Thursday, November 29, 2012

TGA's 2012 Players of the Year

The Texas Golf Association has announced its Players of the Year for 2012. Congratulations to the four honorees, who were selected by the TGA Championship Committee based on a performance points system in which individuals earn points for top finishes in designated regional, statewide and USGA national championships.

And the winners are:

    John Bearrie, 43, Arlington
    Statewide Player of the Year

    Selected Highlights: Champion, 2012 Texas Mid-Amateur…Champion, 2012 State Four-Ball with partner Aaron Hickman…Quarterfinalist, 2012 State Mid-Amateur Match Play…two-time North Player of the Year honoree (2008, 2010)...Plays out of Medalist GC.

    Mike Booker, 57, The Woodlands
    Senior Player of the Year

    Selected Highlights: Champion, 2012 South Senior Amateur…Runner-Up, 2012 South Mid-Amateur…Semifinalist, 2012 State Mid-Amateur Match Play…Tied 3rd, 2012 State Senior Amateur…Tied 26th, 2012 Texas Mid-Amateur…Lost in Round of 64 at the 2012 U.S. Senior Amateur…Member of The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands.

    Mike Calef, 33, Allen
    North Regional Player of the Year

    Selected Highlights: Champion, 2012 North Mid-Amateur…Champion, 2012 West Texas Amateur…Tied 2nd. 2012 North Four-Ball with partner Kevin Somers…4th, 2012 Texas Amateur…5th, 2012 North Mid-Amateur…Tied 9th, 2012 Texas Mid-Amateur…Former winner of the Massachusetts Amateur and Massachusetts Mid-Amateur…Member of Eldorado CC in McKinney.

    John Dowdall, 52, Houston
    South Regional Player of the Year

    Selected Highlights: Champion, 2012 South Four-Ball with partner Kip Guidry…3rd, 2012 West Texas Amateur…18th, 2012 South Mid-Amateur…Member of Redstone GC in Humble.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Texan Thelen is Feelin' It on Euro Senior Tour

Texas pro Tim Thelen is having a nice little second career. After decades as a club pro in Texas, and frequent winner and contender in PGA section events and state-level tournaments, and occasional forays onto the pro tours, the 51-year-old Thelen is a 3-time winner in 2012 on the European Senior Tour.

Thelen has worked as multiple clubs around Texas, usually in the southeast part of the state and in the Houston area. Among his stops were stints as the director of instruction at The Traditions Club at Texas A&M in Bryan; pro at The Falls Resort and Golf Club in New Ulm; and at Bushwood Golf Center in Houston.

On the European Senior Tour this year, Thelen has made 14 starts and posted three victory, plus one more Top 10. His three wins came at the Berenberg Bank Masters in Germany, the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open in Switzerland, and the Fubon Senior Open in Taiwan.

The third win lifted Thelen up to third place on the tour's money list, and guaranteed him a Top 4 finish on the money list. That's important because it gets him a spot in the field at the 2013 U.S. Senior Open.

TLJT Players of the Year

Who are the Players of the Year for 2012 on the Texas Legends Junior Tour? Glad you asked! These three golfers won the awards in their respective age divisions (blurbs courtesy of Texas Golf Association):

Bryce Alley of Longview, Texas, is the Legends Junior Tour Boys 15-18 division Player of the Year for the first time. Alley started off the 2012 season with a victory at the 2011 Holiday Classic at Cypresswood GC in Spring, Texas. He followed up his win with a T-7 at the Winter Classic and then claimed his second victory at the Spring Preview at Woodforest GC in Montgomery. He followed that victory with a runner-up finish at the Junior PGA Championship North Texas Qualifier. He finished T-3 at the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship less than three weeks later after a final-round 5-under-par 66. Alley never finished outside of the top eight in any of the eight events he played, including a T-4 and a T-6 at the George Hannon Junior Invitational and the Texas State Junior Championship, respectively. Alley, a 2013 graduate, will play for University of Texas at San Antonio in the fall of 2013.

Ryan Grider of Lewisville, Texas, is the Legends Junior Tour Boys 14 & Under division Player of the Year. Grider played in three events in the Boys 14 & Under division, winning one and finishing runner-up in the other two. He won the Lanny Wadkins Junior Championship in August at Bent Tree CC by 11 shots after carding a 3-under-par 68 in the first round. He finished runner-up at the Winter Classic in January and the Spring Preview in March. Grider also won every event he played in the Boys 13-14 division for the Northern Texas PGA All-American Tour. Grider, 14, also played in the HP Byron Nelson Junior Championship and the Texas Cup Invitational where he finished in the top half of both fields.

Julia Beck of Austin, Texas, earned the Legends Junior Tour Girls 15-18 Player of the Year honors. She started off her Player of the Year campaign at the 2011 Texas Girls’ Invitational with a seventh place finish. She didn’t play again until the 2012 Spring Preview in March, where she won by six strokes after rounds of 75-76. She won again at the Bluebonnet Championship in May where she defeated Kirsten Pike of Ovilla, Texas, in a two-hole playoff. She finished second at the Texas State Junior Championship after making a charge on the back-nine of the final round with six consecutive birdies. Beck won her next Legends Junior Tour event at the George Hannon Junior Invitational where she, again, defeated Pike in a playoff, this time in three holes. She also won the AJGA Junior Championship at The Woodlands Country Club – Tournament Course in June. A senior, Beck will be staying in Austin, playing for the University of Texas in the fall of 2013.