'Dad is doing a good job': Golfer's father answers call for help during Texas Amateur tournament

Sunday, June 18, 2023
'Dad is doing a good job': Golfer's father answers call for help
Nicko Martinez got a little overheated while playing and needed some help, that help came from his father, who dropped everything to caddie for his son for the first time in years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the Clubs at Houston Oaks hosting the prestigious Texas Amateur golf tournament for the first time, Houstonian Nicko Martinez knew he'd have some familiar surroundings. He just didn't know how familiar and how close. At least not until the heat got the best of the Cy-Fair High School product while playing without a caddie in Thursday's first round.

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"Unfortunately, I got a little overheated," Martinez, who played his college golf at Houston Christian University, told ABC13 about his experience in the sweltering southeast Texas heat. "It's not something I'm used to here, as I've been playing golf for quite a while. I wasn't expecting it. So, I had to make an emergency call on the bag."

Santiago Martinez, Nicko's father, answered that emergency call. He took Friday off work to caddie for his son for the first time in years.

"I had to rearrange some meetings for Friday at the last minute," Santiago explained. "I did, and it worked out very well."

It worked out so well with his father by his side during Friday's second round, Nicko shot under par and delivered his best 18 holes of the tournament - an event considered the state's most celebrated amateur championship.

"When it comes to the more technical stuff, I have the reins there," Nicko said while detailing his player/caddie relationship. "Dad is doing a really good job of keeping pace and ensuring I'm hydrated and keeping everything good to go when I need it."

The son-dad dynamic helped Nicko join the group of 61 golfers who made the cut in the tournament and can play the weekend. It means Santiago has two more days on the bag with his son - including Father's Day.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else on Father's Day but here," Santiago shared. "So yes, it's great. I would do it every year if we can."

"These times come few and far between, especially the older you get," Nicko added about the opportunity to spend hours on the golf course with his father. "I'm going to try and take as much opportunity as possible to enjoy the walk and enjoy the time and cherish every single moment. Especially since it's with the person who supported me my entire way."

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In the 114th edition of the Texas Amateur, a record number of amateur golfers were registered to qualify this year.

The 1,176 entries surpassed the 1,010 accepted at the 111th Texas Amateur in 2020 at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg.

The final round of the 114th Texas Amateur begins Sunday at 8 a.m. at Houston Oaks.

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