Recounting the shot recently with Blancas, now an active 80 years old and living in Houston near the Champions Golf Club, he just shrugged.
“When you’re young, you’re fearless and you don’t think anything about it,” Blancas said. “You just go for it and let it happen.”
Spoken like a true champion who won the very first Tanos Exploration II/Patterson Drilling-UTI Texas State Open as an amateur in 1960 at the Sharpstown Golf Club in Houston. And as the 48th version of the event returns to Tyler and The Cascades July 31 through Aug. 3, no other amateur has been able to win it and match Blancas.
Blancas doesn’t remember too much from his win at the State Open in 1960 except for beating local pro Jack Selman in a playoff. He does remember the win as part of his summer schedule after his sophomore season at the University of Houston where he played alongside East Texan Jacky Cupit on a team that won its fifth straight national title at The Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I just remember playing somewhere every week in those summers when I was in college,” Blancas said. “I had to play my way onto the team back then and just kept going. I know Jacky and I used to be one-two all of the time.”
Blancas’ win at the State Open has never been matched by an amateur but the next three winners of the tournament were Texas golfing greats Jackie Burke, Lee Trevino and Ben Crenshaw.