Champions Tour birthplace partially flooded

Onion Creek Club flooding
Photo from KENS-TV helicopter
At least part of the golf course at the Onion Creek Club was underwater after south Austin received as much as a foot of rain Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 | 8:49 p.m.

October is the rainiest month of the year in Austin, Texas, and this October will go down in history as the rainiest October ever after Central Texas was swamped by rain late Wednesday and early Thursday. Some parts of the Austin area reported a foot or more of rain, and many areas were flooded.

Among those who got the worst of the weather was the Onion Creek neighborhood in south Austin, where the historic Onion Creek Club was at least partly underwater after the rain finally abated on Thursday.

Onion Creek Club, which was built by three-time Masters champion Jimmy Demaret, owns a special place in the annals of golf as ''the birthplace of the Champions Tour.'' Back in 1978, the club hosted the first edition of the event now known as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Sam Snead and partner Gardner Dickinson won that inaugural tournament when Snead birdied the final three holes for a narrow victory over the Australian team of Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle. 

The event proved so popular that it was staged again in 1979, and soon thereafter the Senior PGA Tour (as it was first known) was born. Onion Creek hosted the Legends of Golf annually through 1987 before the event began moving around the country.

There were no reports on the course's condition late Thursday, but some of the heaviest flooding was in the area near Onion Creek, which reached a record high of 41 feet Thursday morning and continued to rise, local officials told The Austin American-Statesman. Across the area, more than 100 people were rescued from the flood waters across Central Texas, and more than 1,100 houses in the Onion Creek neighborhood area were evacuated.