News from Around the Green

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

Texas Amateur Set For June 16-19

SAN ANTONIO – The 107th Texas Amateur presented by Insperity will be played June 16-19 at Oak Hills Country Club. Conducted by the Texas Golf Association since 1906, the championship brings together the state’s most accomplished amateur players to compete for the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.
This will be the seventh TGA major championship conducted at Oak Hills and the fourth Texas Amateur. In 1972, the last time the club hosted the event, a rising young star from Austin by the name of Ben Crenshaw took home the title.
More recently, the club was the site of the 2015 Texas Senior Amateur and 2013 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play, both won by Mike Booker of The Woodlands.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to conduct our oldest championship at one of the state’s most storied venues,” said Ryan Finn, the TGA’s Managing Director of Championships. “We’re confident that Oak Hills will once again provide a true challenge for the state’s premier amateurs.”
Founded in 1922, Oak Hills Country Club was designed by A.W. Tillinghast, one of the giants in the “Golden Age” of golf course architecture in America. Tillinghast’s strategic design philosophy has stood the test of time and is clearly evident throughout Oak Hills. Tree-lined fairways, bunker-protected greens and contoured putting surfaces are elegantly combined to demand the most from a golfer’s shot-making and course management skills.
Of the nearly 800 entries received this year, 46 players were fully exempt from qualifying based on past performance. To determine the remaining 98 spots in the 144-player starting field, 18-hole sectional qualifiers were held at 19 sites across the state from April 11 – June 12.
Format for the championship is 72 holes individual stoke play. All contestants will play 18 holes June 16-17. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties heading into the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Katy’s Michael Cotton, winner of last year’s championship at Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas, will return to defend his title. Cotton will look to become the first back-to-back Texas Amateur champion since Ryan Baca accomplished the feat in 2002-2003.
A number of highly decorated amateurs from the junior, collegiate and mid-amateur ranks will be looking to dethrone Cotton, however, and write their own story for the history book. Among those expected to make a spirited run at the Edwards trophy come Sunday afternoon include: past Texas Amateur champions Doug Manor of Dallas (2013) and Zach Atkinson of Colleyville (2004); current Texas Mid-Amateur and Mid-Amateur Match Play champions Scott Abbott of Dallas and Justin Kaplan of Houston, respectively; Stratton Nolen of Austin, medalist at this year’s Big 12 Men’s Golf Championship and runner-up in the 2014 Texas Amateur; Mason Greenberg of Southlake, winner of the 2015 Texas State Junior; Joshua Irving of Dallas, the 2015 TGA Statewide Player of the Year; and Mike Booker of The Woodlands, two-time Senior Player of the Year honoree and winner of the last two TGA major championships held at Oak Hills.
Admission to the 107th Texas Amateur is free, and spectators are encouraged to attend.
Once the action gets under way from Oak Hills, log on to for live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as starting times and pairings.
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ABOUT THE TGA: Founded in 1906 as the governing body of amateur golf in Texas, the TGA is an official representative of the United States Golf Association and the only licensed distributor of USGA GHIN Handicaps. We serve all golfers across Texas with elite competitive championships and recreational playing opportunities for men, women, seniors and juniors. The TGA is represented by hundreds of public and private facility Member Clubs throughout the state. It is our honor and responsibility to promote, protect and grow the game of golf on all levels.
