Matt Lawson started working at Lubbock Country Club seven months ago and has been looking forward from day one to his first Par Buster. The course’s annual showcase partnership is finally here for him.
A total of 93 teams, 12 in the championship flight, will tee it up from Thursday through Saturday for three rounds. Lawson, the Lubbock Country Club director of golf, came from Bluejack National in Montgomery, north of Houston. He went to high school and played junior-college golf in North Carolina.
“It’s been very exciting,” Lawson said Wednesday. “It’s been a lot of long and rewarding work. Seeing the participants arrive today and registering their teams has been very rewarding.
“I’ve been really fortunate to work under some great directors of golf at some really great courses, so I’ve been able to learn a lot and am just trying to take all those things I’ve learned and try to enhance what I can, definitely enhance the member experience. It’s been a whirlwind, and it’s gotten here really quickly.”
The tournament committee put a membership requirement on this year’s Par Buster, allowing only member-guest or member-member teams. The significant change knocked out 2022 champions Alex Ellis and Cory Bull, two Austin residents. Non-member teams have dominated the event for more than a decade.
“There’s been some leadership changes at the club,” Lawson said, “and in looking at how we could make the member experience better, the field’s a little bit better, a little bit more intimate. The tournament committee and the leadership team, we decided that kind of moving toward the member-guest format would give the members the best experience in the tournament.”
What a finish in ’22: Cory Bull’s long birdie decides Par Buster in playoff
Most recent major: Galyean, Shivers win Stampede by six
Lubbock Country Club member Ryan Rogers and his playing partner, Brady Shivers, are “a heavy favorite,” Lawson said. “Also, with that said, we have a very competitive championship flight.”
Shivers has won 10 Lubbock major titles, the last coming two weeks ago when he and Thumper Galyean prevailed in the LakeRidge Stampede. Rogers has won five city majors and four club championships at LakeRidge.
Other teams entered who have at least one partner with a city major title are Cody King-Matt Hall, Tyler Chadwick-Tyler Sturdivant, Scott Rundell-Barrett Gray and Ross Tyler-Steven Watters.
“The golf course is in great shape,” Lawson said. “We’ve got a new director of agronomy and, and it looks like we’re going to have really good weather.”
This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Lubbock Country Club’s Par Buster narrows field with format change