News from Around the Green

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

Hollis Sullivan wins Texas Super Senior Amateur; John Grace claims Legends Division

SUGAR LAND — Hollis Sullivan was able to overcome a five-stroke deficit heading into the final round of the Texas Super Senior Amateur to force a playoff and claim the championship. In the Legends Division, John Grace finished off his wire-to-wire win carding the lowest 54-hole total for a Legend player in Super Senior Amateur history at 216.


Leaders: Sullivan, of Westworth Village, used a sensational final round to make his way up the leaderboard and claim the Super Senior Amateur in a playoff.  Sitting tied for 5th heading into the final round after shooting 75-76 Sullivan needed to go low in the final round in order to give himself a chance at the championship.  Sullivan did just that; carding two birdies on the front nine and headed into his final nine at 1-under.  Sullivan made the turn inside the top three when the field around him started to slip.  Sullivan headed into hole 18 at 6-over while then leader David Leiss finished hole 16 three strokes ahead.  On hole 18, a 483-yard par 5, Sullivan needed at least a birdie to give himself a chance and went for the green in two leaving him twenty-five feet for eagle.  Sullivan stepped up and nailed the putt to finish his round at 3-under par 69 and 4-over par 220 for the tournament.  Leiss would then bogey hole 17 and then on hole 18 had to make a four-foot tester for par to force a playoff.  Sullivan and Leiss would move to a playoff on the hole Sullivan just eagled.  Sullivan hit his tee shot first and landed in the right fairway bunker, Leiss then stepped up and hit his drive into the water on the left side of hole 18.  Sullivan would hit wedge out of the bunker into the fairway, Sullivans next shot into the green left him 9 feet for birdie and two putts for the win.  Sullivan would make a par and claim the Texas Super Senior Amateur.  This is Hollis Sullivans first individual Texas Golf Association state championship.

John Grace, of Fort Worth, added to his already stellar Texas Golf Hall of Fame resume with the greatest Legends Division performance the Texas Super Senior Amateur has seen in its nine-year existence.  Grace opened up the week shooting an ever-par 72 that included five birdies on the card.  He would follow up his first round by carding another 72 in round two.  Grace would open the final round of play in the Legends Division with an eight-stroke lead over the field.  Grace’s play in the final round put a stamp on a phenomenal week for the multi-time Texas Golf Association state champion, shooting a third consecutive round of even par that included one birdie on hole 16.  This is Grace first win in the Legends Division at the Super Senior Amateur.  This is Grace 9th individual Texas Golf Association State Championship.  He adds a Legends Division title to a crowded trophy shelf that includes the Texas Amateur, four Texas Mid-Amateurs, the Texas Senior Amateur, and the inaugural Texas Super Senior Amateur in 2015 at Fair Oaks Ranch.  Both Grace and Sullivan share a home club, Shady Oaks Country Club in Westworth Village a suburb of Fort Worth.

Top Finishers: In the Super Senior Division, David Leiss finished solo second after a final round 73 before falling short on the first playoff hole 18 to Sullivan.  Leiss spent most of the day as the leader until an untimely bogey on hole 17 opened the window for Sullivan. David Pocknall of San Marcos and Bobby Baugh of San Antonio finished tied for third after shooting 224 overall for the tournament.  Gary Durbin and 36-hole leader Jeff Kramer rounded out the top five of the Super Seniors at 226.

Adrian Walmsley of Dallas was recognized as the low net player of the Super Senior Division.

In the Legends Division, Bill Holstead of Wichita Falls finished runner-up to Grace after three rounds of 75-77-73-231.  Gary Kirwan of McKinney finished solo third place in the Legends Division at an overall 231.

Jay Trahan of Montgomery was recognized as the low net player of the Legends Division.

The 2024 Texas Super Senior Amateur saw two players hit a hole-in-one during the tournament.  During the first round Dave Moore of San Antonio carded a hole-in-one of the par three 17th hole playing at 129 yards with his 9 iron.  The following day the soon to be Texas Super Senior Amateur Champion Hollis Sullivan hit a hole-in-one on hole 7 from 169 yards out with his 6 iron.  Hole 7 statistically played as the hardest hole on the golf course during the second round.

Course: Founded in 1957, River Bend Country Club is one of the Greater Houston area’s most acclaimed member owned country clubs. River Bend Country Club holds rich history that includes the club record once being held by Ben Hogan.   River Bend was designed by Press Maxwell Jr. who has had a hand in designing and renovating other famous courses throughout the United States like Prairie Dunes Country Club in Kansas, a course which his father originally designed.  In 2010 Jeff Blume added to the prestige of the club during a $1.4 million dollar renovation adding rolling fairways, extra bunkers, and changing some green complexes and installing Bermuda grass to the greens.  Blume again added to the course with an additional bunker renovation in 2019.

Today’s Super Senior Division was contested at 6,178 yards while the Legends Division played at 5,720 yards for the first round.

Tournament History: First played in 2015, the Texas Super Senior features two age divisions: 65 and older (Super Senior) and 75 and older (Legends). Entries are open to male amateur golfers who meet the age requirements by the first round of tournament play and have a certified Handicap Index® of 12.4 or less (16.4 or less for Legends) issued through a TGA Member Club.

The format for the championship, is 54 holes of individual stroke play with no cut. Each age division competes from different tees and yardages, with a separate champion recognized. Prizes are also awarded to low Net scores in both Super Senior and Legends Divisions.

POY Points Race: By winning, Sullivan was awarded 1,000 points towards Texas Super Senior Player of the Year standings. Leiss received 750 for his runner-up performance. Pocknall and Baugh each earned 625 in a tie for third place. Durbin and Kramer received 575 for their tie for fifth.  A complete breakdown of the Texas Super Senior Player of the Year, including points allocation, can be found here.

What’s Next: The next event on the Texas Golf Association men’s calendar is the 115th Texas Amateur to be played June 13-16 at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.  The next event on the men’s calendar that includes the Super Senior division will be the 96th West Texas Amateur at Quicksand Golf Club in San Angelo on July 19-21.

About the TGA: The Texas Golf Association was established in 1906 with a mission to promote the playing and advancement of the royal and ancient game of golf in Texas. The association is one of the most respected in the country with an ongoing commitment to its members, contestants, volunteers and all who strive to preserve the great traditions of the game.

For More information about the Texas Super Senior, click here.