News from Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

David Ortego & Mike Vacek Win South Senior Amateur

SAN MARCOS – After taking a first round lead by one stroke, David Ortego, Spring, walked up to 18 tee in a tie with Mike Booker, Houston, for the Senior Division of the South Senior Amateur at Kissing Tree Golf Club. Ortego bridied the closing hole to finish two-under par 70 on the day, and seven-under par for the tournament. Booker climbed up the leaderboard after shooting six-under par 65 for the final round following his one-over par 73 during Monday’s first round. In the Super Senior Division, Weimar’s Mike Vacek was able to find his way atop the leaderboard with a final round even-par 72. Monday’s first round leader, Chuck Ellenwood, Fair Oaks Ranch, shot four-over par 76 on Tuesday, and four-over par for the tournament to finish in third behind Kent Samuel, The Woodlands, who finished his second round two-over par 74, and three-over par over the two-day tournament.




Senior Division

1.) David Ortego, Spring                                       67-70 – 137

2.) Mike Booker, Houston                                     73-65 – 138

3.) John Pierce, San Antonio                               69-70 – 139

4.) Andrew Hydorn, Houston                               69-73 – 142

5.) Scott Smith, Houston                                        71-73 – 144


Super Senior Division

1.) Mike Vacek, Weimar                                        74-72 – 146

2.) Kent Samuel, The Woodlands                         73-74 – 147

3.) Chuck Ellenwood, Fair Oaks Ranch              72-76 – 148

T-4.) David Pocknall, Katy                                     74-75 – 149

T-4.) David Wagner, Fair Oaks Ranch                74-75 – 149




Top Finishers – David Ortego, who won the South Senior Amateur (Senior Division) back in 2015 Woodforest Golf Club, was able to hold off the strong, late push from two-time champion Mike Booker. San Antonio’s John Pierce played consistent, under-par golf in each round to finish at five-under par and one stroke behind Booker. Andrew Hydorn and Scott Smith, both of Houston, rounded out the top-five at two-under par and even-par for the tournament. The Super Senior Division also had a close finish with Mike Vacek besting Kent Samuel by one stroke. Round one leader, Chuck Ellenwood, ended the day in third, while David Pocknall, Katy, and David Wagner, Fair Oaks Ranch, came in at a tie for fourth, each at five over-par.


Weather: Monday’s first round started cool and with a two-hour delay due to dense fog covering the course, but by early in the afternoon, the sun shined and brought the temperate up to a high of 80 degrees. The second round began calm in the high-60s with mostly overcast skies that took a quick turn to sunny and a high of 84 degrees. Consistent wind of about 15 mph became an added challenge for the field, especially when gusts upwards of 32 mph came howling through as groups were playing their last few holes.


Host Course: Designed by local Texan, Gary Stephenson, Kissing Tree Golf Club is a semi-private 18-hole golf course set on the banks of the Texas Hill Country. The course opened in October of 2018, and each hole provides an extension of the natural landscape – blending grades of edges, slopes and contours of the landscape into its striped fairways and angulated greens.


Next Up: The South Regional Series next event will be at the South Four-Ball at Quail Valley Golf Course in Missouri City on April 22-23.