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The fantastic round of happy Homero
Dan Jenkins
September 03, 1962
A tight and tricky Texas course became the site of the most remarkable 18 holes of tournament golf in memory when a University of Houston senior posted 13 birdies and one eagle to shoot a 55
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September 03, 1962

The Fantastic Round Of Happy Homero

A tight and tricky Texas course became the site of the most remarkable 18 holes of tournament golf in memory when a University of Houston senior posted 13 birdies and one eagle to shoot a 55

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The Premier golf course in Longview, Texas will never be selected as a U.S. Open site for reasons which do not whimper for explanation. At the same time, the short, piny nine-hole layout is not the easiest ever conceived for man or midget.

Every hole has a tight boundary separating it from the Premier Oil refinery or from a cluster of pine trees or an east Texas road or a field. It has greens that make a trading stamp swagger with bigness. It also has tees, grass, flags, bunkers and rough. It is, in short, a legitimate par 70 golf course, although the kindest adjective for it might be sporty.

To score well at Premier one must drive the ball very straight because of the boundaries, hit approaches and chips with finest caution and, as on any course, sink putts. Last week Homero Blancas, one of the most promising young players in the nation—amateur or professional—did all three and shot the lowest competitive round in the history of U.S. golf.

Blancas birdied 13 holes and eagled another for a 15-under-par 27, 28-55, a totally shocking and peculiar figure that doesn't sound like the score of any game at all and looked to sports page readers like the funniest typographical error since Eli Grba started pitching.

The occasion was the final round of the 72-hole Premier Invitational, a familiar event on Texas' vast summer circuit for amateurs—the same circuit that for years has been preparing the Hogans, Nelsons, Demarets, Burkes, Maxwells and Cupits for a larger audience.

The Premier course measured 5,002 yards for the 18 holes of Blancas' incredible journey. He began the round five strokes out of the tournament lead after believable scores of 69 and 70 and an extraordinary 62. He won by five after he had finished hitting 17 greens in regulation figures, chipping in once for his eagle and taking only 20 putts.

Blancas is one of those University of Houston golfers who have contributed to Coach Dave Williams' six NCAA team championships in the past seven years. A 24-year-old Mexican, he is five feet 10, weighs 180 pounds, can hit the long ball and innocently says in a voice that reminds you of a young Desi Arnaz, "It doesn't scare me to make a lot of birdies."

Paired with a teammate, Fred Marti, at Longview, Homero didn't believe the score he was shooting. "I was just trying to win," he said. "Fred told me I was six under after six, and I said, 'That's not right.' I figured it up and I was wrong. Later he told me I was 12 under through 14, and I argued with him. But I added it up and he was right again."

Blancas, who won the Southern Intercollegiate and was runner-up to Houston teammate Kermit Zarley in the NCAA finals, finished his round with the flourish of a 40-foot birdie putt on 17 and a gimmie birdie on the par 5 18th. He mysteriously missed one birdie putt of two feet and made only one long putt, the one on 17. Most of the birdies ranged from eight feet in. On all of the par 4s at Premier his long and accurate drives left him no more than an eight-iron approach, and usually a wedge.

"It is wise to take out the driver on only four holes there," Homero explained. "On the other holes you ought to drive with an iron to stay in bounds.

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