DALLAS — Dallas Athletic Club’s official colors are blue and gold, but after Baylor junior Ryan Grider’s 2019 victory, the second straight Baylor golfer to have won the Texas Amateur here, it might be time to change them to green and gold.
That’s because for the second straight time that the Texas Amateur Championship has been played on the historic Blue Course, a Baylor golfer has won Texas’ oldest and most prestigious amateur golf event, with Grider taking a four-shot victory Sunday over Arlington’s Paul Gonzales and Dallas’ Scott Abbott in wet, stormy conditions.
“That’s pretty cool. I’ve know Ryan Baca (who won at DAC in 1993), I’m glad to keep it going,” Grider said. “These are the type of tournaments I should be getting ready for. This summer is to get healthy, get my game sharp and get ready for the fall at Baylor.”
Grider, who lives in nearby Flower Mound and had his mother, the coordinator of junior golf programs at his home club here on his bag, was the only player to shoot under par all four days at DAC, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
He finished with a closing kick after the first three rounds of 61, 65 and 69 for a 54-hole total or 205, 13-under-par. He was staring at a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole when tornado sirens sounded on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course and players were forced to head back to the clubhouse. Play was called after a three hour delay.
“This is a first for me to have to wait out a lead on a tournament with just two holes to play,” Grider said. “I was happy to do it. It seems like every day this week a different part of my game has saved me. Driving one day. Putting the next and today was a combination of all of the above.”
The key hole for him Sunday turned out to be the par-5 10th hole when he came to the tee box tied for the lead after Gonzales, playing a group ahead, had birdied the par-4 ninth hole.
After a massive drive, Grider hit his 7-iron approach 195 yards to six feet right of the pin for an easy eagle putt and a lead he would never lose.
“That shot is certainly not where I aimed, but it turned out OK for me,” Grider said. “I was really pumped up after that shot and it got me going.”
He followed with birdies on holes 12 and 14 for the biggest win of his still young amateur career and to keep the exclusive private Dallas country club, with its Baylor graduate head pro Lance Patterson, in firm green and gold hands.
“This is a huge step for him,” said Baylor men’s golf coach Mike McGraw, who was monitoring the outcome remotely. “To be at or near the lead all week and then to get it done. He’s put together a nice, aggressive golf schedule (this summer) and to finish at 13 under par that will work well where ever he goes.”