Scott Wagoner grew up in Greenville and played many rounds at The Oaks Country Club as a Greenville Lions golfer, Rice University golfer and then in some competitive tournaments.
But Wagoner found out the hard way on Thursday in a qualifier for the Texas State Open that the course has changed.
“This course is way tougher than it used to be,” said Wagoner. “It probably plays 500 yards longer than it used to.”
Wagoner, who has shot par 72 or better many times on two trips around the nine-hole layout in the past, couldn’t match par on Thursday. Nobody else did either.
John Hayden of Birmingham, Ala., shot a two-over 74 and Trevor Arianna of Wylie carded a 75 to claim the two qualifying spots for the 51st Texas State Open, which is scheduled for July 28-31 at the Cascades Club in Tyler. The winner of that $200,000 tournament is to collect $40,000 and trophies will also be awarded to the low PGA professional and low amateur.
Hayden, who competed in college at Alabama-Birmingham, played steady golf to finish first. Hayden proved how steady he is by averaging 72.9, 73.1 and 73.7 for three seasons at Alabama-Birmingham.
“I made 12 straight pars to finish,” he said. “I just kind of scrambled and made a lot of four-foot putts.”
Hayden drove from Birmingham to Greenville, just to compete in this qualifier.
“I enjoyed it,” he said. “The two guys that I played with were very nice.”
Arianna played high school golf at Rowlett and then in college at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls.
He said he wasn’t playing too well on Thursday and “then I eagled 14 and played good to the finish.”
Local knowledge of the course didn’t seem to help the four former Greenville Lions who played in the event. David Weaks carded an 83, while Wesley Crumpton shot an 86. Wagoner and BoBo Hartline both fired 88s.
Anna golfer Todd Mayfield, who’s a member at Oak Creek, shot a 76 to tie for third place with Jason Shirey of Canton and Shaheen Momim of Sugarland. Mayfield played college golf at Northeastern Oklahoma and Sam Houston State.
Teaching professional Rick Woodson of Sachse said he enjoyed it at The Oaks though he didn’t qualify for the Texas State Open after firing a 77.
“I grew up on a nine-hole course in Lamesa,” he said.
Woodson played college golf at Western Texas College in Snyder and at McNeese State in Louisiana.
Wagoner now lives in Dallas and his son Beck will be a senior football player for the Highland Park Scots, who are now district rivals of the Lions in all sports except football.
Mike Fields, the general manager of The Oaks, called it a “high honor” for the country club to hold this tournament.
“We’re excited to have it,” he said.
51st Texas State Open
The Oaks Country Club, Greenville
1. qJohn Hayden, Birmingham, Ala. 74
2. qTrevor Arianna, Wylie 75
T3. Jason Shirey, Canton 76
T3. Shaheen Momin, Sugarland 76
T3. Todd Mayfield, Anna 76
6. Rick Woodson, Sachse 77
7. Sam Benson, Gilmer 78
8. Jason Dawber, Bonham 79
9. David Weaks, Greenville 83
10. Christopher Waites, Rowlett 84
11. Wesley Crumpton, Cumby 86
T12. Scott Wagoner, Dallas 88
T12. BoBo Hartline, Greenville 88
T12. Chandler Burch, Melissa 88
WD Advait Chutke, Flower Mound
qQualified for Texas State Open