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Rollins, Davis, McDonald Tied For Women’s City Championship Lead At 69

Ashley RollinsAshley Rollins (left) Sharon Davis and Neisy McDonald each shot three under par 69 during the first round of the Austin Women’s Championship being held at Morris Williams Golf Course.

Four other players shot sub par rounds and ten players were at even par or better.

This championship marks the first time in several years that the City of Austin has hosted a Women’s City Championship Tournament.  Based on the quality of the scoring, it is obvious that these ladies need more local tournaments in which to play.

The tournament concludes today at Morris Williams.  Check the scores at this link.

Pos Player Today Thru Total R1 R2 Total
T1 Ashley Rollins - - -3 69 69
T1 Sharon Davis - - -3 69 69
T1 Neisy McDonough - - -3 69 69
T4 Alisa Rodriguez - - -2 70 70
T4 Ashlee Martin - - -2 70 70
T6 Haley Haught - - -1 71 71
T6 Nancy Kromar - - -1 71 71
T8 Christina Lipton - - E 72 72
T8 Sally Bowman - - E 72 72
T8 Gabriella Rosales - - E 72 72
11 Kimberly Noonan - - +2 74 74
T12 Judie Allen - - +5 77 77
T12 Susie Barbour - - +5 77 77
T12 Linda Lowery - - +5 77 77
T15 Haley Keller - - +6 78 78
T15 Wanda Ramiller - - +6 78 78
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Gillman Advances To Semifinals In U.S. Women’s Amateur

When  I looked at the scoring link for the Women’s U.S. Amateur to check on how Kristen Gillman was doing in her quarterfinal match, it was late afternoon and I was on the practice tee at a Texas Golf Association event.  I was saddened to see that she was three down with four to play and I told a friend hitting balls next to me “Well, it looks like Gillman is about to get beat in the Women’s Amateur.”

A couple of hours later I received a text that said she had won in 20 holes.  I could not believe it.  I went on line and looked at the scores for her match.  Turns out she won three of the last four holes and then birdied the first two holes in the playoff to win and advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur.  This marks the third match she has won in extra holes.  Quite a remarkable performance for a 17 year old high school senior.

The folks at Lake Travis High School have got to be excited about this latest development in her golfing journey.  I know I am and I haven’t even met her.

Click here to see the scoring results.


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Gillman Advances to Quarter Finals In U. S. Women’s Amateur

The 17 year old phenom from Lake Travis High School Girls Golf Team just keeps turning in great performances.  Her latest is winning two matches on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur being played at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove N.Y.

Gillman squeaked through a tough match in the round of 32, winning  in extra holes before cruising to a 5&3 victory over Casey Danielson of Wisconson in the afternoon round of 16 match.

She faces a tough opponent tomorrow morning in Su-Hyun Oh of Australia who won her round of 16 match 9 & 8.

Gillman and Oh tee off Friday at 1:05 P.M. EDT.

Click here to follow the matches.

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Kristen Gillman Advances To Round Of 32 In U.S. Women’s Amateur

Kristen Gillman birdied the 17th hole to go one up and tied the 18th with a par to win one up and advance to the round of 32 in the U.S. Women’s Amateur being played at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove N.Y.

The 17 year old Gillman plays for Lake Travis High School and has had a terrific season winning multiple times on the high school circuit and recently winning the PGA Junior Championship by a record 11 shots.

She tees off at 9:10 Thursday morning.

Click here to follow the matches.

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Rossi, Gillman Advance To Match Play in U.S. Womens Amateur

Alexandra Rossi and Kristen Gillman have qualified for the match play portion of the U.S. Womens Amateur at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove N.Y.

Rossi plays for Southern Methodist University and Gillman, who recently won the U.S. Junior PGA by 11 shots, plays for Lake Travis High School.

Qualifying scores can be found at this link.  Five players, including Mariana Sims tied for 62nd in the qualifying rounds. The match play portion is limited to 64 players so only three of those five players can advance to match play.  We assume there will be some kind of playoff but don’t know for sure.  The match play scoring tree has blanks for 62, 63 and 64th position.

The match play scoring tree can be found at this link.

Congratulations to all the Austinites that qualified for this event and good luck to those advancing to match play

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Wes Short Jr. Comments On 62 In 3M Championship

Wes Short Jr. of Austin recently shot 62 in the final round of the 3M Championship in Twin Cities.  His bogey free round included ten birdies.  He birdied 3,5,6,7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17 and 18 for 32-30=62.

He commented that he made some putts.  He recently went to a longer putter so he could stand up straighter and take some pressure off his back.  After having a difficult time with his back in the previous Champions Tour Event, that would certainly make sense.

He commented that he worked with his instructor Bruce Smith for two days on getting the club more in front of him, primarily in the backswing, and is becoming more familiar with the feeling of swinging the club in this fashion.  That was evidenced by his good play last week.

