Category: Press Release

Greater Houston Senior Amateur Championship

HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 7-9, 2016) – John Dowdall’s final-round charge denied defending champion Mike Booker of The Woodlands his third Greater Houston Men’s Senior Amateur Championship at Memorial Park Golf Course. It was the first title for Dowdall, 56, of Fulshear.
The Senior Division was comprised of competitors 55-64, who competed for 54 holes. The Super Senior Division was comprised of competitors 65-and-older for 36 holes.
For the record Dowdall shot 72-70-70—212, 4-under-par in for a 3-shot margin of victory in sunny playing conditions. Booker, who opened a 4-shot lead after the opening round, carded scores of 68-71-76,–215, that included 40 on the back nine.
Hunter Nelson (74-74-70) finished third, followed by Titus Harris (71-73-75) and Jimmy Burke (76-72-71). Rounding out the Top 10: John Kitchens of Sugar Land (76-72-76), Joe Nelson of Katy (79-73-73), Robert Booher of Sugar Land (74-78-73), Don Kehlenbeck of Conroe ( 75-76-74) and Michael Zacaro (74-70-81), all at 225.
In the Super Senior Division 70-year-old Marshall Utterson shot 71-77—148 to edge Jim Rath (79-70), Chris Larsen (77-72) and Chuck Reece (73-76) by a shot.

Houston Golf Association Elects New Board of Directors Chair and Officers; Names General Chair for 2017 Shell Houston Open

HOUSTON (June 22, 2016) – Houston Golf Association announced the election of new members to its board of directors. Meg Leachman, who served as vice chair in 2016 is named the new board chair. John O. Armour, Veronica Levet, Jeff Miers, Michael Sandeen and Maurice Shaw elected to board positions on Monday (June 13) at the annual election meeting held at the Dick Harmon Learning Center.

Meg Leachman has been a volunteer of the Houston Golf Association since 2004. She most recently served as vice chairman of the HGA board of directors and serves on the executive committee. She served as the general chair of the Shell Houston Open in 2013 and 2014 and was recipient of the 2011 Earl Elliott Member of the Year Award. Leachman succeeds Tom Forestier, who completed a two-year term, but will remain on the board of directors for one year.

John Armour will serve as vice chair. This is Armour’s second three-year term. Other board officers are Michael Sandeen (treasurer) and Jeff Miers (secretary). Mike Yeager has been named general chair for the 2017 Shell Houston Open.

Steve Timms is the president and CEO of Houston Golf Association and oversees the day-to-day operation of the organization and the Houston Golf Association staff.

2017 to Mark the Final Year of Shell Oil Company’s Sponsorship of the Shell Houston Open

HOUSTON, Tex. (June 8, 2016) –Shell Oil Company has notified the PGA TOUR and the Houston Golf Association that it will not continue as title sponsor of the Shell Houston Open beyond the 2017 tournament. Shell has sponsored the tournament since 1992.

“We very much appreciate the efforts the HGA and PGA TOUR have undertaken to support our brands throughout our fruitful quarter-century plus partnership,” said Bruce Culpepper, President, Shell Oil Company. “We could not be more proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to celebrating our collective success at the final [26th] Shell Houston Open in 2017. We continue to wish the HGA, the TOUR and the many charitable organizations they support the greatest success in the future.”

Since it was first organized by the Houston Golf Association in 1946, the tournament has generated $64 million for local charities and youth programs. Of that amount, more than $60 million has been raised since Shell Oil Company became the title sponsor.

“Shell has been a tremendous partner to the Houston Golf Association and while this phase in our partnership is coming to a close, our work together has created the best foundation we’ve had in the 70-year history of our professional golf event,” said Steve Timms, President and CEO, Houston Golf Association. “We are enthusiastic about the future of the Houston Golf Association and this tournament, and we remain steadfast in furthering the goals of our charitable programs and the impact the tournament will continue to have on our great city.”

