Jack Ireland feels right at home in his new home state.

Ireland, a former UCLA Bruin, recently moved to the Lone Star State and on Friday he felt like a native Texan by winning the $210,000 51st Higginbotham Texas State Open in Tyler.

Not only did he capture perhaps the most prestigious state tournament, but he did it in record-smashing fashion with a 25-under par, winning by four strokes and picking up a first-place prize of $42,500 at The Cascades Golf & Country Club.

“This win is a huge confidence booster, it will hopefully get me down the road playing in a few more events and will hopefully breed better golf,” said Ireland, who hails from Mission Viejo, California, and now lives in The Woodlands. “I tried to just stay focused on my game, I knew if I kept continuing to play like the first three rounds it would take care of itself in the end.”

Ireland fired a 255 with a final round of 64 after previous scores of 63-64-63. The previous record was 22-under, set by Kelly Grunewald in 2005 at the White Bluff Resort (New Course) in Whitney.

Amazingly, Ireland was bogey free on the back nine for the entire week, which included 13 birdies and an eagle.

Board, of Jacksonville, Florida, finished at 21-under 259. He won $22,000. Placing third was Brook Bailey of Waco at 19-under 261 ($16,000).

Matthew Watkins, of Heath, earned Low Amateur honors after a 17-under 263 (67-66-66-64). Watkins is a rising sophomore at the University of New Mexico and he is also a former Ewing Automotive NTPGA Junior Tour member.

“It gave me good confidence knowing how good I can be if I really focus and try not to make many mistakes,” said Watkins, a Rockwall High School graduate. “My short game and the ability to get up and down when I needed to was the best part of my game this week.”

Nic Ishee, PGA Assistant Professional at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas, earned Low PGA Professional honors. He was one of two PGA professionals to make the cut and fired a 4-under 276 (67-70-71-68) in a tie for 45th place.

“This is awesome, this is the best section in the country, it is just cool to be the low PGA professional,” said Ishee.

The 51st Higginbotham Texas State Open, presented by Joyce Crane and Veritex Bank, was a 72-hole stroke play event that consisted of 123 professionals and 33 amateurs.

Mark Harrison, the executive director/CEO of the Northern Texas PGA, said he is “looking forward to returing to The Cascades next year.”

The Cascades was host to the Texas State Open for a record 10th time.

Also, the NTPGA presented a scholarship check of $5,000 to Mabank’s Joshua German, who will be a freshman at Sam Houston State University in the fall. The organization gave out 54 scholarships this year worth a record total of $454,000.

