Mac McGee (TXGA Photo)
HORSESHOE BAY, TX (September 9, 2016) -- Mac
McGee from Midland finds himself in familiar territory
Friday after he shot a brilliant 4-under-par 67 at
scenic Escondido Golf & Lake Club. Through one
round, McGee leads the 2016 Texas Senior Amateur
by one shot over John Grace.
McGee, a 62-year-old owner of an oil and gas
production company, shot the same score in the first
round of last year’s Senior Amateur. Likewise, he led
after 18 holes at Oak Hills Country Club in San
Antonio. McGee ran into trouble in the second and
third rounds last year, however, as the deep rough
and tiny greens at Oak Hills brought him back to the
field. By the end of the championship, McGee
finished tied for 20th place.
This time, McGee sees a different result for
“Last year was a different golf course,” said
McGee, who hit 16 of 18 greens Friday and carded
five birdies, including a chip-in from behind the
green on the par-3 fifth hole. “When you miss a
green at Oak Hills, it’s just very, very penal. This is a
great course, too, but you have a chance to get up
and down around these greens. It’s more wide open
off the tee, too.”
McGee barely missed posting a 66. He almost
jarred his short-iron shot on the 151-yard par-3 third
hole. His ball stopped less than half a foot from the
hole: a literal tap-in. McGee played Escondido’s five
par 3s at 3-under par.
“I feel good about the way I’m playing,” said
McGee, who in 2012 won the Senior Porter Cup at
Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y., and the
Tower Invitational at Miramont Country Club in
McGee leads by one shot over one of the most
decorated amateurs in the country. The model of
consistency, Fort Worth’s Grace shot his age – 68 –
by hitting all 13 fairways and missing just two
greens. That’s business as usual for him; Grace has
won every major individual amateur title in Texas.
He won the Senior Amateur in 2010, the Texas
Amateur in 1994 and the Texas Mid-Amateur four
consecutive years, from 1991-94. Grace also won
last year’s inaugural playing of the Texas Super
Grace excels on the national level, too. He’s
played in a staggering 45 USGA National
Championships, including last year’s U.S. Senior
Amateur. Fittingly, he was inducted into the Texas
Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.
“I made all the putts I need to make,” Grace
said of his work on Friday. “This is a good course.
There’s a little bit of everything. There are holes
where you have to hit it straight, and there are some
places where you need strategy. The greens aren’t
crazy with a lot of humps. It’s a fair test.”
Tyler’s Jerry Hudgins is in third place, two shots
back. He posted a 2-under 69 thanks to five birdies,
including a pair on the difficult par-4 16th and tricky
par-3 17th holes.
“I kept it in play today,” said Hudgins, who in
March won the Texas Super Senior Amateur at Las
Colinas Country Club. “I made some putts, and I
missed some, too. I missed an 18-inch putt on No.
14 or I would’ve shot my age. I just shut the face on
it and it went left.”
Three players share fourth place at 1-under par.
Steve Moran from Houston, Mike Peck from Irving
and James Peebles from Fort Worth are all three
shots behind McGee headed into Saturday’s second
The third of four major championships, the
Texas Senior is open male amateurs with a GHIN
Handicap Index of 6.4 or less, are at least 55 years
old and are current Texas residents. With a starting
field of 144 players, 54 holes of stroke play will
identify the best senior amateur in Texas. Following
Saturday’s second round, the field will be cut to the
low 54 scores, including ties.
The beautiful and challenging Tom Fazio-
designed Escondido Course is playing host to its third
TGA championship. Most recently, Terence Begnel
from Midland won the 2014 Texas Mid-Amateur here
with a 54-hole score of 2-under 211. He survived a
four-hole playoff against Houston’s Brandon Burke.
Escondido also hosted the 2011 Texas Mid-Amateur
In 2010, the lavish club with superior service
and amenities was the site of the 2010 Texas
Shootout, an elite invitation-only event that features
the top-ranked amateurs from North and South
Texas squaring off in a Ryder Cup-style competition.
At Thursday night’s Players’ Reception,
defending Senior Amateur Champion Mike Booker of
Houston received the 2015 Texas Senior Player of
the Year award. It was the third time around for
Booker, who won the honor in 2012 and 2014 as
well. The former University of Houston All-American
won last year’s Senior Amateur at Oak Hills, where
he shot 3-over-par 216 to win by four strokes.
Booker amassed 2,225 Player Performance
Points in 2015. Booker finished as the runner-up at
the Texas Four-Ball Championship, South Texas
Senior Amateur and South Texas Super Mid-
The second round of the 2016 Texas Senior
Amateur begins Saturday at 8 a.m. CST.
View results for Texas Senior Amateur Golf Championship