Led by Ken Redfern with a tie for 9th place, four Austin senior golfers posted a top 20 finish at the Texas Golf Association's State Senior Championship at Miramont Country Club in Bryan Texas. The top 20 finishers gained an exemption into the 2013 State Senior Championship. Besides Redfern, Peach Reynolds, John Pigg and Mike Allen made the top 20.
Redfern started the day a few shots behind the leaders and made a move up the leaderboard with a two under par 34 on the front nine. He made bogies at 11 and 12, birdied the difficult 16th but doubled 17th before making par on the last hole to post 73 in the final round. Redfern's three day total of four over par included rounds of 71-76-73. Very solid play on a good golf course.
Peach Reynolds, who currently leads the Austin Amateur Golf point standings in the senior category, finished one shot behind Redfern at five over par for the tournament with rounds of 70-77-74. He commented that his play over the course of the tournament was solid. He finished tied for 11th with Mike Rice, Jerry Hudgins and Jeff New. Mike Rice is a former United States Senior Amateur Champion, having won the national title at age 65, a remarkable feat. Hudgins and New are perrenial contenders at state competitions.
John Pigg, who started the final round within reach of the leaders did not fare as well on the last day, posting a final round 79 to go with 72-73 in the first two rounds. Pigg, like many players, suffered from the results of a heavy rain the night before the previous round which produced "mud balls". These shots display erratic flight patterns like a drunken seagull when they are struck. The mud on the side of the ball produces shots not consistent with the manner in which they are struck. Pigg fell victim to a mud ball on his second shot to the par five 18th from the middle of the fairway. The ball, although solidly struck, went low left and found the left trees, resulting in a bogey. He finished in a tie for 17th.
Mike Allen was the final Austin player to make the top 20 in the field with a 19th place finish. Allen commented that although he fought hard for the top 20 finish and was glad he achieved that goal, his play was not up to his expectations. He suffered a first round 77 which included a double bogey and triple bogey. After that round, he was in 45th place so he did make progress up the leaderboard before the tournament concluded.
Click here to link to the complete leaderboard and the full story of the tournament.
The golf course at Miramont is a Robert Trent Jones design with sport tiff rough and fairways. The rough was about 3 inches deep and difficult to play from so a premium was placed on hitting fairways. The green surfaces were excellent but challenging with speed about 11 on the stimp meter. Every hole is well designed and the course includes five par fives, five par threes, and 8 par fours. It is an excellent combination of scoring opportunities and holes where par is a good score. All the players agreed that it was one of the best coursed they have played in recent years. The driving range and short game practice areas are excellent.
Miramont Country Club is somewhat of a surprise in that in addition to an excellent golf course the clubhouse is beyond anything else you see in Texas. It includes hotel rooms, marble staircases, beautifully appointed rooms, and it is located in Bryan Texas. Click here for a link to the information page and pictures of the clubhouse. Don Adams, the owner, has made a significant investment in the property and surrounding neighborhood. It is well worth a visit to see the clubhouse and play the course.
The Texas Golf Association ran a beautiful tournament, as always, and the players were treated to four to four and a half hour rounds, live leaderboards, good food, plenty of water to combat the high heat and a good golf course. Thanks to all the TGA staff as well as the Miramont staff.
Click here for a photo album of the tournament.