News from Around the Green

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

Doggett, Reily Tied for Lead at 112th Texas Amateur

MIDLAND – A pair of collegiate upperclassmen share the 54-hole lead in the 112th Texas Amateur at 8-under-par 208. Jake Doggett, a fifth-year senior at Midwestern State University, and Austyn Reily, a junior at the University of Houston, hold a two-shot lead over three pursuers at Midland Country Club with 18 holes left to play.

Doggett, who won the 2021 NCAA Div. II Lone Star Conference title in May, shot a 4-under 68 in Saturday’s Round 3. He drained a 50-foot eagle putt the par-5 fourth hole and added three birdies on the day. Only a lip-out bogey on the 18th kept Doggett from turning in a clean scorecard.

“I was putting really well on the front,” said Doggett, who finished T35 in last summer’s 111th Texas Amateur at Boot Ranch Golf Club. “I had a few good up-and-downs for par to save my 68 today.”

Reily came in with a 5-under 67 on Saturday thanks to a torrid stretch on the back nine. He ran in birdies on the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes to vault up the leaderboard on Moving Day.

“I hit 17 of 18 greens today,” said Reily, who finished T3 for the Cougars at the 2021 Rice Intercollegiate. “It took a while to get the putts to fall, but towards the end they started to fall. I like these greens. It doesn’t get much better than the bentgrass, just how fast and true they roll.”

Two shots behind Doggett and Reily are three talented pursuers. Odessa’s Blake Parks, Leander’s Ryan O’Rear and Paul McNamara from Dallas share third place at 6-under 210. McNamara, a former Notre Dame standout who won the 2021 North Mid-Amateur, fired a 5-under 67 in Round 3. Parks and O’Rear each posted 2-under 70.

Fourteen players are within five shots of the leaders headed into Sunday’s final round. The 55 players who advanced through Friday’s 36-hole combined for a scoring average of 72.87 in Round 3. That was two shots better than the full field fared in Round 2. Through 54 holes, the overall stroke average on the fescue-laden, shot-makers course is 74.53.


Strong Field to Say the Least

Whenever you gather the best amateurs in Texas, you’re going to see some eye-popping Handicap Indexes. The Texas Amateur is open to male amateurs who resides in the state and have a certified World Handicap System Handicap Index of 6.4 or better. Most who make it into the field have better-than-scratch Handicap Indexes, also known as plus-Handicaps.

At Midland Country Club this week, the best Handicap Index is a +7.4, which is astonishing for an amateur. Professionals don’t keep Handicap Indexes, but Lou Stagner of DECADE Golf crunched the numbers from the scores from PGA Tour pros.

He deduced their average Handicap Index is +5.4! World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, for example, would have a +6.5 Handicap Index, according to Stagner.

The average Handicap Index of the competitors in the 112th Texas Amateur is +2.8.

Hallowed Ground

Some of the all-time greats of the game have walked the fairways at Midland Country Club. Icons such as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jackie Burke and Sam Snead all have pegged it here.

The elite club also has some famous honorary members. Among them are the 43rd President of the U.S. and 46th Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, who lived in Midland as a child; World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin, who spoke to the players at Wednesday night’s players’ reception; and Mike Conaway, a past U.S. Representative in the 11th Congressional District.

While technically not famous, Margaret Cowden is loved by one and all in Midland. The honorary member turned 100 years old today. Happy Birthday, Margaret! Midlander Buzzy Banks turned 100 in 2018 and was awarded an honorary membership, too. Mr. Banks passed away last month.

(Tip of the cap to Midland Country Club’s Membership Director Jenni Rivas for these fun facts.)

The final round of the 112th Texas Amateur begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.