Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Tradition sustains golf event
It’s been more than three decades since Roddy Adams played in the Denton Invitational golf tournament, but he still circles it on his calendar every year.
As the head coach at Guyer, Adams takes pride in shepherding one of the oldest boys tournaments in Texas each spring, having taken over as tournament director several years ago from the event’s founder, longtime Denton ISD coach Dwain Bean.
The 39th annual NorthStar Bank Denton Invitational tees off today at Robson Ranch, with a second round on Saturday split between Robson Ranch and Denton Country Club.
The field of 28 teams and 140 golfers includes some of the strongest Class 5A and 4A programs between Justin and Texarkana, with a couple of Oklahoma teams thrown in.
Adams is among those who thinks the tournament is among the best in the area each season. For that, he credits Bean, who coached Adams at Denton High School in the late 1970s and still volunteers at the event each year.
“That sense of ownership makes you want to do a really good job,” Adams said. “I just try to make it really well-organized.”
Perhaps that’s why most of the competing teams return each year, typically with more inquiries about openings than Adams can accommodate.
The list of participating schools includes local entries Guyer, Ryan, Denton and Liberty Christian. The other returning squads include McKinney North, Richardson Pearce, Longview Pine Tree, Rockwall, Coppell, McKinney Boyd, Highland Park, Justin Northwest, Flower Mound Marcus, Frisco, Rockwall-Heath, Texarkana Texas High, Ardmore (Okla.), McKinney, Frisco Centennial, Norman (Okla.) North, Frisco Wakeland, Sulphur Springs and Waxahachie.
Among the first-time participants will be Keller Fossil Ridge, Frisco Heritage, Trophy Club Byron Nelson and Prosper. The latter two each went to the UIL state tournament in Class 3A last year, while Highland Park and Wakeland were each 4A participants.
Several of the teams are here as a warm-up for future events. Robson Ranch will be the site of the District 7-5A tournament next month, as well as the Class 4A Region II tournament.
After today’s first round, the teams will be split between Robson Ranch and Denton Country Club for the final round on Saturday.
In recent years, the field was divided into a 5A division at Denton Country Club and a 4A division at Robson Ranch. But this year, the top 12 teams will compete at the country club on Saturday regardless of classification.
“It makes for a true champion. You have to play two different courses in two days,” Adams said. “We’re going back to doing it the way coach Bean used to do it.”
For some of the top 4A teams familiar with competing at Robson Ranch on both days, the change of scenery will be a challenge and a benefit, Adams said.
“I think that once they go out there and the players and coaches see it, they’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a great golf course it is,” Adams said. “It’s a completely different venue from Robson.”
One tournament tradition that remains intact is the use of tee times instead of the shotgun start found at most high school tournaments. During today’s round, each player’s name will be announced individually before they begin on the first tee.
TODD JORGENSON can be reached at 940-566-6871. His e-mail address is email@example.com .