Noonan and Kearney Capture Harvey Penick Titles

Pictured here from left to right are Tinsley Penick, along with the 76th Harvey Penick Invational Mid Amateur Champion Brian Noonan and Tournament Chairman Rod Harris.

The Nature of the Tounament

The 76th Harvey Penick Invitational included former Walker Cup players, state amateur champions, state mid amateur champions, state senior amateur champions, U.S. Open participants, a U.S. Senior Amateur champion, U.S. Senior Open participants, British Senior Open participants and so on. 

Tournament Director Rod Harris, his tournament committee and Austin Country Club deserve a pat on the back for hosting 76 years of this prestigous event.  It is one of the longest running amateur tournaments in the country. 

The Mid-Amateur Division

Brian Noonan started the final round of the 76th Harvey Penick Invitational with an eight shot lead.  He had played beautifully the first two rounds and was ten under par on a difficult course.  He had overcome the weakness of food poisioning the day before the tournament started.  It was a beautiful day on a beautiful course and he was licking his chops with the prospect of adding this prestigious title to his golf resume.  

Paired with Derek Meinhart and Matt Wernecke, Noonan parred the first three holes. Then things went south and he played the last six holes of the front nine in five over par to post 41.  Meanwhile Meinhart shot two under par on the front nine. 

Hello….that's a seven shot swing in nine holes.  After Meinhart birdied #10 and got to three under for the day, he was tied with Noonan for the lead with eight holes to play.  Both players were five under par for the tournament.

It was still a beautiful day on a beautiful course and Noonan still felt good.  So he proceeded to shoot 33 on the back nine.

Meinhart, shown here powering through a drive on #17, began to encounter difficulties and made a couple of bogies. Then came the triple bogie on 15.  Oops, game over….  Although he recovered with birdies on 16 & 17,  his 40 on the back nine was seven shots worse than Noonan's 33.  Sound familar? 

Meinhart finished tied with Andrew Lawson for runner-up at even par for the tournament.  A very respectable score over 54 holes at ACC.  Shown here is Lawson on the Left and Meinhart on the right.


Noonan's  lone bogey on the back nine came on 18 where he missed the fairway left and laid up with his second.   After this approach to the green and two putts, he had captured the prestigous Harvey Penick Invitational Title.  

There is a certain symmetry to Noonan winnings the Penick Invitational.   The 28 year old was introduced to the game by his grandmother Gala Esperanza who is shown here posing with Noonan.   Esperanza was a student of Mr. Penick and one day she asked Mr. Penick to take a look her 6 year old grandson's golf swing.  So, Noonan hit a few balls for  Mr. Penick.  Mr. Penick  commented to her, "Don't worry, he's a natural and will be a good golfer.  As usual Mr. Penick was right.  

The Senior Division

Bob Kearney shot 71, his third consecutive sub par round of the tournament, to finish six under par and capture the Senior Division of the 76th Harvey Penick Invitational by two shots over John Grace and Mike Peck.  Kearney maintained his lead throughout the day although it became a slim lead during the back nine after two players made charges. 

Kearney shot two under par on the front nine and was seven under for the tournament.  Austin Country Club member Jaime Beaman started the day at one over par but shot four under on the front nine while his playing partners Grace and Peck both shot three under.  After twelve holes Beaman had added another birdie and was four under for the tournament.  After three putts at 13 and 14 his charge was over.

John Grace, who was three under after nine, got to five under for the tournament before collecting a bogey to shoot 68 and finish four under for the day and the tournament.  Mike Peck birdied the last two holes to also post 68 for the day and the tournament and finish tied with Grace for the Runner-Up Trophy.   Grace is shown here on the left, Peck in the middle and Rod Harris on the right.

John Grace was recently inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.  He is the only player to have won the Texas Amateur, Texas Mid-Amateur and Texas Senior Amateur Titles.  He has played in several U.S. Senior Opens and both he and Mike Peck are former members of the Walker Cup Team.

See the full field scores here. 2013harveypenickfinalresults



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