His back has been better over the last few competitive rounds and he is pain free at the moment.  His good play continued today as he recorded 63 at Roy Kizer.

We congratulate Wes on his good play and are pulling for him.

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Return of Jay

by Jay Reynolds

Jay Reynolds here, newly reinstated amateur golfer and Jedi-in-training!

I just finished up my first tournament back as an official reinstated amateur: The Austin Men’s City Championship. A 72-hole test over four different courses, with 155 players vying for the crown as Austin’s champion golfer of the year.

The last time I played the Men’s City was 11 years ago, in 2003. I played well but lost in a playoff to Michael Cooper. So of course I wanted to win this time around. But the game had different ideas…

I spent the first 45 holes dancing with The Dark Side and playing a type of army golf I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. I forgot how quickly dark thoughts of toasters and bathtubs can crop up. Which at the time, seemed like more fun than chipping out of the trees on every other hole. Golf is supposed to be fun, right? I can attest that it wasn’t much fun being six over par for the tournament as I made the turn at Grey Rock in the third round.

I had to stop and remind myself that it had been two full years since I last played an actual tournament, and maybe more than three years since I played one that spanned 72 holes. “Patience you must have,” That’s what Yoda would have said, I think.

So I decided two things: 1. swing harder and 2. keep fighting. The score was just the score and I had to quit worrying (even though we all know that’s impossible).

Low and behold, when I ripped a 320 yard drive down the middle of the fairway on #10 at Grey Rock, I felt things might just turn around.

I came home in 33 strokes that day, then followed it up with a solid 68 in the final round at Kizer – which got me proudly back to even par for the tournament and also squeaked me into the top 10.

It was an adventurous first week back, and as much frustration as there was, there is nothing quite like the fight of tournament golf. I’m about as level headed as they come, but my goodness I completely forgot the incredible range of emotions you can experience in 4 hours (kudos to the tournament committee for playing threesomes!).

There was my first tee shot of my newfound amateur career at Morris Williams: a driver that was closer to 18 fairway than the one in which I was aiming. My tail firmly between my legs, I trudged off to do the only thing we can do after a bad shot: find it and hit it again.

There was the chip in for birdie on #15 at Grey Rock after flubbing a 50 yard pitch shot that made me remember that even a blind accord finds a squirrel once in a while.

Then the 7 foot birdie putt on #17 at Kizer to actually reach red numbers for the tournament – which just 26 holes earlier felt not just unlikely, but bordering on impossible.

My lesson that I take away from the week is this: there’s nothing quite like the inner turmoil tournament golf can manifest.

I think Master Yoda had some good advice for all of us: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

That’s what i’ll be working on.

I have a lot of work to do and I look forward to all the pleasure and pain that will undoubtably come with every tournament I play for a long time to come. But more importably, thank goodness Peach wash’t playing. He would have probably beat me and that might have been more embarrassment that I could handle!

Until next time…May the force be with you and if you want to follow Peach at The British Senior Amateur, here’s the link: CLICK HERE. The first round is Wednesday Aug 6th!

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50 Year Anniversary Of Lundell’s State Junior Victory

By Joe Hornaday

Lundell Photo-Finish high 13 teeZach Tracy of Houston recently won the 88th Texas State Junior Golf Championship at Horseshoe Bay.  A nearly-invisible crowd of 25 witnessed the two-hole sudden death playoff.  It was quite different 50 years ago when hundreds crowded around the last green to see Austin’s Lester Lundell bring home the trophy.

(Lester hitting a tee shot at the State Junior Golf Championship in 1964.  What a great swing.)

August 14 marks the 50th anniversary of what was truly a remarkable event for a number of reasons.  Played at San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park Golf Course, it was the first time competitors had to qualify locally in order to get to play for the biggest prize in junior golf in Texas.  It was the first time Baby Boomers completely filled the field and it was the first time the championship flight was expanded to 64, twice what it had been previously.

Lundell, 16, had made a name for himself locally with his compact swing and deadly putter. But he was little more than a long shot since Texas was overflowing with hordes of scratch juniors.  Almost 900 tried to qualify locally, with 222 advancing to San Antonio.  Lester posted the low-round of 71 at Muny to lead 11 other Austinites (out of 46) to the state tournament.

The first day was an 18-hole qualifying round and Lester had to gut it up after a horrible front-nine 42.  He quickly refocused and carded an even-par 35 to qualify for the championship flight by a single stroke.

The match-play portion started the next day and Lundell easily advanced by whipping Dick Adams of Corpus Christi 5&3. That turned out to just be a prelude to what would become a marathon of golf in San Antonio’s August heat and humidity.  The third day, he got by Austin High teammate Joe Hornaday 2&1 and in the afternoon beat Beaumont’s Mike Nugent 4&3 to reach the quarterfinals.

