stronger winds for the Final match of the State Public Links Championship. Falconhead Golf Club in Austin was a great test for the players all week, but Sunday might have been the toughest day of the championship. The Final matched Shane McDonald of Mansfield against Craig Cyr of Austin in a battle with plenty at stake.

Both players had to conquer some nerves in the first few holes of the match and it was evident in the scores. Each player took two out of the first four holes to keep the match at all square. McDonald, a member of the New Mexico University Golf Team, made an incredible up and down from a bunker ten feet below the level of the green to keep the match all square through five holes. The match would go back and forth yet again, as Cyr won the 6th hole with a twenty foot par putt and McDonald took the eighth hole with a par. Cyr gained control of the match by winning the 9th hole for a 1 up lead.

As the match moved to the back nine, both players were still very much in the hunt for the title. Shane McDonald converted multiple up and downs to keep the match as close as he could, but two costly double bogeys were just too much to overcome. Cyr was patient throughout the match and never made any big mistakes. Cyr won the 11th hole to go 2 up and then seized control of the match by going 3 up after 15 holes. Faced with an uphill battle, McDonald went for the green on the reachable par four 16th hole. His drive carried the green and bounded into a hazard. Cyr played a wedge shot to the middle of the green and that was all he needed for a 4 and 2 victory.

Craig Cyr is new to Texas Golf Association championships, and even new to the state. He has lived in Austin for just seven months, and this week was his first ever TGA event. However, Cyr does have more experience than that would lead you to believe. The 25 year old Cyr played on the Quinnipiac University Golf Team in Connecticut and has played in high ranking amateur events such as the Sunnehanna Invitational. For his efforts, Cyr earned an exemption into the 2009 State Mid-Amateur as well as the 2010 Texas Amateur. With such success in his first TGA championship, who knows what the future holds for the talented newcomer Craig Cyr.

View the match play results

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Triton Financial Classic Monday Qualifier

Below are the four senior golfers who earned entry into this week's Champions Tour Triton Financial Classic at The Hills Country Club in Austin. The Monday qualifier was played at Falconhead in Austin.

Monday Qualifiers
Chris Starkjohann, Cardiff, Calif., 65
Jay Don Blake, St. George, Utah, 66
Dave Rummells, Kissimmee, Fla., 66
Ron Streck, Tulsa, Okla., 67

Interesting historical factoid: Ron Streck was the first golfer to win a PGA Tour event carrying a metalwood. From

1981: Ron Streck wins the Houston Open, the first PGA victory by a player carrying a newfangled metal wood. Streck's win with the TaylorMade metalwood goes largely unnoticed at the time, since the tournament was rain-shortened and he didn't hit the club on television. Better-known, and having greater impact, is Jim Simons' performance in 1982.