Austin city officials will have their say on the fate of the Municipal Lions

Area golf fans who ignore the local American-Statesman to focus their full attention on the sports page might want to rethink that approach as the local election approaches. Austin politics will probably be play an important role in any decision regarding Lions Municipala beloved local course that is still on a shaky footing.

Last Friday, a large group gathered on the course for the annual Forever Green fundraiser, benefiting the Muny Conservancy. This non-profit organization hopes to partner with the city and the University of Texas to maintain the historic course.

The land Muny sits on is part of 500 acres known as the Brackenridge Tract, all owned by the university. The course is believed to be the first fully desegregated municipal course south of the Mason-Dixon line and the city has leased 140 acres for Muny since 1936, paying UT about $500,000 a year. If the parties do not agree, the university could be free to lease the property to another entity, develop it or sell it.

Scotty Sayers, a childhood friend and agent of two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw as well as one of the reserve’s founders, said he assumed the timeline would speed up after the next election.

Save Muny:Event raises $800,000 for Lions Municipal Golf Course renovations

“I don’t think anything is going to happen in the next two months because we have a race for mayor and city council, there are a number of seats,” Sayers said. “There’s a lot going on with our city government and that needs to be worked out, and then this group can help negotiate with the University of Texas to find out what’s going to happen to these different lands in the city.

“And frankly, this one is in a place where the traffic grid is quite full, so we think Lions has a very good chance of surviving as a green space.

Sayers said he hopes anyone in power understands how golf fits into the makeup of the city.

“Municipal politics are interesting. We don’t have a board right now where a lot of the board members are golfers, but they may not be swimmers or tennis players either,” Sayers said. “And it’s all part of the fabric of a city. You want people to do things, whether it’s your parks, whether it’s your tennis courts or your swimming pools and your golf courses, and what we have to do is get them to recognize that there’s a boom in golf since COVID and people are realizing it’s a game you can play outside, you can social distance if you want or you can play with your best friend. “

Among those present at the annual fundraiser were Crenshaw, Mark Brooks, 1996 PGA Championship winnermovie star Luke Wilson and local radio personality Ed Clements.

The Forever Green fundraiser was held Friday at the Lions Municipal Golf Course.  The organizers hope that the next local elections can help keep the course intact.

After:The PGA of America’s move to Texas is now official; A&M Amateur Champion Sam Bennett

Scottie Scheffler awarded in Alabama-Texas game

Scottie Scheffler, who spent four years on the University of Texas men’s golf team, received the Jack Nicklaus award during an appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay before the Longhorns football team hosts No. 1 Alabama in Austin. Texas coach John Fields presented the trophy to Scheffler in front of the reigning NCAA men’s golf team.

“It’s very special,” Scheffler said. “It was definitely a surprise this morning. It means a lot to me. I never really expected something like this.

Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, led the Tour with four wins this season, including his first major championship title at the Masters. Receiving 89% of the votes, Scheffler was selected for the honor over the other two nominees: Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith.

In doing so, Scheffler became the first player to win the Korn Ferry Player of the Year, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and Player of the Year awards. Scheffler’s four victories have come at the WM Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the World Golf-Dell Technologies Match Play Championships and the Masters. He had all four in six starts, becoming the first player to win four times in six starts since Jason Day in the 2014-15 season. Only Tiger Woods (eight times) had already won four times, including a major and a WGC, in the same season. Scheffler has totaled 11 top-10 finishes in 25 starts during the season, including second-place finishes at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, Charles Schwab Challenge, US Open and Tour Championship.

After:Former University of Texas men’s golf assistant Jean-Paul Hebert left for Vegas

With $14,046,910 in official money, Scheffler earned the most in a single season in Tour history, a record previously held by fellow Longhorn alum Jordan Spieth ($12,030,465 in 2014-15). Scheffler also received $4 million through the Comcast Business Tour top 10 for finishing the regular season as the FedEx Cup leader and $1 million for winning the season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge. Between official money and bonus programs, Scheffler has earned a total of $24,796,910 this season.

“Without a doubt, one of the greatest compliments a player can receive is the approval of his peers, and the fact that Scottie’s season has been both dominant and consistent says a lot about the members,” said Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

Sergio Garcia could be fined for withdrawal for attending UT/Alabama game

While Scottie Scheffler had a happy surprise during the Alabama-Texas football game, Sergio Garcia’s appearance at the game could have produced a bad consequence.

Garcia and his wife Angela Akins Garcia — the daughter of former UT quarterback and 1975 Southwestern Conference Player of the Year Marty Akins — posted on social media on the sidelines of the game in support their friend Steve Sarkisian.

Garcia’s withdrawal from the BMW PGA Championship could result in a fine for the part-time Austin resident, according to London’s Daily Telegraph. According to the DP World Tour Rules Manual, a player may only WD for “emergency reasons or medical circumstances deemed reasonable by the Tournament Director”.

Garcia shot a 76 in the first round of the event, the flagship of the DP World Tour schedule. He is expected to play this week when the LIV Golf Tour hits Chicago.

After:Former UT star Lisa DePaulo hopes Austin can become the hub of women’s golf

Birdies and bogeys

• After winning the title a year ago, the University of Texas men’s golf team is ranked ninth in the inaugural Bushnell/Golfweek Div. I Survey of coaches of the season. Vanderbilt is the top voter while fellow Big 12 powerhouses Oklahoma (4), Oklahoma State (7) and Texas Tech (8) also made the top 10.

• Speaking of college golf, Texas A&M opened its season with a win at the Badger Invitational in Wisconsin. William Paysse earned co-medalist honors Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course, paving the way for the 17th-ranked Aggies. Third-year head coach Brian Kortan’s team finished 11 strokes better than host Badgers, who finished second.

• After a day of maintenance on Monday, Morris Williams Golf Course will host the Senior Men’s and Women’s Championship in Austin this weekend. The event was canceled in 2021 due to COVID.

Tim Schmitt is Golfweek’s editor, golf coordinator for the USA Today Network, and lives in Round Rock. Golfweek’s Adam Schupak also contributed to this report.