36-hole Trans-Miss Senior leader Tommy Brennan
HOUSTON, Texas (May 25, 2016) —Tommy Brennan
from Covington, La., shot a second consecutive 71 on
Wednesday at Houston Country Club and holds the 36-
hole Trans-Miss Senior Championship lead at even-par
142. Mike Booker from The Woodlands, Texas, is two
shots back after a pair of 72s brought his total to 144.
The final round begins Thursday at 8 a.m.
In the Legends Division for amateurs aged 70 years
and older, Jim Martin from Dallas closed hard with an
even-par 71 to win the 36-hole championship for the
second straight year. He finished at 6-over 148 overall
and defeated Trans-Miss Golf Association President Phil
Patterson by four shots.
“This is special because I played my first Trans-Miss
event right here at Houston Country Club for the 1982
Four-Ball,” said Martin, a 71-year-old CPA. “I’ve been
playing in Trans-Miss events for 30 years now. I just
think the Trans-Miss is the first-class operation of
amateur golf, especially for seniors. I like giving back
to the game through contributions. For our age group,
I think that’s important.”
Martin made two birdies in his final round and said
keeping his ball in the fairway off the tees was the key.
“Playing from the fairway on this course is what opens
everything up,” said Martin, who also won the Trans-
Miss Four-Ball in 1987 with Travis Thompson from
Dallas. “I also made some good, par-saving two-putts
Brennan, a 55-year-old who has worked for Merrill
Lynch for 28 years, was the runner-up at the 1994 U.S.
Mid-Amateur and has teed it up in 28 USGA national
championships. He’s the reigning Louisiana Senior
Amateur Champion and said the classic nature of
Houston Country Club’s thought-provoking, tree-lined
fairways and tricky, pushed-up greens make him more
than just a little comfortable.
“This course reminds me a lot of home,” Brennan said.
“I grew up playing New Orleans Country Club. All the
oak trees, the temperature and humidity here and the
overall feel of this place is very familiar.”
Brennan started his round on No. 10 and finished his
first nine holes in a flurry. He made birdies on the 15th,
17th and 18th holes before turning to the front nine.
He admittedly suffered some hiccups coming in; he
made bogeys on his last two holes.
“I made a couple loose swings yesterday that cost me,”
he said. “I made a couple more today. Overall, I’m
driving the ball well. That works here.”
Booker also drove the ball in the fairway Wednesday.
The 61-year-old founder and president of a Houston-
based financial planning firm said he had a much better
ball-striking day than on Tuesday. Booker won the
2015 Texas Senior Amateur at Oak Hills Country Club
in San Antonio and said Houston Country Club shares
some characteristics with Oak Hills.
“If you make mistakes on this course, you get caught
off balance,” said Booker, a winner of nine Texas Golf
Association championships and a 14-time USGA
national championship contestant. “But it’s such a good
driving course. It’s challenging. There are four or five
short par 4s, so you think those are birdie holes.
Actually, those are some of the toughest on the
Alone in third place in the Senior Division is Trans-Miss
Board Member John McClure, who shot the round of the
day, a bogey-free 67 that he described as “stress-free.”
Paired with his first round 78, McClure is tied with
Chuck Palmer from Dallas at 3-over 145, three strokes
behind Brennan. Palmer, one of three overnight
leaders, shot a second round 3-over 74.
“I hit every green except the last one, and I hit every
fairway except one,” said McClure, who lives in Los
Angeles and grew up in Lubbock, Texas. “That’s what
you have to do on this golf course.”
Winner of the Southern California Mid-Amateur in
2005, McClure started his round on the 10th hole and
promptly missed a 3-footer for birdie. That was about
the only thing that went wrong all day, however. He
rolled in a downhill, 25-foot birdie on No. 14 and
poured in another from 6 feet on No. 15. When McClure
made the turn to the front side, he added birdies on
the first and fourth holes. The par-4 first hole has been
playing more than a half-stroke over par and had
yielded only two other birdies all week.
Tied for fifth place at 5-over 147 are defending
champion Jeff New from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Ramiro
Romo from Burlington, Wis. Romo used a hole-out from
a bunker on No. 4 and a subsequent 8-foot birdie on
No. 5 to post 1-under 70.
An original Robert Trent Jones design from 1956,
Houston Country Club played to a stroke average of
78.28 in the first two rounds for the Senior Division.
In the Super Senior Division (65 years and older), Gary
Kirwan from McKinney, Texas, leads with 7-over 149.
He backed up his 74 on Tuesday with a 75 in the
second round. Kirwan is one shot ahead of Jody
Vasquez from Aledo, Texas, who has fired rounds of
74-76 to get to 8-over 150. Vasquez, a former ball
shagger for nine-time major champion Ben Hogan, won
the 2014 Texas Super Senior Amateur at the Hawk’s
home club of Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth.
Five-time Trans-Miss Senior champ Chris Maletis from
Portland, Ore., shares third place in the Super Senior
Division with Mickey McDonald from Shreveport, La.
They’re both 9-over 151.
Five players in the field have an extra advantage over
the rest in that they’re playing their home course.
Houston Country Club members Jimmy Burke is tied for
eighth place at 6-over 148; Hunter Nelson shares part
of 18th place at 11-over 153; Tracy Stephens is tied for
34th at 16-over 158; and Bob Palmquist shares 38th at
18-over 160. Loren Singletary is the lone Houston
Country Club member in the Super Seniors Division. He
currently sits in fifth place at 10-over 152.
ABOUT THE Trans-Miss Senior and Mid-Master
The championship will be contested over 54 holes
of individual stroke play with four divisions:
Mid-Master (ages 40+, max handicap 2.0), Senior
handicap 4.0), Super Senior
(65+, max handicap 10.0) and Legends (70+, max
Must be a
Trans-Mississippi Golf Association member
(players may make an individual contribution of
minimum to the Turf Scholarship Fund as part of the
entry process, in lieu of club membership).
View Complete Tournament Information