A pair of tough matches awaited: first it was Kurt Cox of San Antonio falling 2&1 and then Jerry Barrier of Sinton in the afternoon by the same count.  Both would go on to play on the PGA Tour.

That set up the 36-hold championship match against Chip Stewart of Dallas, who later would play in the No. 1 spot for the University of Texas golf team.  Lundell jumped out to a 4-up lead after nine holes and then had to keep his composure down the stretch.  He was 1-up as they teed off on the par-3 36th hole.  Stewart missed the green but chipped up and made the par putt.  Lundell hit the green but left his putt three feet short and had to make it to win.  After stepping back once, he calmly made a perfect stroke and he was suddenly the best junior golfer in Texas.

What makes it even more noteworthy, Lester had to efficiently play 135 holes in five days, including 32, 34, and 36 holes the last three days.  The state juniors’ format was changed a few years later to medal play.  It was reasoned the best player would be assured after 54 holes.  What they didn’t know then and still don’t, is how the kids are missing the massive drama that Lundell experienced, and survived, 50 years ago.


Those of us who know Lester wish him the best with his current health issues.  He’s been a great friend and golfer here in Austin for a long time.  Click here to see a player profile for Lester and a list of some of his golfing accomplishments.

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Austin Golfers Playing In National and International Events

One of the difficulties in keeping the public informed about how Austin Golfers are doing is keeping up with who is playing in notable tournaments.  Thanks to a growing network of folks like you that are keeping me informed about who is playing where, the job is becoming easier.

So, here is what I know about who is playing in significant upcoming events.  If you have additions, please send the information to

Peach Reynolds is playing at the British Senior Amateur championship this week.   Play begins Wednesday.  Follow him at this link.

Julia Beck, Kristen Gillman, Mariana Sims, Sierra Sims and Alex Rossi are playing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, New York.  Play starts today.  Click here for the leaderboard.

Alex Ellis is playing in the U.S. Amateur at the Atlanta Athletic Club August 11-17 in Johns Creek, Georgia.  Click here for tournament information.

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Northington Wins Second Men’s City Title

northingtonDaniel Northington, posing with Tournament Director Steve Hammond and the trophy, shot 70-67-70-71 over four different courses to to capture his second consecutive Austin Men’s City Championship.  His two under 34 on the back nine proved to be the winning margin.

The day began with Steve Paterson and Daniel Northington tied for the lead at eight under par.  During the final round, the lead was never more than two shots and there were some ups and downs for both Northington and Paterson.  Chris Benestante also made a charge and got to within one shot of the lead.

Northington took the lead early in the round with a birdie on #2.  He bogeyed 5, birdied 6, bogeyed 7 and double bogeyed nine to turn in two over and six under for the tournament, one shot back of Paterson.

On the back nine, he steadied the ship and made seven pars and two birdies on the back nine.  The critical putt came on number 13 where he made a 20 footer for birdie and a two shot lead.  He two putted number 17 for the final birdie of the day and went to the 18th tee clear by two.  After a pulled tee shot into the left rough and an iron shot played to the back of the green.  Northington got up and down for a par to win the title.

DSCN6508Paterson, shown here with his wife and caddy Meredith, made eight straight pars and a bogey to turn in one over.   That put him in the lead at seven under for the tournament headed into the back nine.  Bogeys at 11 and 12 were costly.  A birdie on 17 got him to six under with one hole to play and two shots back.  He made par on the 18th.

DSCN6507Meanwhile, Chris Benestante, on the left in this photo,  had posted three under on the front nine and was at six under for the tournament.   Benestante has played well in a number of tournaments this season and was poised to make a run at the title on the back nine.  Bogeys at 13 and 14 derailed the charge.  He added a birdie on 18 to finish at five under and tied for third with Chris Hartenstein.

hartensteinSpeaking of Hartenstein…he shot 68 in the final round to finish T3 overall at five under par and capture the low senior title.  He has played well this year with a second at the Chester Cup, second at the Central Texas Amateur and now third in the Men’s City.  Shown here Steve Hammond and the trophy, Hartenstein leads the Austin Amateur points total in Senior category.

cottonIn the Junior Division, Austin Cotton shot 73, 76, 70, 74 = 293, seven over par, to finish T22 overall and win the Junior Division by eight shots over Zach West.  Taylor Greenway finished third.

Despite the windy conditions, there were a number of low rounds recorded.  Andrew Liu, Chris Benestante, Nick Maynard and Tim Mitchell posted 69.  Payne Gniewek, Chris Shive and Jay Reynolds posted 68.  Chris Hartenstein, Tyler Elbrect and Jack Cersosimo shot 67.  Mike Allen posted the low round of the day and the tournament with 65.

Click here for full field scores.

Congratulations to the Golf Division of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department for running a great tournament.  Overall the courses were in good condition and the tournament was administered very smoothly.





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