Jacob Peña and Wyatt Klekar know the golf course at Victoria Country Club extremely well.
The St. Joseph and Victoria West graduates played the par 72 course numerous times during their high school careers and currently work there.
Those two, along with Victoria residents John Kozelsky and John Lingle, will be part of the 84-player field set to compete in the Texas Golf Association South Amateur championship Friday through Sunday at VCC.
Victoria West’s Wyatt Klekar and Jared Lofland and Victoria East’s Emma Koch were named to the district 29-5A all-district team for the 2020-2…
“It definitely adds more confidence than if I went to a different course in San Antonio or Austin I hadn’t played before,” Klekar said of his knowledge of the course. “I’m not saying it gives me the win right away. That’s definitely not right. But I definitely have more of an advantage, I think, than some people who haven’t played here before because I know it can be a pretty tough course.”
One of Peña’s most recent competitive rounds was the Red River Athletic Conference tournament at VCC while he was playing for Texas A&M-San Antonio.
Peña shot rounds of 82, 72 and 76 for a three-round total of 232 and an eighth-place finish in April. His performance earned Freshman of the Year honors in the RRAC, the first superlative honor earned by any Texas A&M-San Antonio student-athlete.
Maiya Tillman will graduate from St. Joseph as a two-time state champion and a four-year leader on the volleyball court.
“I’ve had a couple of other good tournament rounds at this course before,” Peña said. “I would say we play it almost every day. So I know it pretty well.”
Klekar and Peña will compete against each other again this coming season after Klekar, who played at West, transferred to UHV following one season at McMurry University in Abilene.
While they work together, the two are looking forward to competing against each other again as they did in high school, starting this week in the South Amateur.
“It’s always fun because we know how to be competitive with each other on the course during tournaments,” Peña said in a phone interview while they played a round together. “But we’re always friends outside of that, no matter what.”
The tournament, which kicks off at 8 am Friday on the first and 10th tees, is an opportunity for all amateurs, such as Kozelsky and Lingle.
VCC Director of Golf Joe Mitchell is a fan of the tournament because it provides a competitive level for all kinds of amateurs.
“This is kind of designed, not only for the college kids, but your best members of clubs,” Mitchell said. “It kind of gives them a chance to showcase their skills.”
VCC will feature a course setup from the TGA for the tournament.
Mitchell said the TGA will likely make the greens extremely fast to provide a challenge to the field. The pace of the greens is a famous feature of the course from the All Pro Tour’s Victoria Open to the RRAC tournament.
“We’re trying to firm up (the greens) and get them as fast as possible,” Mitchell said. “That’s what we’re known for, our fast greens. And when the wind blows, the challenge of the golf course.”
Sam is a Sports Reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach him at email@example.com or (361) 580-6576. You can follow him on Twitter @Fowlersports14.