Not since the inaugural Texas State Open has an amateur won the prestigious event.
Ryan Grider of Lewisville is in position to become the second as he leads halfway through the $208,560 49th Tanos Exploration II/Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open at The Cascades Golf & Country Club.
Grider, a Baylor University junior, tops the TSO after carding a 7-under 63 during the afternoon wave of Round Two on Wednesday. He has a 36-hole total of 12-under 128 to lead by two strokes over first-round leader Kyle Pritchard of Castroville (63-67—130) and Tom Whitney of Little Elm (66-64—130).
Homero Blancas won the first TSO in 1960 when he was a member of the University of Houston golf team.
The top 55 scores and ties survived to play in Thursday’s third round. The cut was even-par.
However, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo did not make the cut, carding a 5-over 75 in the second round for a two-day total of 4-over 144.
Grider, who captured the 110th Texas Amatuer earlier this summer, started Wednesday’s round on hole No. 10 and went bogey, bogey, but turned things around finishing his first nine with four birdies. After another bogey on No. 1, he then managed an additional four birdies and an eagle before finishing his day.
“I was trying to stay patient,” Grider said. “I knew some birdies were out there on the par fives. Really towards the end was when I turned it on. It was a really solid day.”
When asked about his great play on holes No. 8 and No. 9 for the week, he stated, “I feel like I’ve put myself in a good position on those holes. Hole 8 I hit in the fairway both days and I made a nice putt today. Hole nine just looks cool, just straight downhill so you can just fire right at the hole. I know I’m going to have to go get it the next two days, but it is nice having a lead.”
He had an eagle on No. 8 and a birdie on No. 9 in the first and second rounds.
Defending champion Ben Kern of Georgetown survived the cut, carding a 3-under 67 during the second round for an even par 140.
Last year’s low amateur, Michael Salazar of El Paso, did not made the cut. The Grand Canyon University golfer carded a 13-over 153.
Three former champions — former champions Anthony Broussard of Plano (7-over 147), Casey Devoll of Arlington (7-over 147) and Brax McCarthy of Benbrook (10-over 150) — will not be playing in the third round.
Round Three will commence at 8 a.m. Thursday. Grider and Whitney will tee off at 1:12 p.m. The fourth and final round is Friday.
Tyler’s Stetson McMillan is tied for 35th and Tyler amateur Bryan Baker is tied for 55th.
Grider leads the low amateur race by six strokes over Colin Kober of Southlake (67-67—134).
Matt Lohmeyer of Westworth Village is the Low Professional with a 4-under 136 (67-69). He leads by two strokes over Shane Pearce of Carrollton (66-72—138).
Brian Wilson, formerly of Bullard now of Fort Worth, had to withdraw due to illness.
Other notables not making the cut were Lindale’s Jared Johnson (2-over 142), Grand Prairie’s Cody Massa (3-over 143), Quitman amateur Jeremy Bates (4-over 144), Hallsville High Schooler Lake Juban (4-over 144), Tyler’s Bobby Massa (5-over 145), Tyler’s Robert Shields (9-over 149), Tyler’s John Sikes (9-over 149), Tyler’s Trey Brooks (11-over 151), Tyler’s Rick Maxey (12-over 152) and Bullard’s Jaxson Bellar (21-over 161).
NTPGA SCHOLARSHIPS, SPONSORS
Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Northern Texas PGA Foundation’s scholarship program with the creation of the Tanos Exploration II/Patterson-UTI Drilling Texas State Open Scholarship. Lauren James from Judson, was awarded this scholarship. This year the NTPGA Foundation awarded $406,000 in scholarships to 50 high school seniors from North Texas.
The Championship is sponsored by Tanos Exploration II and Patterson-UTI Drilling. It is presented by Joyce Crane and Veritex Bank and is supported by Cavender’s, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health Systems, Energy Weldfab, Jucy’s Hamburgers and Patterson Tyler.
There is no admission charge to tournament. The Cascades is located at 4511 Briarwood Road in Tyler (75709). Fans may park near the All Saints Episcopal School’s Mewbourne Field, the second right after turning on to Briarwood Road off Loop 323. Shuttles will be available.