Written by SportsDayDFW.com
State golf preview: Highland Park boys once again team to beat
Even for a program steeped in success, the Highland Park boys’ dominating 25-stroke victory in the 2013 Class 4A state golf tournament was something special.
With almost a complete returning nucleus, including decorated U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler, who is No. 1 in Golfweek’s national rankings of junior boys, predictions of a pending 19th state title for Highland Park seem well-founded.
Scheffler, the reigning AJGA Rolex Player of the Year, warmed up for the state tournament with a win in the Junior Invitational in South Carolina on Saturday.
But not so fast. Area challengers Mansfield Legacy and Trophy Club Byron Nelson can make cases why their programs are capable of playing spoiler.
The 36-hole tournament is set for Monday and Tuesday in the Austin area. Class 4A will be staged at the University of Texas Golf Club with 5A at Onion Creek Club and 3A at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. On Wednesday and Thursday, 2A will play at Roy Kizer Golf Course and 1A at Lions Municipal.
“We’ve seen Highland Park several times and we have a lot of respect for them,” said Legacy coach Chris Word, “but we’re not afraid of them. It doesn’t intimidate us to play with them. Their guys are on top of the hill and that’s what we want.”
Legacy, making its first state tournament appearance, finished runner-up, nine shots back of the Scots in the Region II tournament earlier this month. And that was with one of Legacy’s top players, Daniel Kay, experiencing back problems that led to a final-round 88. Another Legacy player called a penalty on himself when his ball moved when he tried to identify it.
“If we can keep Daniel healthy, it is doable,” Word said.
Nelson, a school named for a golfing legend, returns four from a team that finished fourth at state last year, including senior Ty Hazelwood (Baylor) and junior Johnny Jones (Texas Tech).
Briefly: Southlake Carroll qualified two boys teams and its girls team in Class 5A. Carroll Green won the Region I boys tournament by 12 shots with Carroll Black finishing second. The girls team was second to Coppell in Region I. … The Allen girls won the 5A Region II tournament. … Frisco Liberty’s girls took top honors at the 4A Region II event.
Area state tournament qualifiers
Boys: Flower Mound Marcus, McKinney Boyd, Plano West, Southlake Carroll Black, Southlake Carroll Green
Individuals: Daniel Gibbs, Rockwall; Aaron Guanlao, Justin Northwest
Girls: Allen, Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake Carroll
Individuals: Claire Carlin, Keller; Camille Enright, Plano West
Boys: Highland Park, Denton Guyer, Mansfield Legacy, Trophy Club Byron Nelson
Individuals: Logan Lambert, Aledo; Brandon Smith, Frisco
Girls: Aledo, Denton Guyer, Frisco Liberty, Prosper, Trophy Club Byron Nelson
Individuals: Layne Anderson, Highland Park; Leah Hudson, Birdville; Brielle Ward, Frisco Wakeland; Halie Wright, The Colony
Individual: Bill Ramage, Uplift North Hills (Irving) Prep
Girls: Carrollton Ranchview, Melissa
Individuals: Kyle Carpenter, Red Oak Life School; Hayden Foster, Pottsboro; Zach James, Whitesboro
Individuals: Bobbi Holiday, Whitesboro; Jamie Hughes, Gunter; Jennifer Mrusek, Whitesboro