Gonzalez goes low at qualifier

Waxahachie native barely misses U.S. Amateur cut at tournament

Daily Light report
Waxahachie High School graduate Paul Gonzalez plays for the University of Texas-Arlington men's golf team during a September 2019 tournament.

SUGAR LAND — Waxahachie resident Paul Gonzalez missed by one stroke qualifying as an alternate for the United States Golf Association’s 121st U.S. Amateur at a qualifying tournament on Monday at Riverbend Country Club.

Gonzalez, a University of Texas-Arlington senior, finished the tournament strong with a 3-under-par 69 in the second round after shooting even par in the first round. Gonzalez finished with a total of 141 to place sixth on the leaderboard, but one shot behind the second alternate, Parker Holekamp of Kingwood and two shots behind the first alternate, William Moll of Houston.

The top three finishers qualified for the U.S. Amateur. Chad Sewell of Conroe won the tournament with a 9-under-par 135, followed by Stephen Campbell Jr. of Richmond and Caleb Hicks of Arlington in a tie for second at 7-under-par 137.

Gonzalez was second on the UTA team in scoring in 2020-2021 after leading the squad each of the previous two years, and was second in average on the team as a freshman.

This year, his season-low score was a 4-under-par 68 in the Bearkat Invitational on April 13. On the combined fall and spring season, Gonzalez converted 40 birdies and rolled in three eagles.

Gonzalez’s 74.50 scoring average was two strokes higher than his junior year, but he finished his senior year strong as three of his final four rounds of the spring regular season were below par.

A 2017 graduate of Waxahachie High School, Gonzalez qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship that year by earning medalist honors at a qualifier at Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, and went 3-0 in match play to earn Texas a team victory at the 2017 Texas Mexico Cup in San Antonio. He also participated in the 2017 Byron Nelson Junior.

In high school play, Gonzalez finished with rounds of 72-71 to finish in the runner-up position at the district championships as a senior.