Tankersley Reclaims state amputee golf championship

Special to the Bulletin
Amputee golfers are pictured at The Hideout.

Standing on the No. 1 tee box at The Hideout Golf Club, Josh Tankersley was feeling the pressure of being three shots down to Jacob Parish, tournament leader who had fired an even par 72 on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Tankersley’s mind was focused on two things. He could see the look of confidence on Parish’s face and he could see the long row of tall Crepe Myrtles that protruded 30 yards from the cart path into the fairway, marking the beginning of a dog-leg right on the long #1, Par 5 hole at The Hideout Golf Club.

To start day two of the Southwest Amputee Golf Association’s Texas, Championship Tankersley’s strategy was simple. “I wanted to place my tee shot left of the Crepe Myrtles and I wanted to put pressure on Parish,” he explained.

It was a strategy that worked like a charm. Tankersley fired a two-day total 154, and Parish, after recording an even par round of 72 on Saturday, exploded to a two-day total 167. Tankersley reclaimed the title of Texas State Amputee Champion. The win marked Tankersley’s third state championship in the open division.

Jack Newbury finished second with a 161 and Parish finished third in the Championship Flight.

September 2020 marked the fifth year that the Texas Amputee Championship was played at The Hideout Golf Club.

Tournament director Jerry Drummond called The Hideout the perfect course and venue for the most prestigious amputee tournament played in the state. “We can never say thank you enough to Mick Jones, Hideout golf professional and his staff. Plans are already in the works to return to Lake Brownwood next year,” he said.

The tournament brings more than 100 out-of-town golfers, friends and family to Brown County each year. It takes a lot of time and money to put on a tournament of this magnitude, explained Drummond.

The tournament would not have gone on without the help of Denise Hudson, director of Visit Early Texas, Drummond said, referring to Hudson as “one amazing girl!”

“She was the trigger person who got things done,” Drummond said. The City of Early, Hudson, the Frederickson family, Star Electric and Larry Hart of Buckmasters “were our financial anchors,” Drummond said.

Mike Wright won the Senior Leg Amputee Division. On Sunday Wright pulled away from defending champion Jerry Drummond by firing an impressive 77 on Sunday.

Beth Frederickson took the Ladies Amputee Championship, holding off Deb Soto by one stroke. Frederickson shot a 204. Soto challenged with a 205.

Randy Smith’s 179 ran away from the field in the Amputee First Flight. Jimmy Squire finished second with a 197. John McCabe’s 218 was good for third.

In the Senior Arm Amputee Division, Richard Schatzer took first place with a 178. Carl Foster’s 208 placed second.

In the Open Guest division, Ryan Parish shot a 146, followed by Brady Hall, 155; and John Odling, 160.

Billy Fryar Solorider won the Challenged Golfers Flight with a 157. Bobby Bell’s 174 placed second.

Randy Pegler and Tom Olson battled for two days in the Senior Guest Flight. Pegler pulled off a one stroke win 160 to 161.

As the everything was winding up Sunday afternoon, Hudson explained every golfer who played in the tournament resided outside of Brown County, with one exception. “We had one local golfer who turned out to be this year’s tournament celebrity: Dilan Johnston, a 2020 graduate of May High School, played in his first amputee golf tournament.

May High School graduate Dilan Johnston played in his first amputee golf tournament.