15-Year-Old Oliver Betschart Wins 54-Hole Texas Junior Open

Oliver Betschart
Oliver Betschart after winning the 54-Hole Texas Junior Open.

It was just three months ago, in November, when 15-year-old Oliver Betschart made his PGA Tour debut in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course in his home country of Bermuda. Then, after becoming the first amateur and youngest player ever to win the Moongate Tour Championship earlier this month, Betschart jumped up into the Boys 16-18 division to win the 54-Hole Texas Junior Open on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour this past weekend. 

What better way to celebrate a three-day weekend than with an extra day of golf? The Hurricane Tour hosted seven special 54-hole tournaments over the February 17th weekend, with the Texas Junior Open taking place at The Golf Club of Texas in San Antonio – more than 2,000 miles from Bermuda. 

Betschart Battled Illness And Weather In San Antonio

Betschart had entered the tournament on Saturday feeling a bit under the weather, which was certainly not complemented by the cold, windy conditions on the course. He finished the first round with a 4-over 76 that included five birdies, five bogeys and two double-bogeys. 

“The conditions in San Antonio were colder than I am used to,” Betschart said. “But having grown up in Bermuda, I knew how to handle the wind.”

The 15-year-old entered Sunday in a 4-way tie for the lead before finishing with an even-par 72 in the second round to secure the outright lead after 36 holes. Leading the charge was a run of three straight birdies for Betschart on the front nine. Two strokes behind him was 18-year-old Grant Yerger, who has signed to play golf at Division-1 Troy University. 

“A Tournament is a tournament,” Betschart said about playing up a division. “No matter who the competition is, I am there to win!”

Yerger started Monday off red-hot with five birdies in the first eight holes, but a double bogey on the ninth derailed his momentum and opened the door back up for Betschart to make a run at the title. Betschart shot his best round of the weekend with a 1-under 71, but he made things interesting late. 

Betschart was up by three strokes before bogeying 17, which was followed by a Yerger birdie on 18 to close the gap to just one stroke. Betschart was able to finish strong with a par on 18 and eke out a 1-stroke victory over his older counterpart. 

“I had left myself a 4-foot, straight-in putt, and I knew it was for the win,” Betschart said. “I just remembered all the basics that my coach, David Ogrin, and I tirelessly worked on. I stuck to my routine and sunk it. This win was reassuring that hard work pays off!” 

We asked Oliver what was next for him in the sport, and his response exuded the level of confidence needed to reach the pinnacle of golf. 

“My ambitions are to become a professional golfer, and to win all four majors,” Betschart stated. “My big goal for this year is to qualify for the second time for the PGA Butterfield Bermuda Championship and make the cut.”

Those are some pretty lofty goals, but he was the 5th-youngest golfer ever to qualify for a PGA Tour event last year at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship – and the youngest Bermudian to do it.


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