———

Friday

The Cascades Golf & Country Club

Tyler

Purse: $210,000

Yardage: 6,882; Par: 70

Final Round

Jack Ireland, The Woodlands 63-64-64-64 -25 $42,500

Dillon Board, Jacksonville, Fla. 62-64-67-66 -21 $22,000

Brooklin Bailey, Waco 69-65-63-64 -19 $16,000

Brax McCarthy, Benbrook 67-65-64-66 -18 $12,500

Zach Bauchou, Stillwater, Okla. 64-66-70-63 -17 $10,500

Matthew Watkins (a), Heath 67-66-66-64 -17 $750

Blake Trimble, Houston 67-65-66-66 -16 $7,667

Martin Flores, Frisco 67-67-64-66 -16 $7,667

Tyson Reeder, Edmond, Okla. 63-67-65-69 -16 $7,667

Brett White, Houston 67-68-65-65 -15 $5,750

Paul Gonzalez (a), Waxahachie 62-70-67-66 -15 $600

Anthony Broussard, Plano 66-66-69-65 -14 $4,500

Nathan Tyler, Mesquite 62-68-69-67 -14 $4,500

Brian Dwyer, Southlake 69-67-63-67 -14 $4,500

Charlie Holland, Dallas 66-69-66-66 -13 $3,625

Luke Gannon, Mahomet, Ill. 66-69-66-66 -13 $3,625

Jake McCrory, Deer Park 71-66-67-64 -12 $3,000

Joel Thelen, Hudson Oaks 66-71-68-63 -12 $3,000

Garrett May, Carrollton 66-70-68-64 -12 $3,000

Case Cochran, Dallas 68-69-68-64 -11 $2,350

Zack Fischer, Benton, Ark. 72-63-66-68 -11 $2,350

Brandon Smith, Frisco 67-66-67-69 -11 $2,350

Sam Triplett, Paradise Valley, Ariz. 68-64-66-71 -11 $2,350

Matt Miller, McKinney 71-66-68-65 -10 $2,000

Tanner Gore, Dallas 66-69-68-67 -10 $2,000

John Hill, McQueeney 67-67-66-70 -10 $2,000

Drew Jones, Decatur 65-68-69-69 -9 $1,700

Sean Carlon, Albuquerque, N.M. 71-65-67-68 -9 $1,700

Charlie Kern, Dallas 66-67-68-70 -9 $1,700

John Rollins, Flower Mound 67-67-71-67 -8 $1,350

Kyle Pritchard, Castroville 71-67-67-67 -8 $1,350

Carlos Sainz Jr., Cypress 71-65-71-65 -8 $1,350

Aaron Terrazas, El Paso 68-68-72-64 -8 $1,350

Jeff Berkshire, Scottsdale, Ariz. 68-69-67-69 -7 $1,350

Kyle Cox (a), Carrollton 70-65-73-65 -7 $1,350

Colin Kober, Southlake 67-69-70-69 -6 $1,025

Garrett Leek (a), Millsap 66-70-69-69 -6 $375

Parker Holekamp (a) Kingwood 66-70-69-69 -6 $375

Jerod Turner, Aledo 67-67-72-68 -6 $1,025

Chad Sewell (a), Conroe 68-70-68-68 -6 $375

Mikel Martinson, Arlington 69-68-70-67 -6 $1,025

Cyril Bouniol, Willow Park 64-74-70-66 -6 $1,025

Cory Churchman, Fort Worth 69-66-68-72 -5 $900

Joey Herrera (a), Fillmore, Calif. 67-71-69-68 -5 $325

Blaine Hale, Dallas 69-66-70-71 -4 $781

Zach James, Whitesboro 67-68-71-70 -4 $781

Nic Ishee, Dallas 67-70-71-68 -4 $781

Mitchell Meissner, San Antonio 70-68-71-67 -4 $781

Christian Jalomo, Richmond 67-68-70-72 -3 $700

Jake Doggett (a), Hutto 66-68-70-73 -3 $285

Holden Wisener (a), Dallas 69-62-72-74 -3 $285

Ian Ansett, Canyon 72-65-69-72 -2 $642

Cody Banach, Houston 70-68-68-72 -2 $642

Alex Carpenter, Prosper 67-68-72-71 -2 $642

Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 71-67-69-71 -2 $642

Jesse Bratz, Colleyville 65-72-71-70 -2 $642

Grant Schroeder, Montgomery 68-69-72-69 -2 $642

Austyn Reily (a), Pottsboro 68-68-71-74 +1 $245

Josh Havard, Arlington 70-68-69-74 +1 $615

John Hayden, Birmingham, Ala. 66-69-72 -3

Nick Duggan, San Antonio 70-68-72-73 +3 $608

Ben Hadden, Shawnee, Kan. 69-68-74-75 +6 $600

Robert Gwin (a), Montgomery 69-69-76-72 +6 $225

———

Missed the Cut

George Gardner, Southlake 70-69 -1

Jere Pelletier, El Paso 71-69 -1

Philip Nijoka, Houston 70-69 -1

