The 34th Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament brought in a record 922 entries from 202 cities in 10 states. Phil Rodgers was the guest Pro, displaying his short game at a Monday afternoon clinic and exhibition match with juniors Dax Johnson of Yukon, Okla., Shelly Santos of Houston, Stoney Womack of Wichita Falls, and Alan Bratton of College Station.What would follow would be an excitingfinish in both the boys and girls Championship Flights.
Two Texans – Trevor Arts of Flower Mound and Brandon Herber of Whitewright – shared the lead in the boys championship division heading into the final day, but on Friday afternoon, a young man with championship on his mind came out of the pack and won the title. Wade White of Paris, Texas, five shots behind the leaders when the final round began, fired a magnificent 5-under-par 67 on the tough Wichita Falls Country Club course to edge out David Lawrence of Houston by one shot. White finished with a 286 total for 72 holes. Lawrence wound up with 287.
Wendy Ward of San Antonio was the girls Championship Flight leader heading into the final round. She eventually won the title, but not without a struggle. Lisa Balch of San Angelo caught and passed Ward midway through the final 18 at the country club on Friday. Balch shot a 32 on the front nine, and Ward had a 36.
So the back nine would be the battlegrounds for a championship. Ward got a par and Balch made bogey on No. 17 to give the San Antonio Roosevelt junior a one-shot lead heading to the last hole. Balch hit her second shot into the trap on No. 18 but got up and down to save par, forcing Ward to make a 2 1/2 footer to win the title. She calmly sank the winning putt to finish with a 72 and a 295 total. Balch also had 72 on the final day but was one shot back at the end with a 296.
When the 35th Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament started, everyone figured the Lawrence kid from Houston to be one of the favorites. After all, the previous year, David Lawrence had battled Wade White down to the final hole before losing by one shot. Now, the bridesmaid of 1990 had a chance to become the bride of 1991.
And after the final shot was made on Friday afternoon, Lawrence stood in the winner's circle. Only it was a different Lawrence. John Lawrence, David's little brother, out lasted the field and won the boys championship. However, the 16-year-old Houston golfer almost blew it.
Lawrence had an eight-shot lead heading into the final round, but had to sink a clutch bogey putt on the final hole at Wichita Falls Country Club to beat Dax Johnston of Yukon, Okla. by one shot. Lawrence had two double bogeys and one bogey on the back nine to finish with 77 the final day. Meanwhile, Johnston was picking up steam and shooting a two-under-par 70. Lawrence finished with a 288 total, Johnston had 289.
Dru Fennimore, who had won the medalist trophy with a 68 at Weeks Park on Tuesday, finished in the third. The Fort Worth golfer had a 292 total.
In the girls Championship Flight, Holly Cariker of San Antonio one-putted the first five holes in the final round and won the title by seven shots. Cariker had three-putted seven times in the first 36 holes of the tournament but only had one three-putt in the last two rounds. The 15-year-old champion shot 76 at WFCC the final day for a 300 total.
J.J. Rorie of Sulfer Springs had been tied with Cariker going into the final round but she stumbled a bit at WFCC with an 83 and finished with a 307 total. Victoria Boysen of Fort Worth was third at 308. Tracy Thomson of Dallas was the girls medalist with an opening round 70 at River Creek Golf Course but fell back and finished fifth.
Brent Wolf and Kelli Kuehne both seemed to have comfortable leads heading into the final round of the 36th Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament. Wolf led the boys Championship Flight by three shots. Kuehne held a huge six-shot advantage in the girls division. But both had to sweat it out the final Friday and only one survived.
Deron Zinnecker of Round Rock wiped out Wolf's lead in the first three holes at the Wichita Falls Country Club and went on to win by three shots over the Fort Worth golfer.
Kuehne, a 15-year-old Highland Park High School student, needed almost every bit of her big lead as Victoria Boysen of Fort Worth put on a final-round charge. Boysen shot a 3-under-par 70 at WFCC but couldn't make up the difference with Kuehne, who had a 74 and won by two shots.
Justin Good of Moore, Okla. won the boys medalist honors with a four-under-par 68 at Weeks Park in the opening round and Boysen was the girls medalist with a 4-under-par 69 at River Creek. That was the last time either would lead this tournament.
Wolf had a bogey-less round of one-under-par 71 at WFCC on Wednesday to go one shot up on Good, who dropped to 73 after scoring birdies on three of the first four holes and, at one point, leading by four strokes.
Kuehne shot a two-under-par 71 at WFCC on Wednesday to take the girls lead for good. She widened the advantage to six shots with an incredible four-under-par 68 at Sheppard Air Force Base on Thursday.
Wolf also shot under par at SAFB with a 71, but Zinnecker had a two-under-par 70 to get within three shots of his future TCU teammate. But Wolf, who had only two bogeys in his first 54 holes, bogied No. 2 and 3 at WFCC, while Zinnecker punched an 8-iron 15 yards on his second shot and was only three inches away from the cup for an easy birdie to wipe out the lead.
