Golfer comes to Victoria, eats, wins Texas Senior Open

Javier Sanchez, of Cape Giraradeau, Mo., acknowledges the crowd after sinking his last putt to secure first place in the Texas Senior Golf tournament at the Victoria Country Club.
  • 1 Javier Sanchez, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 70 69 139

    2 Robin Byrd, Satellite Beach, Fl., 69 71 140

    3 David Ogrin, New Braunfels, TX, 71 70 141

    4 Robert Niger, El Dorado Hills, Calif., 71 71,142

    5 Henry Cagigal Fort ...

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  • 1 Javier Sanchez, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 70 69 139

    2 Robin Byrd, Satellite Beach, Fl., 69 71 140

    3 David Ogrin, New Braunfels, TX, 71 70 141

    4 Robert Niger, El Dorado Hills, Calif., 71 71,142

    5 Henry Cagigal Fort Worth, TX, 73 70 143

    6 Steve Jurgensen, Pearland, TX 73 71 144

    T6 Carl Cooper, Humble, Tex., 73 71 144

    T8 Ron Schroeder, Montgomery, TX, 74 71 145

    T8 Jim Chancey, Kissimmee, Fl., 72 73 145

    T8 Ben Sauls, Austin, TX, 70 75 145

    11 Perry Arthur, Plano, TX, 72 74 146

    T12 Ken Tarling, Simonton, TX, 78 69 147

    T12 John Schaefer, Plano, TX., 75 72 147

    T12 David Lundstrom, Houston, TX, 71 76 147

    T15 David Narveson, Simonton, TX, 73 75 148

    T15 Joe Clark, Jr., Holderness, NH, 73 75 148

    T17 Dave Rummells, Kissimmee, Fl., 75 74 149

    T17 Mark Spivey, Victoria, TX, 74 75 149

    T19 Karl Narro, Houston, TX, 77 74 151

    T19 Kerry Lamb, Port Neches, TX, 74 77 151

    T21 Terry Snodgrass, Arlington, TX, 76 76 152

    T21 Albert Crews, Homer, LA, 75 77 152

    T23 Gregory Sharp, Lawrence, KS, 77 76 153

    T23 Raymond Caldwell, San Antonio, TX, 73 153

    T23 Aurelio Macias, Houston, TX, 75 78 153

    T26 Ronny Glanton, Richardson, TX, 79 75 154

    T26 Mike Musgrave, Fort Collins, CO, 76 78 154

    T26 Rick DeWitt, Arvada, CO, 76 78 154

    T26, Paul Reed, Houston, TX,76 78 154

    T30 David Faulkner, Humble, TX, 79 76 155

    T30 Rob Norland, Richardson, TX, 75 80 155

    T32 Todd Riddle, Missouri City, TX, 79 77 156

    T32 Steven Moran, Houston, TX, 80 76 156

    T34 Don Robertson, Irving, TX, 78 79 157

    T34 Greg Woodhouse Thornton, CO, 77 80 157

    T36 John Aguillon, San Antonio, TX 79 79 158

    T36 Chuck Bishop, Helotes, TX 79 79 158

    T36 Billy Storms, Corpus Christi, TX, 77 81 158

    T36 Charlie Cline, Bozeman, MT, 72 86 158

    40 Joey Gonzalez, San Antonio, TX, 81 78 159

    T41 Mark Aebli, W. Dover, VT, 77 83 160

    T41 Alan Wooley, Fredericksburg, TX, 80 80 160

    T43 Jimmy Risinger, San Antonio, TX 78 83 161

    T43 Mark Keith, Lahaina, HI, 84 77 161

    T45 Rick Beckham, Ennis, TX, 79 83 162

    T45 Mike Weaver Webster, TX, 81 81 162

    47 Jim Phenicie, Houston, TX, 83 80 163

    48 John Castillo, Midland, TX, 82 84 166

    T49 David Gray, Henderson, TX, 79 88 167

    T49 Rob Paolino, Forney, TX, +23 F * +15 80 87 167

    T49 Marc Napier League City, TX, +23 F * +15 80 87 167

    T49 Alan Elliott, Victoria, TX, 81 86 167

    T49 Scott Enger, Houston, TX, 83 84 167

    T49 Mike Goff, Colleyville, TX, 83 84 167

    T55 Jennings Scott, Austin, TX, 84 84 168

    T55 Buddy Grant, Katy, TX, 87 81 168

    57 Eddie Morris, Southlake, TX, 83 86 169

    58 Ray Lease Dickinson, TX, 82 88 170

    59 Humberto Garcia, San Antonio, TX, 86 87 173

    T60 Gary Parsons, Marble Falls, TX, 85 89 174

    T60 Jim Pogue, Alpine, TX, 89 85 174

    62 David Branham, Sr., Humble, TX, 92 91 183

    63 Cal Eller, Missouri City, TX, 93 92 185

Professional golfer Javier Sanchez enjoys coming to Victoria for a few reasons.

"It's been a fun time, the weather has been nice, and the members treat us nice," said Sanchez, who won the Texas Senior Open, a South Texas Professional Golf Association event hosted by Victoria Country Club. "I like it because I have my friend, Noe Torres, here."

Before the second day of tournament play started, Sanchez filled up on menudo and tamales, made especially for him by Torres' mother.

Torres helped Sanchez when he could on the golf course during the tournament and drove his golf cart.

But Torres is no caddie for Sanchez - he's a friend.

In the 20 years since becoming a professional, Sanchez has spent his fair share of nights in hotel rooms.

"It (can be) a struggle," Sanchez said about traveling on the pro circuit. "Just leaving your family behind is a very difficult. Sleeping in different beds, pillows ... you get a crick in your neck, and you miss the cut the next day because of that."

So whenever he met Torres at a golf tournament in Victoria in 2005, they became fast friends.

Torres said he and Sanchez hit it off immediately because of the golfer's humility.

"First time we met him, he said he had a layover and wanted to know if we would play," Torres said, after Sanchez received his first place trophy. "I kind of thought, 'This guy is full of you-know-what because he's a golf pro - he don't want to play with no amateurs.'"

But Sanchez did want to play with Torres, who has been playing golf for more than 40 years, and his friends.

"What he said about us, he said 'Y'all guys are the best amateur group I have ever played with except a third baseman for the Atlanta Braves," Torres said, laughing.

"You could almost call him my brother," Torres said about Sanchez. "He comes down and has his own room. I want to make it as comfortable as I can for him.

"When he comes down here, we treat him first class. He loves my mama's tamales - Mama made him about 10 dozen tamales, so every time he comes down here, he leaves with tamales."

Sanchez started playing golf at age 22 after moving to the states from Mexico and has most recently called Cape Girardeau, Mo., his home.

This is the second year that he has participated in the Texas Senior Open, an 18-year tournament that celebrated its third straight year in Victoria.

Sanchez scored a 70 the first day and 69 on the second for a total score of 139.

Robin Byrd, of Satellite Beach, Fl., scored one hole more than Sanchez at 140.

After the final round of the PGA Champions Tour Qualifying School on Nov. 19, Sanchez plans to stay put for a while.

Sanchez was recently offered an opportunity to be a golf pro for a Cape Girardeau country club.

But the next time he finds himself in Victoria, Sanchez will have a place to stay and good food to eat.

After finishing up Monday, Sanchez and Torres walked toward the parking lot, talking about where to get lunch.

Sanchez said he wanted some tacos. But Torres disagreed.

"We're getting a good steak!"