James Hart du Preez, South Africa 68-71 -1

Sean Meehan, San Antonio 66-73 -1

Spencer Dillard, Frisco 67-72 -1

Jake Hendrix, Austin 71-68 -1

Michael Heidelbaugh (a), Dallas 69-70 -1

Bryce Waters (a), Midland 70-69 -1

Michael Kartrude, West Palm Beach, Fla. 69-70 -1

Pedro Lamadrid, San Antonio 72-67 -1

Jake Smelser (a), Troup 71-69 E

Casey Fernandez, Durant, Okla. 69-71 E

Ben Kern, Round Rock 71-69 E

JJ Killeen, Lubbock 71-69 E

Brian Wilson, Aledo 71-69 E

Hayden Foster, Pottsboro 69-71 E

Tanner Napier, Paris 70-70 E

Ben Hargis, Dallas 69-71 E

Matt Mabrey, Sand Springs, Okla. 74-66 E

Mark Walker, Celina 74-66 E

Tony Romo (a), Dallas 71-69 E

Kolton Baber (a), Devol, Okla. 71-70 +1

Toni Hakula, Austin 73-68 +1

Austin Wylie, Boerne 70-71 +1

Mark Victorian, League City 71-70 +1

Larry Lopez, El Paso 73-68 +1

Joseph Abella, Plano 69-72 +1

Adam House, Rockwall 71-70 +1

Curtis Reed, Castroville 69-72 +1

Jamey Taylor, Houston 73-68 +1

Gage Ihrig, Goodland, Kan. 73-68 +1

Landon Davis, Forney 73-68 +1

Vince Jewell, Dallas 70-71 +1

Juan D. Fernandez, Phoenix 69-72 +1

Blake Pugh, Southlake 71-70 +1

Andrew Presley, Fort Worth 68-73 +1

Stetson McMillan, Tyler 68-74 +2

Chris Brown, Benbrook 74-68 +2

Marco Scarola, Fort Worth 71-71 +2

Camden DeBonis, The Woodlands 72-70 +2

Brandon Massey (a), Fort Worth 68-74 +2

Joseph Totah, Austin 73-69 +2

Brandon Bingaman, Dallas 68-74 +2

Craig McCoy (a), McKinney 73-69 +2

Papito Gonzalez, McAllen 69-73 +2

Gilbert Mendez, Pflugerville 71-71 +2

David Harrison (a), Trophy Club 71-71 +2

Tristan Hernandez, Magnolia 69-73 +2

Andrew Hudson, Fort Worth 69-73 +2

Matt Gilchrest, North Richland Hills 72-71 +3

Clayton King (a), Uvalde 71-72 +3

Pryce Beshoory, Pearland 72-71 +3

Michael Rome (a), Austin 70-74 +4

Jacob Borow (a), Lake Jackson 71-73 +4

Chris Berzina (a), Fort Worth 70-74 +4

Collin Clark (a), Midlothian 72-72 +4

Andrew Bloch (a), Tyler 74-70 +4

Dalton Hankamer, Temple 75-70 +5

Brandon Ellis, San Antonio 72-73 +5

Greg Hiller, San Antonio 71-74 +5

Austin Escamilla (a), Midland 68-77 +5

Gabe Reynolds, Dallas 75-71 +6

Trey Brooks, Tyler 74-72 +6

Davis Seybert (a), Midland 69-77 +6

Jason Alexander, The Woodlands 78-69 +7

Chase Barnes, Cypress 72-75 +7

Chris Kunda, Grand Prairie 69-78 +7

Joshua Lim (a), San Antonio 72-75 +7

Jared Vela, Pasadena 76-71 +7

Brad Besler, Col. Springs, Colo. 74-73 +7

Ryne Carter (a), Carrollton 74-74 +8

Aaron Guanlao, Haslet 75-73 +8

Chase Traughber, Lantana 71-77 +8

Oscar Kanada (a), The Woodlands 73-75 +8

John Kyle, Friendswood 74-74 +8

Justin Benson (a), White Oak 71-77 +8

James Parker, McKinney 72-76 +8

Devaughn Robinson, Houston 73-75 +8

Ron Schroeder, Montgomery 76-73 +9

Chris Eikenberg, Houston 74-75 +9

Kelby Brown, San Antonio 69-80 +9

Jesse Forsong, Little Elm 76-73 +9

Adam Renfroe (a), Tyler 78-75 +13

Thomas McLaughlin, Fulshear 76-77 +13

Johnny Manziel (a), Tyler 79-75 +14

Trevor Arianna, Wylie 77-82 +19

JJ Wood, Spring 73-WD

Jacob Loya, El Paso 73-WD

Robert McMillan, Fort Worth 78-WD

Brian Coe, Dallas 78-WD

Chad Marti, Houston 80-WD

John Gerber, Frisco WD

 
 

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Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.