Winner Zander Lozano
DALLAS, TX (June 18, 2017) - Zander Lozano started the final round of the Texas State Amateur in fifth place and two shots off the pace but thanks to a final round 4-under 67 and a 10-under finish he was able to rally to the title at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Lozano began his charge with a birdie on the opening hole and then moved into the lead with a birdie on the par-3 5th.
A birdie on the 9th helped him reach 9-under before his lone bogey of the round knocked him back to 8-under. At this point a number of players were still nipping at his heals including 2008 Texas Mid-Amateur champion Rob Couture who was still within one-stroke behind late on the back nine.
Despite the pressure from the field, Lozano held his nerve as he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th hole and then an 18-footer on the par-5 17th to pad his advantage.
“It’s an honor,” Lozano said of his four-stroke Texas State Amateur victory. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I can say that this was one of the best-run championships I’ve ever played in, though. All of the TGA events are.”
The late birdies might have pushed the rising University of Texas San Antonio over the top but Lozano and his caddie, high school friend and teammate Josh Dedmon, thought something special might be happening after his remarkable par on the 6th hole. Following a 2-under start Lozano found trouble on the 379 yard par-4 after his approach shot hit a piece of hardwood and came to rest just inches away from a row of hedges.
With little room for a backswing Lozano was somehow able to pitch his third shot over a bunker to three-feet setting up his par saving putt.
“Oh, wow,” Lozano said when asked about the 6th hole. “Sometimes it’s your day. I was lucky to have a shot. I did what I could … it was definitely one of the best shots I’ve ever hit under the circumstances. After that, I had a feeling maybe it would be my day.”
The victory for Lozano comes after he was able to break through with two wins during his junior season at UTSA. "The [wins are] right at the same level," said Lozano when asked where this win stacked up against his collegiate win. "Especially against some of the best players in Texas. It's a good feeling."
A trio of players--Levi Valadez, Hunter Shattuck and Brady Purdom-- shared second at 6-under. In fifth place it was Rob Couture who tried to make move late but as Lozano birdied the 17th he committed a costly double-bogey on the 16th and he was forced to settle for a fifth place finish at 5-under.
-Editors Note- The Texas Golf Association contributed to this story
ABOUT THE Texas Amateur
72 hole medal play walking-only championship first
played in 1906. At the completion of 36 holes the field
is cut to the low 54 and ties plus all players within 10
strokes of the lead.
18-hole qualifying rounds are held throughout the state
for players not otherwise exempt into the tournament
proper. Visit the Texas Golf Assocation website for
View Complete Tournament Information