EULESS, Tex. (May 29, 2014) -- Play kicked off in the first round of the 2014 State Public Links Championship at Texas Star Golf Course in Euless. Stroke play was the opening round’s format and defending Texas Amateur Champion Doug Manor got off to a blistering start, firing four birdies in his first six holes.
Manor, who is from Dallas, described his next nine holes as rough, making three bogeys from holes seven through fifteen. “I was just trying to stay aggressive, but get in the house with a decent number,” said Manor after his round. The Texas Amateur Champion would miss birdie putts on Nos. 16 and 17, but recorded a birdie on No. 18 to shoot a 2-under-par 69.
Nathan Weant of Hallsville, Cleburne’s Dillon Vaughn and Will Griffin from Lufkin each shot 3-under-par 68 in their first rounds for the low scores. All while Mansfield’s Andre Garcia, San Marcos’ Tyler Thomas and Austin’s Nolen Stratton posted rounds of 2-under 69. Andrew McGee from Graham shot 1-under on Thursday and is tied with North Richland Hill’s Kevin Burke.
Tyler Thomas posted the tournament’s low score in last year’s championship at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin, shooting an opening round 67, but lost in the match play semifinals. Dillon Vaughn, who is attending Abilene Christian next year, was the No. 18 seed in last year’s match-play field. “I’m hitting it a little better this year and I putted well today,” said Vaughn after his 68.
Matthew Neeley and Jimmy Keener each shot even-par 71 to advance, while 13 players posted scores between 72 and 75 to qualify for the next round of the tournament.
The final eight spots in the match-play bracket were determined by a playoff between nine participants with Chad Ahn, Dylan Rottner, Drew Odaniel, Sean Skellenger, Aaron Adair, Kiley Hardy, Parker Kienholz and David Collura rounding out the tournament bracket.
The top 32 players from the first round qualify for the match-play portion of the tournament as players will face off against each other the rest of the way to determine the champion. Nathan Weant will be the No. 1 seed in the bracket, followed by Will Griffin at No. 2 and Dillon Vaughn at No. 3.