The PGA TOUR, working closely with the HGA, will begin the search for a new title sponsor immediately. The TOUR has a proven track record of securing replacement sponsors and is confident a new title sponsor will be identified, particularly with the advance notice Shell has provided and for a tournament that is so well established and has had such a positive impact on the community. The Shell Houston Open is the 10th oldest tournament on TOUR.

“Beyond being one of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA TOUR and having such a rich history, the Shell Houston Open has demonstrated what a valuable contribution an event can have on the local community with the longevity of corporate partnership, like that of Shell,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “We greatly appreciate all that Shell has done over the years to support its hometown tournament and the wonderful charitable work of the HGA. We will begin the search for new title sponsor right away and are confident we will be successful in those efforts.”

The 2016 Shell Houston Open held at the Golf Club of Houston experienced record attendance of 125,000. The tournament generates hours of live national broadcast coverage, hours of network television coverage and promotion via other outlets for the city of Houston annually. Internationally, the tournament is broadcast in 228 countries, reaching nearly 1 billion households. The Shell Houston Open annually generates an estimated $25 million to $30 million in economic impact for the Greater Houston area.

Funding from the tournament goes to HGA Youth Programs, including the HGA Scholarship Program, HGA Junior Golf, and The First Tee® of Greater Houston. This continual funding has enabled growth for The First Tee of Greater Houston, an organization that teaches life skills to children through the game of golf. The local chapter is now in 400 public schools across Houston, impacting more than 290,000 children annually, making it the largest chapter in the worldwide network.

More than 200 additional worthy causes and nonprofit organizations have received donations or gifts in kind as a result of the tournament, including Shell Houston Open ongoing beneficiaries Chinquapin Prep (since 1979), Cenikor Foundation, Inc. (since 1996), and Project Joy and Hope (since 2014).

Shell has been synonymous with professional golf since its landmark television series Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf first aired from 1962-1970 and from 1994-2003, Shell has been heavily involved with the sport since that time, not only as title sponsor of the Shell Houston Open but as the sole Founding Partner of the World Golf Foundation, which oversees the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL, and as the founding corporate partner for The First Tee®, a WGF outreach program that has brought the game of golf and its values to millions of children worldwide.

The 2017 Shell Houston Open is March 27-April 2 at the Golf Club of Houston. Visit for more information.


Shell Oil Company

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.


Houston Golf Association

For 70 years, Houston Golf Association has organized high-profile professional and amateur golf events in the Greater Houston area to support its mission to make a difference in Houston and in the lives of youth through its charitable programs. The HGA, a not-for-profit, tax exempt 501c (3) organization, is a prolific charitable fundraiser, bolstered by a strong group of members and volunteers. Visit for more information.



The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.

The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 30 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2014, tournaments across all Tours generated a record $140.5 million for local and national charitable organizations, after surpassing $2 billion in all-time charitable contributions early in the year.

The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.


Chris Smith                               Amanda Hansen                          Natalie Mazey

PGA TOUR                               Houston Golf Association           Shell Oil Company

904-273-3379                        281-459-8702                             713-241-4544              


John Levet has been named the winner of the 2016 PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge sponsored by Myrbetriq® (mirabegron). Levet presented a $10,000 check to the Houston Golf Association (HGA) Junior Golf Program on behalf of Astellas Pharma US, Inc. on Championship Sunday at the Shell Houston Open. The charity was chosen by Levet from a list provided by the tournament.

The PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge is a friendly competition, which raises funds for charity while recognizing the talent, passion and commitment of the more than 100,000 annual PGA TOUR tournament volunteers nationwide who dedicate extensive time to helping tournaments raise funds for local charities.

Levet volunteered at the Shell Houston Open as a meaningful way to experience the tournament and get an up-close and personal look at professional golf. As winner of the PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge at the Shell Houston Open, he will help make a difference for students served through the HGA Junior Golf Program.

The PGA TOUR Volunteer Challenge is taking place at 16 tournaments during the 2016 PGA TOUR season and builds upon close to $1 million provided by its sponsor Astellas to tournament charities over the course of the PGA TOUR sponsorship.

For additional information about the Volunteer Challenge, visit