Texas Golf Association Announces Players of the Year
19 Nov 2006

Thanks to the Texas Golf Association for this report.

DALLAS, TX--The Texas Golf Association is pleased to announce the respective winners of the 2006 Player of the Year Awards. They are Terrence Miskell (Statewide), Tom McGraw (Senior), Dru Fenimore (North), and Jonathan Mathias (South).

The Statewide and Senior Player of the Year Award is a season-long competition that rewards contestants for top finishes in designated TGA statewide tournaments, as well as USGA national championships. For the Regional Player of the Year Award, the designated events are the North/South Four-Ball, Amateur, Mid-Amateur, and West Texas Amateur. Players must play in at least one TGA event over the course of the year to be eligible.


Terrence Miskell, of New Braunfels, claimed his second Texas Golf Association Statewide Player of the Year title in three years. He garnered this year’s honor in much the same way he did in 2004 – by recording top finishes in several statewide events and successfully qualifying for a number of USGA national championships. The 39-year-old Miskell started off his year by teaming up with Titus Harris, of Houston, for a fourth place finish in the State Four-Ball, held on the Kings Course at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano.

Next up was the 97th State Amateur, hosted by Dallas Country Club, which proved to be Miskell’s final TGA appearance before embarking on a hectic, competitive schedule over the summer that included stops at a number of the major amateur events around the country.

Standing on the tee of the 72nd hole of the State Amateur, a 380-yard par-4, Miskell held a one-stoke lead over Dallas’s Paul Haley and looked to have a firm grip on the H.L. Edwards trophy. But in a dramatic turn of events, Haley drained a 20-foot birdie putt while Miskell carded a double bogey after his second shot ended up in the heavy rough just left of the green. The three-shot swing put Miskell in a tie for second place with 17-year-old Cody Gribble, also of Dallas.

Like he did two years ago, Miskell qualified for three USGA championships – the U.S. Public Links, Amateur, and Mid-Amateur – quite a feat in and of itself. Once a contestant makes it to a USGA national amateur championship, they must endure a 36-hole stroke play qualifier in which only the top 64 get to advance to the match play portion of the championship. Miskell did just that in the Public Links and Mid-Amateur, but lost in the first round in both. He did not make the field of 64 in this year’s Amateur.

For the year Miskell accumulated 225 performance points, good enough for a 70-point cushion over runner-up Jonathan Mathias of San Antonio.


Montgomery’s Tom McGraw, 55, saw his game warm up right along side the temperatures this year. At the State Senior Amateur, held from August 18-20 at San Antonio Country Club, he carded rounds of 75-74-69 for a two-over par total 218 and a tie for fourth place. His strong performance proved to be a portent of good things to come and an excellent confidence-builder for his appearance in the USGA Senior Amateur, which was held three weeks later at Victoria National Golf Club, just outside Evansville, Indiana.

After surviving a seven-way playoff for one of the six remaining spots in the match play field, McGraw began his march to the finals in convincing style. In fact, no one was able to take McGraw past the 17th until Mike Bell, of Indianapolis, Indiana, did in their 18-hole championship showdown. Bell was 3-up at the turn before McGraw was able to battle back and finally even things with a 15-foot birdie putt on 15. The next two holes were halved, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish.

With the match all square on the water-lined par-4 18th, Bell knocked his second shot into a greenside bunker but hit his recovery to 8 feet. McGraw missed the green short and right from the fairway. His pitch settled 15-feet below the hole and he missed the par attempt. Bell then converted his putt for the 1-up victory.

With 187.5 total points earned, McGraw was 45 clear of 2005 Senior Player of the Year Mike Rice of Houston.


Although he never quite made it to the winner’s circle in 2006, Dru Fenimore, of Dallas, came awfully close and proved that consistent play can certainly rack up the performance points. First up for Fenimore, 36, was the rain-shortened North Four-Ball at Sky Creek Ranch in Keller. He paired up with two-time State Mid-Amateur champion Dan Dunlkelberg and together they posted a 7-under 65, tying them for first place with Stephen Love and Joe Owen who eventually won the title on the second playoff hole.

Rain wasn’t a factor at the North Amateur at Heritage Ranch in Fairview, the next event on Fenimore’s schedule, but the wind certainly was. With rounds of 75-76-69 for a 4-over 220 total, Fenimore tied for first but once again lost in a playoff when Charlie Holland, of Dallas, chipped in for birdie on the first extra hole. A fourth place finish in the North Mid-Amateur at Buffalo Creek in Rockwall rounded out Fenimore’s very successful 2006 campaign.

Fenimore’s 165 points in 2006 put him 22.5 ahead of Holland.


To borrow a malapropism from baseball great Yogi Berra, it was “déjà vu all over again” for 36-year-old Jonathan Mathias, of San Antonio, who captured his second consecutive South Player of the Year Award. He didn’t chalk up any regional tournament victories like in 2005, but Mathias certainly was knocking on the door with second place finishes in both the South Amateur at Walden on Lake Conroe in Montgomery and the South Mid-Amateur at Woodforest GC, also in Montgomery. At the West Texas Amateur, hosted by The Rawls Course in Lubbock, he finished in a tie for twelfth.

A pretty impressive performance if he would have stopped there – but he didn’t. With rounds of 68-72-66, a blistering 7-under 206 total, Mathias cruised to a five-shot victory in the 2006 State Mid-Amateur, held from September 15-17 on the Jackrabbitt Course at Champions Golf Club in Houston. Even though his performance points for winning the Mid-Amateur did not count in his regional points total it did in the statewide race for Player of the Year, vaulting him into second place behind winner Terrence Miskell.

Mathias finished with 155 points, 55 in front of South Amateur champion Ron Schroeder of Montgomery.
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