(Tyler, TX) – The 2013 Senior Amateur Championship welcomed 144 of the top seniors and super seniors from across the state to Tyler’s Willow Brook Country Club.  With a crowded leader board after the first round, this year’s championship is looking as though it will be an exciting way to end the Texas Golf Association’s 2013 season.  Leland Chiles and Mike Arnold hold slim leads in the Senior division and Super Senior division, respectively.


Leland Chiles, of Granbury, maneuvered the parkland-style layout with a total of five birdies and a lone double bogey.  With three birdies on the front nine, Chiles turned at 3-under par 33.  Chiles was able to pick up two more birdies on the back nine, but those were negated with a double bogey on the par five 16th hole for an even-par final nine.


The Woodlands’ Herb Fisher, Fort Worth’s Gary Hardin and Mike Peck, of Irving, all sit one stroke behind the leader Chiles at 2-under par 69.  Lee Sandlin and Phil Austin, of Dallas and Arlington, respectively, turned in rounds of 1-under par 70.  Six players were able to card opening round scores of even-par 71.


San Antonio’s Mike Arnold will enter the second round with a three stroke lead in the Super Senior division after his opening round of 1-under par 70.  Arnold, who won the Senior Amateur in 2007, turned from the front nine at 1-over par 37 before making three of his five birdies for 2-under par 33 on the back nine.


“I like the golf course.  It is a very traditional layout that if you hit it in play you will hit a lot of wedges, which is a strength of my game” said Arnold after his round.


Three players sit three shots back of Arnold at 2-over par 73 – Houston’s Dick Visser, Dallas’ Chip Stewart and Gary Kirwan, of McKinney.  Defending Super Senior champion Michael Hopson is seven shots back at 6-over par 77.


The second round will begin Saturday morning at 8:00am off of holes #1 and #10.  After the second round is complete there will be a cut to the low 48 and ties in the Senior division, while the Super Senior division will cut to the low 24 and ties.