News from Around the Green

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

Owen’s 65 Leads 31st Mid-Amateur by One Shot

HORSESHOE BAY—Trey Owen knows how reassuring it can be to have familiarity on a golf course during a championship event.
The Austin resident and member at Escondido Golf and Lake Club on Friday set the pace during the first round of the 31st annual Texas Mid-Amateur Championship with a 6-under-par 65. He made seven birdies against one bogey and leads the tournament by one shot over Terence Begnel from Midland.
“Overall I hit it pretty good all day, and I made a ton of putts,” said Owen, a 42-year-old left-hander playing in his first Texas Mid-Am. “I certainly felt comfortable and had a sense of familiarity. That helped a bunch.”
A member at Escondido for nearly three years, Owen is the owner of several Planet Fitness franchises across Texas. He said his 65 was the lowest score he’s posted at Escondido.
Designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2006, Escondido that year was named as the “Best New Course in Texas” by The Dallas Morning News. Ever since, it’s earned a spot in the Top 100 of Golfweek’s Best Residential Golf Courses in America. For the Texas Mid-Am, the 132 players aged 25 and older played it as a par 71 that measured 6,873 yards.
“Like a lot of really good Fazio courses, the holes are really framed well off the tee,” Owen said. “The greens are tremendous. They’re firm, fast and very consistent.”
Begnel, who played college golf at Oral Roberts in Oklahoma, made eight birdies on his way to a 5-under 66. He sits alone in second place, two strokes clear of Trevor Hyde from Kerrville, who shot a 3-under 68. Mike Booker from The Woodlands is tied for fourth place with Jordan Woolf from Fort Worth and Brandon Burke from Houston at 2-under 69. Booker won the Texas Mid-Am in 2003 and was the TGA’s 2012 Senior Player of the Year. Booker and Hyde are TGA Directors.
A light rain throughout the day made play slightly more challenging, however there were no delays. Eleven players broke par and five more finished at even-par 71. Escondido played to a stroke average of 76.74, nearly six shots over par. The 430-yard, par-4 14th hole was the toughest. It played to an average of 4.7 and yielded just nine birdies. Twenty-five players made double bogey or worse on No. 14.
The format for the 54-hole championship is individual stroke play. The field will cut to the low 54 scores and ties after Saturday’s second round. The event was open for mid-amateur men who are current residents of Texas and have a GHIN Handicap Index of 8.4 or lower. More than 580 mid-amateurs attempted to qualify for the TGA major championship.
Through one round, players have raved about the fast greens and delicious meals in Escondido’s Great House. The club on Friday provided natural Akaushi beef to the players during their lunch.  
The second round begins Saturday at 8 a.m. For more information and complete scoring, please click here.