Thursday, June 16 – First round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave starting times begin at 1:00 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Friday, June 17 – Second round, stroke play (18 holes). First wave starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees; Second wave starting times begin at 1:00 p.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. The starting field of 144-players will be cut after 36 holes to the low 54 scores and ties.
Saturday, June 18 – Third round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
Sunday, June 19 – Final round, stroke play (18 holes). Starting times begin at 8:00 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Awards ceremony will commence immediately following the close of competition.
PAR AND YARDAGE: For the championship, Oak Hills CC will play approximately 6,765 yards with a par of 35-36 – 71.
ARCHITECT: Founded in 1922, Oak Hills was designed by A.W. Tillinghast, one of the pre-eminent architects of the time whose distinguished portfolio includes Winged Foot, Baltusrol and Bethpage Black, to name just a few. In Dallas, his mastery can be found at Brook Hollow Golf Club and Cedar Crest Golf Club, site of the 1927 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen.
PREVIOUS TEXAS AMATEURS HELD AT OAK HILLS COUNTRY CLUB: 1950 (Morris Williams, Jr.), 1959 (Charles Coody), and 1972 (Ben Crenshaw).
PAST CHAMPIONS: Michael Cotton of Katy (2015), Doug Manor of Dallas (2013), and Zach Atkinson of Colleyville (2004).
INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONS: Scott Abbott of Dallas, 2015 Mid-Amateur; John Bearrie of Arlington, 2010 Mid-Amateur Match Play and 2012 Mid-Amateur; Jess Bonneau of Houston, 2011 Mid-Amateur Match Play; Mike Booker of The Woodlands, 2015 Senior Amateur, 2013 Mid-Amateur Match Play and 2003 Mid-Amateur; Rob Couture of Dallas, 2008 Mid-Amateur; Beau Davis of San Angelo, 2011 Mid-Amateur; Mason Greenberg of Southlake, 2015 State Junior; Clay Hodge of Tyler, 2013 Mid-Amateur; Justin Kaplan of Houston, 2015 Mid-Amateur Match Play; Stratton Nolen of Austin, 2014 Public Links and 2011 State Junior; and Mike Peck of Irving, 2014 Mid-Amateur Match Play and 2013 Senior Amateur.
USGA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: Texas representatives Zach Atkinson, Colby Harwell and Aaron Hickman won the 2014 USGA Men’s State Team Championship on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort. It was a record fourth title for Texas in the biennial USGA tournament.
2015-2016 POSTSEASON COLLEGIATE HONORS: Ian Berrigan of McNeese State, All-Southland Conference (Honorable Mention); Cory Churchman of the University of North Texas, C-USA All-Conference (Second Team); Jake McCrory of Sam Houston State, All-Southland Conference (Second Team); Stratton Nolen of Oklahoma State, All-Big 12 Team and Division 1 PING All-Region Team; Michael Perras of the University of Houston, American All-Conference Team and Division 1 PING All-Region Team; Mason Weld of Sam Houston State, All-Southland Conference (Third Team); and Austin Wylie of University of the Incarnate Word, All-Southland Conference (Third Team).
HOME SWEET HOME: It will be a home game for Oak Hills Country Club members Bobby Baugh, Chase Clayton, Braden Graham, Todd Hoisek, Mitchell Meissner, Brett Nichols, and Danny Simmerman. Simmerman recently won the 2016 South Mid-Amateur and is the reigning Oak Hills Match Play Club Champion.
21.5: That’s the average age of the winner of the past ten Texas Amateurs. The youngest was 17-year-old Will Zalatoris in 2014. The outlier in that stretch was 32-year-old Doug Manor, who won the 2013 championship. Manor became the first mid-amateur to win since Bob Kearney in 2001.
H.L. EDWARDS MEMORIAL TROPHY: The winner of the Texas Amateur receives custody of the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy, named in honor of Harry Lee Edwards, the “Father of Golf in Texas.” Edwards earned the nickname because he helped to establish the TGA in February of 1906, served as its first president and won the inaugural Amateur Championship.  Additionally, Edwards was also a founding member of Dallas CC and Brook Hollow GC.
AMATEUR CHAMPIONS SUCCESSFUL ON TOUR: Nine former Texas Amateur champions have combined for a remarkable 57 wins on the PGA Tour: Ben Crenshaw (1972) – 19; Bruce Lietzke (1971) – 13; Mark Brooks (1979, 1981) – 7; Scott Verplank (1982, 1984-85) – 5; Bob Estes (1988) – 4; Charles Coody (1959) – 3; Earl Stewart, Jr. (1947) – 3; Don Massengale (1958) – 2; and Marty Fleckman (1964) – 1.