AUSTIN – The second round of the 2018 Texas Senior Amateur was suspended because of darkness at 7:18 p.m. on Saturday after more than an inch of rain The Hills Country Club led to a two-hour delay in the middle of the round.
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Mike Booker, a 10-time winner in TGA Championships, finished his second round in near-darkness. He holds the clubhouse lead at 4-under-par 140. The 63-year-old from Houston shot a second consecutive 2-under 70 in Saturday’s weather-plagued second round. He currently holds a five-shot lead over the best senior amateurs in Texas.
“I’m playing well. I like the way I’m playing,” said Booker, who in 2015 won the Texas Senior Amateur and the Texas Senior Player of the Year award. “It’s cliché stuff, but you have to take it one shot of the time in bad weather. I haven’t played this course in 40-some years, but it’s a really great course. A thinking man’s course.”
Over the past few weeks, The Hills have taken on more than 15 inches of rain. More fell Saturday morning. Play was suspended briefly at 10:35 a.m. while some heavy showers passed through the scenic and challenging Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and caused unplayable conditions. Play quickly resumed at 10:48 a.m.
Later in the day, heavier rains and lightning in the area dogged the course and play was suspended again at 3:01 p.m. This delay lasted two hours; players were back in position and restarted at 5:02 p.m.
Thirty-eight competitors were unable to complete their second round. For them, play will resume at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Following the conclusion of the second round, the field will be cut to the low 54 scores and ties. The final round will begin at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday. By the end of the day, a Senior Amateur Champion will be crowned.
Michael Lohner, a 56-year-old from Southlake, is currently tied for second place at 1-over-par 145 with Lewis Stephenson, the first round lead and 2016 champion. Stephenson’s round was interrupted by the suspension for darkness. He’s 5-over through 15 holes in his second round.
Lohner struggled to a 4-over 76 in the second round after shooting 3-under on Friday. After four consecutive bogeys to start his second round, Lohner fought back admirably with four birdies over his final 14 holes.
“It was incredibly tough out there today,” he said. “When the rain came down, chipping was tough, putting was tough, hitting the ball was tough. It was just a tough day. Mentally, at least for me, I was fighting everything all day. I have to go low tomorrow.”
Gene Black from Georgetown holds fourth place at 2-over 146. Four birdies helped him post 1-under 71 in his second round.
Three players are tied for fifth place at 3-over 147. Chuck Palmer shot an even-par 72 on Saturday to get to 147; Fort Worth’s John Grace and Juan Salcedo of The Woodlands are also 3-over par overall, but both players were unable to complete their second rounds.
For more information on the 2018 Texas Senior Amateur, click here.