Texas Senior Amateur: Gary Durbin comes from behind to win third title in five years
Gary Durbin (Texas Golf Association Photo)
Gary Durbin (Texas Golf Association Photo)

Gary Durbin of Houston finished at 3-under-par after 54 holes at Amarillo Country Club and won the 86th Texas Senior Amateur. This win marks Durbin’s third in the last six years.

“It’s beyond belief, one of my goals was to match my dear friend Mike Rice, whose name is on that trophy, three times,” said Durbin, reflecting on his victory.

“Today was probably the toughest day, so you really had to hit some quality shots,” said Durbin. “This golf course, you have to play from the fairway as it’s very tough to play from the rough.”

Durbin started the day one stroke back and found himself two back after a bogey on the par-3 second. He made birdie on No. 7, which gave him the lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

“I managed my game well today and kept hanging in there by making some key birdies,” said Durbin.

Durbin made a bogey on the par-4 No. 10 but bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 No. 11. His drive found the right bunker on No. 12, and he was able to escape and get up and down for a par. He made par on Holes No. 13-15 before knocking in a birdie on the par-4 No. 16. He found the greenside rough on No. 17 and would make a double-bogey, but still had a two-stroke lead on the No. 18 tee.

He laid up short of the water and then hit a shot into the heart of the 18th green. From there, he two-putted for par and sealed his victory at Amarillo Country Club.

Burleson’s Lewis Stephenson finished in solo second place after posting the low round on Sunday. Stephenson made five birdies on the day, including the par-5 No. 18, which played right into the south wind. The past champion jumped up two spots on the day to claim runner-up honors.

San Antonio’s Bobby Baugh and Houston’s Sandy Pierce finished tied for third at even-par. Baugh was the 36-hole leader and finished with rounds of 69-68-76.

Pierce is the defending Texas Senior Amateur Champion and fellow Champions Golf Club member with Durbin. Pierce was 4-over on the day after seven holes but finished 2-under in his last 11 holes to get to even-par overall.

Tray Tyner of Kerrville shot 1-under 70 and finished T5 with Terrence Miskell of New Braunfels. Amarillo’s Kyle Kelting and Texarkana’s Chuck Gardner finished T7, while reigning Texas Golf Association Senior Player of the Year Mike Booker finished ninth.

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ABOUT THE Texas Senior Amateur

The State Senior Amateur is the second oldest event of all the TGA tournaments, having first been played in 1937.

Eligibility: Entries are open to male amateur golfers with a GHIN Handicap Index of 6.4 or less and who are 55 years of age or older as of the tournament start date (first round of tournament play). All players will be competing in one division from the same tees and yardage.

Format/Field Size: Play will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play. All players will be competing in one division from the same tees and yardage. The field is limited to 144 players. At the completion of the 36 holes the field will be cut to the low 54 players and ties.

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