TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Festivities with the 49th annual Texas State Open got underway Sunday at the Cascades Golf Club with the Pro-Am event.
The team of Alex Carpenter of Dallas, Texas, and three amateurs, Carson Horak, Sean Horrigan and Mason McCowen took home first place with a team total of 18-under-par 53.
The PGA sanctioned event for the professionals will start on Tuesday and run through Friday. Monday will be used as a practice round. This will be the eighth time that the event will be played at the club in Tyler. That makes The Cascades the host site more than any other course for the event.
“The course is fantastic,” North Texas PGA Director, CEO Mark Harrison said. “It is fair but it is very, very, tough. If you keep it in the fairway the greens are absolutely perfect. Those guys that keep it in the fairway are going to make the putts so the score will be low.”
Georgetown’s Ben Kern won last year's event and is back looking to defend his title.
“It is one of those courses where if you strike the ball well and hit the fairways and greens you are going to make some birdies but it is one if you get sideways it can bite you," Kern said. "I’ve played tournaments all over the country. Mini tours, section events, but I have never seen a welcoming like I have here. It is one of the reasons why I come back.”
The North Texas PGA hopes the event can continue to be successful and that could happen with PGA America moving their headquarters from Florida to Frisco, just two hours north of Tyler.
“The last time Texas hosted a PGA Championship was in 1963,” Harrison said. " In 2027 we will be hos,ting a PGA Championship and then again in then a whole ton of events between them. The economic impact on Frisco and the state of Texas is an estimated well over $2.5 billion over 20 years. Quite frankly that is pretty conservative. "