For the second straight year, Levi Valadez finished as the runner up at the 109th Texas Amateur Championship on Sunday at Whispering Pines Golf Club.
Valadez was steady all week, shooting an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 3-under for the tournament, three strokes behind champion Mitchell Meissner who recently finished his eligibility at Rice.
Valadez and Meissner were the only two golfers to finish the four-round championship under par.
“I think Bobby Jones said it best when he said he never learned anything by winning,” said Valadez. “It really came down to course management and putting, two of my biggest struggles this past school year. I really need to focus on those two things and keep grinding.”
Valadez opened the tournament with a 70 on Thursday’s and followed with a 71 on Friday to move to 3-under. He followed with back-to-back rounds of 72 to finish out the weekend.
He did his damage on the back 9 all weekend, playing the final nine holes at -3, including an eagle on the par-5 12th on Saturday. The most difficult hole at Whispering Pines was the closing hole, No. 18. The par 4 hole played to a stroke average of 4.58. Valadez closed with a par all four rounds.
Fellow Bearkat William Holcomb was also in action at the Texas Amateur, finishing in a tie for 12th at 8-over for the championship. Holcomb was in contention heading into the weekend after a 70 on Friday to get him to even-par for the tournament. But he closed with back-to-back 76’s on the weekend.
Austen Christiansen failed to make the cut after shooting 77 and 78 and was tied for 68th.
Whispering Pines offered the best amateurs in Texas a tremendous championship test. The 2000 Chet Williams-designed course played to a four-day stroke average of 77.38.