News from Around the Green

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

Jones Jr. Takes Solo Lead at Odessa Country Club

ODESSA Following the first round of the West Texas Amateur, five players shared the lead at 3-under-par 69. Today, only one of those five remains in the top spot.
First round co-leader and Odessa native Mark Jones Jr. got off to a sufficient start this afternoon with a routine even par 36 on the front nine. After making a bogey on the 12th hole, Jones kicked it into gear making birdie on three of his last five holes to finish at 2-under 70 for the day and 5-under 139 for the tournament, leading by one.
“I knew after a while that putts would start falling,” said 27-year-old Jones, “I just kind of stayed patient and tried not to press…before this weekend I set a goal for myself, and that’s about all I’m shooting for.”
Another first round co-leader and Odessa native, Micah Rodgers, finished this morning with a 1-under 71, leaving him in a five-way tie for second at 4-under 140 with Hunter Rawls of Lubbock, Cory Churchman of Abilene, Matthew Zampello of Kingwood, and Tanner Gore of El Paso.
Both Rawls and Churchman fired impressive rounds of 3-under 69, but Odessa’s Will Kinnaird and Fort Worth’s Andrew Hudson had the low rounds of their division at 4-under 68. Kinnaird currently sits four shots back of the lead, while Hudson is five.
Forty-eight players from the Open Division at 7-over or better will play tomorrow morning in Sunday’s Final Round.
Although Kinnaird and Hudson had impressive rounds in the Open Division, John McClure in the Senior Division stole the show with the low round of the day: a 6-under-par 66. Hailing from Austin, McClure bounced back from his opening round of 75 to make a total of eight birdies on the day.
“Putting was the difference today,” said McClure, who had 28 putts on the day. “I made a lot of birdies. I hit the ball close. Yesterday I think I missed three greens and shot 75. Today I missed two greens, but I was able to get closer to the hole and make a lot of putts.”
Tyler’s Jerry Hudgins sits alone in second after an impressive 4-under 68, getting him to the two round total of 2-under 142. Jim Quinn of Arlington follows right behind in solo third at 1-under 143, while first round leader Luke Groves of Odessa is in fourth at 1-over 145.
Eighteen players made the cut in the Senior Division at 9-over or better to compete tomorrow morning for the championship.
Houston’s Chris Larsen maintains the lead in the Super Senior division, bouncing back from his opening round 80 to shoot a 2-under 70, coming to a 36-hole total of 6-over 150. Sam Boyd of Horseshoe Bay remains in solo second at 15-over 159, with Snyder’s Ernie Armstrong moving into solo third at 16-over 160.
Overall, the field fared better today on the Old Course at Odessa Country Club. With a field scoring average of 75.79, the Open Division saw fourteen rounds under par, the Senior Division had six, and Larsen had the solo under par round amongst the Super Seniors.
The final round begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. An awards ceremony will be held immediately after the conclusion of play.
To view second round results from the 87th West Texas Amateur, please click here.