News from Around the Green

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

John Hunter Leads 90th West Texas Amateur After Round 1

Amarillo, Texas – John Hunter of The Woodlands leads the West Texas Amateur with a first round score of 3-under 68 by one shot. Hunter started his round 1-over through his first three holes, and after that never looked back as he went on to make four birdies to finish his round. Tied for second at 2-under 69 are Tripp Wallace of Lubbock and Brock Bruce, a host club member at Amarillo Country Club.

(Click here for Round 1 Scores)

The Senior Division is a crowded leaderboard with six players tied for first. Ralph Ellis of Amarillo, Vern Spurlock of Fort Worth, Kyle Kelting of Amarillo, Bobby Smith of Wichita Falls, Mark Merki of Denton, and Mickey Jones of Odessa, all lead the Senior Division shooting 1-over 72. Right behind them is three players tied at 2-over 73. 2017’s Senior Division Champion John Pierce of San Antonio fired an opening round 76 and only sits four back.

Ed Brooks of Fort Worth leads the Super Senior Division with an opening round of 2-over 73. Brooks, last year’s Texas Senior Amateur Champion has a two shot lead over Steve Rogers, who is a host club member at Amarillo Country Club.  

David Bolen of Lubbock, who is trying to defend his title as the West Texas Amateur champion last year, shot a 1-over 72 in his first round.

This will be the second West Texas Amateur contested at Amarillo Country Club in recent years. In 2010, the last time the event was held at Amarillo CC, host club member Luke Kane won the title. A longtime supporter of amateur golf, Amarillo CC over the years has hosted numerous Texas Amateur, Texas Mid-Amateur and USGA qualifiers, as well as the 2016 TGA Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship.

Amarillo CC opened for play in 1919 with an original design by William McConnell. The course has undergone several renovations over time, with the latest taking place in 2011. Overseen by Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design, the multi-million dollar project took 18 months to complete and reopened in the summer of 2013. With six completely new holes — three each on the front (Nos. 4, 5, 6) and back nine (10, 11, 12), more teeing options on each hole and improved turf conditioning, the Panhandle jewel now looks and plays better than ever.

Following play of the Second Round, the championship division will be cut to the low 48 players and ties and the Senior Division will be cut to the low 18 players and ties. There will not be a cut in the Super Senior Division.

The second round of the 90th West Texas Amateur starts begins Saturday, July 21, at 8:00 AM. For more information, click here.