Dillon Board, Paul Gonzalez and 2012 champion Nathan Tyler sit atop the 51st Higginbotham Texas State Open leaderboard after round one after firing matching 8-under-par 62s at the Cascades Club in Tyler.
Nathan Tyler of Mesquite, Texas, had a round that featured an incredible three eagles.
“On number twelve I put it in the hole, 7-iron. So that was pretty nice to get the third one,” said Tyler. He fired an 8-under-par 33-29-62 catching fire on the back nine, playing holes 10 through 16 at 6-under-par.
In 2012 Tyler won the Texas State Open at the Lakes at Castle Hills on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Paul Gonzalez of Waxahachie, Texas, made his return to Northern Texas PGA competition today and leads both the Professional and Amatuer Divisions. Gonzalez grew up playing NTPGA Junior Tour events and now attends the University of Texas at Arlington.
“I told my coaches after my last tournament that I want to go out and try to win this thing,” said Gonzalez. “I drove it well and just hit it to the fat parts of the greens. That was the game plan today.”
Gonzalez signed for a bogey-free, 8-under-par 31-31-62 card that included eight birdies. Gonzalez is trying to become the first amateur since Homero Blancas to capture the title. Blancas accomplished the feat in 1960, the first year that the Texas State Open was played.
Dillon Board of Jacksonville, Florida is the final player tied for the lead at 8-under-par.
“I got off to a good start and birdied two of the first three holes. I drove it really well and knocked a couple putts in. Bogey-free is always a good thing,” said Board. Board also added a bogey-free 31-31-62 card including an eagle on par-5 14th. Board was one of seven players who qualified at The Cascades on June 30. He fired a 4-under par round of 67, finishing tied for second in the qualifier.
Jack Ireland of The Woodlands, Texas and Tyson Reeder of Edmond, Oklahoma are only one shot back of the leaders in a tie for fourth at 7-under-par 63.
Two notables in the field that drew their share of spectators included former NFL players Tony Romo and Johnny Manziel.
Romo teed off on No. 10 in the morning wave and fired a 1-over 71 that included three birdies and is currently sitting at T86, needing to make up some ground in Wednesday’s second round to make the cut. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current NFL on CBS analyst will tee off on No. 1 at 1:24 pm on Wednesday.
Manziel teed off in the sweltering afternoon heat on No. 10 and had a strong showing on his first nine, making the turn at 2-over that included a birdie on No. 14, but a 7-over second nine that included three double bogeys derailed his opening round en route to carding a 79.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner will tee off at 8:24 am off No. 1 on Wednesday.