News from Around the Green

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

Williams and Schultz Grab First Round Lead at Texas Four-Ball

MONTGOMERY – Russell Williams of Prosper and Jason Schultz of Allen hold the first round lead of the Texas Four-Ball after turning in a brilliant 12-under-par 60 at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club’s Weiskopf Course.

Williams, 46, and Schultz, 47, have known each other since competing as collegiate golfers in the ‘90s. Over the years, they have played countless rounds together as well as various four-ball events. Though this year is the first time the duo has teamed up in the Texas Four-Ball, Williams and Schultz had no problem navigating the Weiskopf Course on Friday.

Williams carded five birdies and an eagle on his own ball, while Schultz tallied seven birdies of his own. They both bogeyed the par-3 eighth en route to their opening 12-under 60 to lead the field by two.

“We both stayed patient, and when one person was down the other person just kind of picked it up and we just kind of kept the momentum going,” Williams said. “We had a little slip up on eight, but we bounced right back and made a couple birdies and got it going on the back.”

Two teams sit two shots back of Williams and Schultz. John Hunter and Shane Heise of The Woodlands and Will Grifiin and Coy Breen of San Antonio fired opening rounds of 10-under-par 62.

Hunter and Heise set the tone early in Round 1. As the third group off the tenth tee Friday morning, they carded four birdies and an eagle to jump to 6-under through nine. The duo didn’t slow down on their closing loop. Hunter carded birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 fifth and par-3 eight to complement Heise’s birdie on the par-4 sixth.

“Round 1 was a good bit of ham and egg for both of us,” Hunter said. “We kind of got some momentum, made some putts, had some balls go in that probably surprised us a little bit and got about as much out of it as we could. We can’t look back and say we did anything wrong. It was a good day.”

Griffin and Breen, who have been friends since 2002, started slow on Friday. They turned in 2-under 34 and were eight shots off the clubhouse lead.

“I saw some teams were going low and knew we needed to get it going,” Griffin said.

Coy carded a bogey-free 4-under 32, while Griffin carded six birdies en route to a closing nine 6-under 30. Their 10 birdies combined for an 8-under-par 28 as a team. The 2020 Greater San Antonio Four-Ball Championship runner-ups climbed the leaderboard and will begin Saturday just two shots off the lead.

“We knew we didn’t play well on our first nine,” Griffin said. “Coy made a really good putt on 17 (their eighth hole) that kept us bogey free which was huge. Then we made the turn and played awesome on the front nine like we know we can.”

Michael Samp and Chris Headon as well as Aaron Hickman and Rob Couture carded rounds of 9-under-par 63 and are tied fourth. Three teams are tied for sixth at 8-under par. They include Josh Ketter and Bryan Mitchell, Scott Loving and Brandon Destefano as well as Grant Bills and Scott Maurer.

In the Senior Division, two teams are tied atop the leaderboard. David Ortego and Gordan Wagner as well as Mike Lohner and Larry Corson fired 9-under-par 63s. They’ll head into Saturday’s second round with a one-stroke advantage over Dave Davis and Jim Quinn. Mike Peck and Steve Love are tied for fourth with Scott Smith and Kip Estep after rounds of 7-under-par 65.

In the Super Senior Division, John Kennedy and Ford Cartwright of Lufkin carded eight birdies en route to an 8-under-par 64. Dan Alpha and Richard Hageman are solo second at 5-under par, while Tom McGraw and Charles Reeve share third at 4-under par with Bud Bartels and Richard Baker.

With its spectacular setting on the western shores of Lake Conroe and three award-winning courses, Bentwater Yacht & Country Club is one of the state’s premier golf communities. The Weiskopf Course, the first built at Bentwater, made its stunning debut in 1989 and was designed by PGA Tour legend Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish.

The architectural duo took full advantage of the site’s natural beauty – stately hardwoods and towering pine trees, rolling topography, elevation changes and numerous water features – to create a course that is all together enjoyable, challenging and visually sensational. With options to play shots over inlets or carry corners of tree-lined doglegs, the Weiskopf Course provides plenty of exciting risk-reward moments.

The second round of the Texas Four-Ball begins Friday at 7:45 a.m. Once play concludes the field will be cut to the low 24 teams and ties in the Championship Division, low 10 teams and ties in the Senior Division and low six teams and ties in the Super Senior Division. For more information, click here.