Down by two shots heading into the final day of the 37th Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament, Marcus Jones put on an exhibition of golf on Friday at Wichita Falls Country Club. The Graham golfer trailed Buck Giebelhaus of Round Rock by four shots after Jones bogied and Giebelhaus birdied the second hole of the final round. But Jones went on to shoot a 2-under-par 70 at WFCC to win the title by two shots. After the bogey on No. 2, Jones birdied four of the next five holes to take the lead, then drained a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 13 and made great saves on 14 and 16 to hold back the competition.
Jones sank a 10-foot, knee-knocking par putt on 14 and then made an incredible sand save out of a wet bunker at 16, putting the ball three feet from the hole. The University of Texas signee finished the tournament with rounds of 68, 72, 77, 70 for a 287 total. Giebelhaus finished with a 75 on Friday and a 289 for the four rounds.
The girls Championship Flight was not that close. In fact, it was a runaway, as Holly Carriker of San Antonio won the title by 11 shots. Carriker, who won the T-O in 1991, figured to have a head-to-head battle with Kelli Kuehne of Dallas, the 1992 champion. But Kuehne slumped to an 80 in the opening round and finished 13 shots behind Carriker. Carriker, who led by eight shots going into the final round, shot 75, 73, 70 and 75 for a 293 total. The closest competition came from Ji-Yun Lee of Seguin at 304.
Edward Loar held the lead from start to finish at the 38th Annual Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament, but things got kind of scary for the Rockwall, Texas teenager on the back nine of the final round. Loar, who held a two-shot lead going into the final round, found himself tied with Ryan Palmer of Amarillo at the 13th tee box. Then, after Ty Cox of Amarillo eagled 15 and birdied 16, it was Cox and Loar tied for the lead with two holes to play.
Then Loar made the shot of the tournament. His 25-foot uphill chip-in fir the birdie on the par-3 17th hole at Weeks Park was the tournament winner. Loar, who just missed the River Creek Golf Course record of 63 by one shot when he opened the tournament with a 64 in Burkburnett, finished with a 279 total, one shot better than Cox and two better than Palmer. Loar's four rounds were 64 at River Creek, 67 at Weeks Park, 76 at Sheppard Air Force Base and 72 at Weeks Park.
Kellie Kuehne of Dallas had little trouble winning her second girls Championship Flight title at the T-O. Kuehne, who also won the championship in 1992, was three shots back after an opening round 76 at SAFB. Jennifer Hubbard of Plano, Donna Boom of Minnesota and Brooke Lowrence of Snyder were in a three-way tie for the first round lead after all shot 73 at Sheppard.
But after that, the tournament belonged to Kuehne, who forged into a tie with Boom after a 69 at Weeks Park on Wednesday, went up by two after 71 at Weeks Park on Thursday and then won by 11 after shooting 70 at Weeks Park in the final round. Boom and Hubbard tied for second place.
When the final round of the 39th Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament started, Les Phillips wasn't even in the picture. He and seven other golfers were tied for the 9th through 16th spots in the field – seven shots behind the three co-leaders. But when the day and the tournament ended, Phillips wasn't only in the picture, he was the picture.
The 17-year-old kid from Borger shot one of the most incredible rounds ever seen in this tournament. In fact, it may just be the most incredible. It was certainly better than any other T-O golfer has ever managed on the Wichita Falls Country Club course.
While all eyes were on John Wagner of Austin, Ty Cox of Amarillo and Ryan Tull of Georgetown – the three co-leaders after three rounds – Phillips just went about his business with only a few family members looking on. He had seven birdies and one eagle in posting an 8-under-par 64 on the final day of the tournament to beat Wagner, the runner-up, by two strokes. "My mindset was to play heads up against Ty. I wasn't expecting anybody to shoot 64." Wagner said. Phillips had rounds of 73, 71 and 74 to go with that 64 for a 282 total. Wagner, who had a 73 in the final round, finished with 284. Cox was one shot back at 285.
Reilly Rankin of Hilton Head, S.C. became the first non-Texan in 12 years to win the girl's Championship Flight. Rankin took a one-shot lead over Kim Rotwon of San Antonio into the final round. She shot 74 at WFCC. Rowton had a 77. The 16-year-old from South Carolina finished with a 288 total. Rowton finished at 292.
Randi Meadows of San Antonio won the Girls Championship Flight. Meadows fired a final round one-under-par 71 at the Wichita Falls Country Club to win by five strokes with a four day total of 288. Yuneun Sanchez of Puebla, Mexico, who was tied with Meadows for the lead entering the final round, shot a 4-over-par 76 to finish tied for second at 293 with Stacy Prammanasudh of Enid, who finished with a 2-under-par 70.
The drought is over for Oklahoma golfers in the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament. Kelsey Cline of Yukon turned a final round par 72 at Wichita Falls Country Club into a three-stroke victory in the 40th annual, becoming the first Sooner golfer in 19 years to win a T-O title. The 18-year-old right-hander, who also shot par at WFCC during his first round, finished with a four day total of 285. Lawrence Field was the last Oklahoma golfer to take the Championship Flight trophy back across the Red River when he captured titles in 1976 and 1977.
