University of Houston golfer, local entrepreneur leading Four States Invitational

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Former Texas High golfer Grayson Jones, and Little Rock's Stan Payne are second in the Four States Invitational standings at 133 after Saturday's second round.


It’s the Young Guns and Old Guns setting the pace in the 2019 Four States Invitational 4-Ball at Texarkana Country Club.

Former Pleasant Grove all-stater Braxton Watkins and Texarkana entrepreneur Bruce Hornbuckle posted a 7-under-par 65 in Saturday’s second round. They could have easily gone lower, but still lead by two shots with a 36-hole total of 131. Watkins is currently playing golf collegiately at the University of Houston.

Second in the Four States standings are Texarkana’s Grayson Jones and Stan Payne of Little Rock. They had shared the lead after round one, but slipped two shots back with a 67. Jones just completed his third golf season at Oral Roberts University.

“I don’t feel like we played well today,” said Jones, who played his high school golf at Texas High. “Stan carried me on the back nine Friday, and I feel like I helped today. We played with Braxton and Bruce today. They brother-in-lawed it perfectly.”

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Watkins, Hornbuckle could have gone lower

Watkins and Hornbuckle could have shot in the low 60s easily. A bogey at the par-3 third hole didn’t help matters, and pars at three of the four par-5s kept their opponents in striking range. They also had to settle for par on the short par-4 17th hole. Their birdies came at 1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15 and 18.

“We played a solid round of golf,” said Hornbuckle. “Didn’t do anything big. It’s been a lot of fun so far. It was probably Braxton mostly today, but I helped in spots.”

Jones and Payne also suffered a bogey in their round. It came at the par-4 fifth hole.

“We were both 100 yards out, and chunked our wedges short of the green, and couldn’t get up and down.” said Jones. “My second shot at 17 stopped about four inches from the cup.”

There’s two team tied at 136. Connor Ribble and Cole Kennedy are both Texas High graduates. Kennedy has the course record at Texarkana Country Club with a 10-under 62. Chuck Gardner and Wes Kubo posted their second straight 68. Another two shots back are defending champions Lesley Knight and Lance Vasquez.

The final round of the Four States Invitational begins Sunday at 8 a.m. A trophy ceremony will be held at the completion of play.