Texas Mid-Amateur: Austen Fulmer leads heading into the final round
Austen Fulmer (Texas Golf Association Photo)
Austen Fulmer (Texas Golf Association Photo)

Austen Fulmer of Cedar Park, who has brought a refreshingly candid attitude to this week’s 40th Texas Mid-Amateur, fired a second consecutive 3-under 69 on Saturday to take the solo lead.

Fulmer sits at 6-under total through 36 holes at Midland Country Club and is three shots clear of the field. He played alongside Houston’s Michael Milstead and College Station’s Steven Williams in a group that combined to go 8-under in round two.

“I don’t think I’m going to be leading for long,” Fulmer joked after he finished his round before the afternoon wave teed off. “The heavy hitters are in the afternoon but I feel awesome. Our group was so fun. Like, if everybody had our group they’d be four or five shots better. It was a fun group.”

Fulmer, who won the 2023 South Four-Ball at Vaaler Creek with Cedar Park’s Jonathan Alden, will look to claim his first TGA Major Championship on Sunday. Additionally, Fulmer leads the way for Low Mid-Master honors (players 40+ older).

“There’s lots of good players and they’re all playing this afternoon,” Fulmer said. “I’m not going to be up top for long but it is pretty cool to see my name up there.”

As it turns out, even after the afternoon wave completed Saturday’s second round, Fulmer’s name still stood atop the leaderboard. His playing partner Milstead sits in a tie for second at 3-under total with Dallas’ Scott Maurer.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Milstead said. “The golfing gods, they were on my side today. A couple chip-ins and a long 50-footer. Yeah, I just had some good breaks, that’s for sure. It was a good round. It was a good day.”

Milstead and Maurer will join Fulmer in the final group to tee off in Sunday’s final round.

“I am going to go out and play as good as I can and enjoy myself. If something good happens, great,” Maurer said of what his approach to the final round will be.

Five shots back of the lead in a five-way tie for fourth are Seminole’s Brady Shivers, Plano’s Gant Bills, past champion Rob Couture of Celina, Richardson’s Kendrick Vinar, and past champion Terence Begnel of Midland. Begnel, a member of Midland Country Club, will look to finish strong on his home course in hopes of claiming the title for a second time.

Past champions Colby Harwell of San Antonio and Tyler’s Clay Hodge sit six shots back of the lead alongside Midland’s Josh Pasco, Argyle’s Marcus Jones, and Nemo’s Austin Jordan. Pasco, the hometown resident, shot up 30 spots on the leaderboard with his 3-under 69 on Saturday.

Another big mover on the leaderboard was Benbrook’s Kevin Doskocil who fired a 4-under 68. He flew up 43 spots and sits in a five-way tie for 14th that includes the accomplished Aaron Hickman of Tyler.

Past champions Chris Wheeler of Addison and Fort Worth’s Freddie Janneck sit nine back at 3-over for the tournament, while defending champion Ryan O’Rear has put together a valiant thus far at 4-over.

All three will need to go low in order to engrave their name as champion of this prestigious event once again.

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ABOUT THE Texas Mid-Amateur

Eligibility: Entries are open to male golfers with a USGA Handicap index of 8.4 or less, and who are 25 years of age or older by the first day of championship qualifying.

Format/Field Size: 54 holes of stroke play. At the completion of 36 holes the field is cut to the low 54 players and ties. The field is limited to 132 players.

Mid-Master Recognition: In addition to the overall champion, an award will be given to the low Mid- Master finisher. (Mid-Master – any player 40+ years of age)

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