Craig McAlpine of Fort Worth, who led the T-O after two rounds, finished with a 73 to take second place with a 288 total. Spike Seals of Lawton shot his third consecutive 72 to share third place with Neil Collins of Pflugerville at 289. Three golfers – including 1995 runner-up John Wagner of Austin tied for fifth with a four round score of 290. Matt Pitts of Wichita Falls tied for eighth with a final round of 75 and a 291 total.
The Girls Championship Flight was pretty well decided before the final round as defending champion Reilley Rankin of Hilton Head opened a nine stroke advantage. Although shooting a two-over-par 74, Rankin still won by 10 strokes to become the first back-to-back champion since 1987 and the fourth repeat winner.
Angela Standford of Saginaw and Stacey Prammanasudh of Enid shared second place at 294. Standford, the first round co-leader with Rankin, finished with a 74 while Prammanasudh shot a 75. Dani Mallon of Trophy Club was next at 76-296 followed by Laura Blessey of Mandeville, La. at 76-297. Katy Wilkinson of Southbend, Ind. and Ashlei Pendleton of Henderson, Nev. were next at 77-298.
The 41st Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament came down to Texas vs. Oklahoma. Representing the south side of the Red River was Franklin Hatchett, an 18-year-old from Jacksonville. Carrying the banner of Oklahoma was J.C. DeLeon, a 16-year-old from Tulsa. After 69 holes, the two were dead even. But with three holes to play, the Texan started making Texas-size mistakes. On the 16th hole at Wichita Falls Country Club, Hatchett his his tee shot into the water. He made bogey. Advantage, DeLeon who pared the hole. Then on 17, each hit the cart path with his tee shot, and both balls bounced right into the trees. DeLeon punched a 3-iron to within 20 yards of the green. Hatchett had a 5-iron in his hand but put it back in the bag and took out a 4. His punch shot was too low. The grass grabbed it and the ball landed directly behind a mulberry tree.
After wiping out a five-shot lead on five straight holes, Hatchett went bogey-double bogey on 16 and 17 Friday afternoon, allowing DeLeon to finish par-par to win the Boys Championship Flight by three shots. DeLeon shot 1-over-par 73 for an even par, 72 hole total of 288 to become the 11th Okie to win this title. It was also second in a row for the Sooner State. Hatchett had a final round 75 to finish at 3-over-par 291.
After dominating his own age group for years, 14-year-old Matthew Rosenfeld declared up to play in the Boys Championship Flight of the 42nd Annual Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament. The other golfers probably wish he had picked on someone his own age. The Plano youngster was one of the top qualifiers and then opened up a commanding five-stroke lead by scorching the Wind Creek course with a 3-under-par 69. He faltered a little with 2-over-par 74 in the final round at the Wichita Falls Country Club, but his 285 total was still good enough to win by five, giving him his fourth straight win and sixth in seven years.
Wesley Pate of Pensacola, Fla. finished strong with a 1-under-par 71 to take second with a 290 total, while Jerry Carnahan of San Antonio was third with a 290 and Scott McNeely of Grand Prairie was fourth at 291.
Kim Rowton, who was runner-up in 1995 and finished sixth in 1997, was to the point in issuing her mission statement: "This is something I really want to win because I've come so close before," she said. "I want my name on that board on the wall at Weeks Park." Rowton entered the final round at Wichita Falls Country Club with a three shot lead and won with a four stroke advantage. Her 285 total, which included a closing 2-under-par 70, was four shots better than second place Meredith Duncan of Shreveport, La. who carded a 71. Maiko Senda of Dallas was third with a 77-298.
It's called the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament, but in 1999, one champion went beyond the borders of not just the two states, but also the United States.
Yunuen Sanchez of Puebla, Mexico became the tournament's first international champion when she pared the final 10 holes at Wichita Falls Country Club in the final round to walk away with a one shot win in the Girls Championship Flight.
Sanchez, who shot a 1-over-par 73 in the final round for a 294 total, beat out Maiko Senda of Dallas and Brooke Tull of Georgetown, who tied for second place at 295. Sanchez won because of her consistency. After an opening round 76, she posted rounds of 71 and 74 to move up on the leaderboard and give herself a chance of winning the title. "I don't hit the ball too far, but I always try to keep it in the fairways," she said. "I tried to play pretty safe for the most part, and that strategy worked."
Jason Scherr, a 17-year-old from Lubbock, won the Boys Championship Flight by three shots over Jeff Bell of Plano. Scherr shot a 2-under-par 70 in the final round at WFCC to finish with a 7-under-par 281 total. Reid McPherson of Richardson was third at 288, one shot better than defending champion Matthew Rosenfeld.
Scherr's lead had been cut to three shots after Bell made a 25 foot birdie putt on No. 13, but the Lubbock golfer drained a 45 footer for birdie on 14 to go four up with four to play. "I've been in trouble the whole tournament. I was just able to make a lot of putts and get out of trouble all day, The front nine wasn't to bad and I never really had any pressure. But the back nine was something different. That 15 foot par putt (on 12) turned things around, "Scherr said.