Holden Wisner (Texas Golf Association photo)
SMU junior Holden Wisener poured in a 16-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the 113th Texas Amateur at historic Willow Brook Country Club in Tyler on Sunday. As the ball dove into the cup, Wisener gave an emphatic fist pump and yelled, “Let’s go!”
The Dallas native finished at 14-under-par 270 for the 72-hole championship. That was good for a tie with Bobby Massa from Dallas and Jake Doggett from Hutto. The big-hitting Massa, who led for the first three days, just missed his birdie try from 18 feet on the extra hole. Doggett missed his attempt at a chip-in from about 25 feet. The Midwestern State senior took runner-up honors for the second straight year.
For Wisener, the Father’s Day victory tripped a flood of emotions. His grandfather, who taught him the game, passed away earlier this year. His mom and dad were greenside for the win, and the three shared a big, sweaty family hug.
“It’s tough, but to be able to celebrate this with my dad is really special,” Wisener said, fighting through tears. “This is the biggest win of my career, and I’m just so honored that it was a TGA event. I grew up coming out to TGA events and caddied in a Texas Am for one of my best friends when I was 14 years old. I’ve always been around the TGA, and I grew up on the Legends Junior Tour. This means so much to me.”
On the 72nd hole, Holden missed a putt from about four feet. In the playoff, his birdie putt to win was on almost the same line, just longer.
“It was about 4 feet, same line, and I left it low,” said Wisener, who went 68-66-68-68 for the week. “In the playoff, some sort of clarity came over me. I rolled it really well and it found the bottom thankfully.”
And now Wisener goes into Texas golf history, and his name will go onto the H.L. Edwards Memorial Trophy.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I’ve never been more nervous on a golf course. To come out on top, it feels insane. It’s awesome. When I got to the playoff, all I did was pray. And it paid off.”
Former Texas Amateur champion Zach Atkinson from Colleyville, Hayes Hamilton from Kingwood, and Francois Jacobs from League City shared fourth place at 12-under 272. Atkinson, who won the 95th Texas Amateur at the Club at Carlton Woods, fired a final round 65 to climb up the leaderboard.
“I was just trying to hang on,” Atkinson said. “I got everything out of my round I could. I don’t get to play a ton, so to get to come out here and walk four rounds in this heat, and finish like this is an accomplishment for me.”
Making the 113th Texas Amateur extra special, this year is the 100th anniversary of Willow Brook Country Club. Founded in 1922 as a nine-hole course, the tricky, shot-maker’s course has gone through many renovations, including mostly recently in 2016-18 when Tripp Davis & Associates modernized the thrilling track with rebuilt and reshaped tee boxes, greens, and bunkers.
The rolling, tree-lined fairways dogleg both left and right, which puts a premium on strategy and accuracy off the tee. The well-guarded, thoughtfully contoured green complexes demand precise irons shots to find the optimal sections of the putting surfaces.
PGA Tour winner and longtime Texas-based instructor Marty Fleckman attended the final round. Fleckman won the 1964 Texas Amateur, which was the last time the prestigious championship was contested at Willow Brook. The proud club also played host to the 1967 and ’96 Women’s Texas Amateur, the 1993, 2003, and ’13 Texas Senior Amateur, the 2019 Texas Shootout, and the 2020 Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play.
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
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