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Houston’s Durbin Wins 86th Texas Senior Amateur

AMARILLO – Gary Durbin of Houston finished at 3-under-par after 54 holes at Amarillo Country Club and won the 86th Texas Senior Amateur. This win marks Durbin’s third in the last six years.

“It’s beyond belief, one of my goals was to match my dear friend Mike Rice, who’s name is on that trophy three times,” said Durbin reflecting on his victory.

“Today was probably the toughest day, so you really had to hit some quality shots,” said Durbin. “This golf course you have to play from the fairway as it’s very tough to play from the rough.”

Durbin started the day one stroke back and found himself two back after a bogey on the par-3 second. He made birdie on No. 7, which gave him the lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

“I managed my game well today and kept hanging in there by making some key birdies,” said Durbin.

Durbin made a bogey on the par-4 10th but bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 11th. His drive found the right bunker on No. 12 and he was able to escape and get up-and-down for a par. He made par on Nos. 13-15 before knocking in a birdie on the par-4 16th. He found the greenside rough on No. 17 and would make double-bogey, but still had a two-stroke lead on the 18th tee.

He laid up short of the water and then hit a shot into the heart of the 18th green. From there he two-putted for par and sealed his victory at Amarillo Country Club.

Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson finished solo second after posting the low round on Sunday. Stephenson made five birdies on the day, including the par-5 18th which played right into the south wind. The past champion jumped up two spots on the day to claim runner-up honors.

San Antonio’s Bobby Baugh and Houston’s Sandy Pierce finished tied for third at even-par. Baugh was the 36-hole leader and finished with rounds of 69-68-76. Pierce is the defending Texas Senior Amateur Champion and fellow Champions Golf Club member with Durbin. Pierce was 4-over on the day after seven holes but finished 2-under in his last 11 to get to even-par overall.

Tray Tyner of Kerrville shot 1-under 70 and finished tied for fifth with Terrence Miskell of New Braunfels. Amarillo’s Kyle Kelting and Texarkana’s Chuck Gardner finished tied for seventh, while reigning Texas Golf Association Senior Player of the Year Mike Booker finished ninth.

The conditions were tough for the final day of the tournament, with winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour throughout the day. The winds switched out of the south, which serves as the prevailing wind, allowing Amarillo Country Club to show its strength.

This is the first time the Texas Senior Amateur has come out to Amarillo Country Club and the course put up a strong test over three days. The scoring average was 77.55 and the field produced a total of 506 birdies and five eagles for the week. The Texas Golf Association thanks the Amarillo CC staff, membership and committees for hosting this year’s event.

The Texas Senior Amateur is the state’s premier event for male golfers age 55 and older. This year’s championship featured a 144-player field that was made up from exemptions and 18-hole qualifiers. The qualifying schedule spanned across the state and saw more than 200 players attempt to qualify.

With this win Durbin secures 1,250 points towards the Senior Player of the Year. Mike Booker entered this week leading the 2023 Texas Senior Player of the Year race and earned 450 points with his ninth-place finish.

The 87th Texas Senior Amateur will head to Byron Nelson Sports Club in Las Colinas next September. Qualifying sites will be announced by the new year and the players will take on the former tour stop.

For more information on the 86th Texas Senior Amateur, click here. To see all the scores click here.