Mitchell Meissner in Texas Amateur first round action
(Texas Golf Association Photo)
SAN ANTONIO (June 16, 2016) -- Mitchell Meissner
figures he’s played more than 1,000 rounds at Oak Hills
Country Club. He and his family have been members
since he was 6 years old. He’s 19 now and a junior at
Rice University. He’s also the leader after the first round
of the 107th Texas Amateur presented by Insperity.
Meissner didn’t shoot his best score ever Thursday,
but his 4-under-par 67 will do. He holds a one-shot lead
over three players headed into Friday’s second round.
“I started off pretty confident and made a lot of
putts early on,” said Meissner, who in April won his first
collegiate event, the Jim West Intercollegiate at
Wolfdancer Golf Club in Bastrop. The wire-to-wire
victory was the first individual win for a Rice golfer since
2011. “I could’ve gone a lot lower today, but I hit some
goofy shots coming down the last seven holes.”
Meissner leads by one stroke over Ross Wilhelm
from San Antonio, James Thompson from Dallas and
Chad Sewell from Conroe. All three shot 3-under 68s.
Four more players are tied for fifth place at 2-under 69.
Starting his round on the par-5 10th, Meissner
quickly converted a birdie. After a bogey on 12, he went
birdie-eagle on the 14th and 15th holes. “I hit driver, 7-
iron into 15 green,” he said of the 527-yard par 5. “I
had 15 feet downhill for eagle. I breathed on it and it
Once Meissner made the turn to the front nine, he
added birdies on the first two holes. Then he blew his
drive right into the trees on the 450-yard, par-4 third
hole. From under the shade of dense tree limbs, he
punched a low, running iron shot through a tiny window
of sunlight. His ball shot through the foliage unscathed
and rolled up onto the green. He escaped with a two-
“I’ve been in a lot of strange places on this course.
I know how to get out of them, maybe more so than
some of the other players,” said Meissner, whose career
best score at Oak Hills is a 7-under 64.
Wilhelm, one of Meissner’s pursuers by a shot, is a
30-year-old CPA who audits defense contracts for the
U.S. government. He’s a 2008 graduate of NCAA
Division II Winona State University in Minnesota.
Wilhelm earned Golf San Antonio’s 2015 Player of the
Year after six top-10 finishes in eight events, including a
second place finish at the South Texas Mid-Amateur at
Lakecliff Country Club. On Thursday, Wilhelm used
precision and relative familiarity to fashion his 68. He
15 of 18 greens and 11 of 14 fairways.
“I grew up in Wisconsin playing courses like this
one: narrow, wooded with small, fast greens,” said
Wilhelm, a three-year San Antonio resident who has
played about eight rounds at Oak Hills as a guest. “I’m
comfortable here. I was swinging free out there today. I
think that’s my key. I want to stay loose and keep
The 107th Texas Amateur is the seventh Texas Golf
Association major conducted at historic Oak Hills. It’s
the fourth time the A.W. Tillinghast-designed course has
hosted the state’s most prestigious amateur champions.
The last Texas Amateur played here was in 1972. That
year a rising young talent from Austin by the name of
Ben Crenshaw took home the title. Crenshaw, of course,
went on to win the Masters – twice. Prior to that, the
1959 Texas Amateur was held at Oak Hills. That affair
was won by Abilene’s Charles Coody, who grabbed a
green jacket of his own at the 1971 Masters.
For this year’s Texas Amateur, the challenging par-
71 course is playing to an average of 6,765 yards. Even
though the course is more than 90 years old, it still has
plenty of bite. Out of 144 of the best amateurs in Texas
– and therefore in the country – only 12 finished the
first round under par. The scoring average for the first
day of the 72-hole championship was 76.12.
In addition to the leader Meissner, eight Oak Hills
CC members are in the field this week. The group was
led Thursday by a 1-under 70 from Brett Nichols. He’s
tied for ninth place. TGA Director and Oak Hills member
Bobby Baugh made four birdies on his way to a 2-over
73 and a share of 28th place. Chase Clayton, another
member, carded two birdies and signed for 3-over 74.
He’s a part of a 15-player group tied for 34th place.
During Wednesday night’s Players Dinner, the TGA
honored several award winners from the 2015 season.
Joshua Irving from Dallas made history by becoming the
first to win both the Statewide and North Region Player
of the Year awards. Irving last season racked a number
of impressive results, highlighted by wins at the North
Texas Amateur and North Texas Four-Ball Championship
with partner Michael Ray. Irving also finished third at
the North Texas Mid-Amateur and tied for sixth place at
the West Texas Amateur. He finished eighth at the
Texas Mid-Amateur and tied for 19th at the 106th Texas
Amateur presented by Insperity.
The 2015 South Texas Player of the Year went to
Austin’s Jay Reynolds, winner of last year’s South Texas
Mid-Amateur. Reynolds and his dad, Peach Reynolds,
finished second at the Father-Son Championship.
Reynolds tied for fifth at the South Texas Amateur.
TGA Executive Director Rob Addington and
Managing Director of Championships Ryan Finn also
awarded two Volunteer of the Year awards. A.J. Cortez
of Montgomery won the accolade for South Texas;
Marion Dantzler of McKinney received the North Texas
Volunteer of the Year honor. Cortez and Dantlzer went
above and beyond the call of duty and demonstrated
passion and dedication to the TGA with the amount of
time worked and expertise allocated throughout the
championship season. The TGA can’t stress enough how
grateful it is to have so many hard-working volunteers
and Rules Officials, who all enhance the stature and
player experience at more than 170 annual tournaments
The second round of the 107th Texas Amateur
presented by Insperity begins Friday at 8 a.m. Following
play, the players with the lowest 54 scores (and ties)
will survive the 36-hole cut and advance to the
weekend’s final two rounds.
View results for Texas State Amateur Golf Championship