AUSTIN, Texas - Over three scorching days at Barton Creek’s Fazio Foothills course, Daingerfield’s Jade Scott was the best player in the Boys 15-18 division. But it took a 55th hole for him to prove it.
Scott began the final round with a four-stroke lead over Nick Tremps and a five-stroke advantage over John Duke Hudson and, for much of the day, it looked as though Scott would coast to victory. But bogeys on his final four holes left the conclusion in doubt.
On No. 18 (par-5, 560 yards), Scott had a one-shot lead over Tremps and Hudson. After hitting his drive to the right and having to punch out, Scott was left with a 40-footer for par. Tremps, meanwhile, had a 40-foot putt for birdie while Hudson hit a great chip shot and was left with a two-foot putt for par. Scott and Tremps both missed their long putts and tapped in for their bogey and par, respectively, to tie at 215. Hudson missed his two-footer to miss joining them in a playoff.
In the playoff, Scott again hit his tee shot to the right while Tremps was down the middle. Both players layed up to approximately 120 yards and Scott was the first to play his third shot. Unable to see the green, Scott hit his wedge to about two feet to a smattering of applause from the gallery that had formed behind the 18th green. Tremps followed up with a wedge to about 20 feet. His birdie attempt was not to be, however, as it came to rest on the lip of the hole. Scott then tapped in for the wire-to-wire victory.
Asked after the round if he knew how the players stood while on the final few holes, the easygoing Scott responded, "I wasn’t really worried about Nick until the last hole when I realized he was only one behind."
With the victory, Scott earns exemptions into next year’s EDS Byron Nelson Junior Championship and Texas State Amateur. He also earns three AJGA tournament exemptions.
Entering Wednesday’s final round, the picture in the Girls 15-18 division was much more muddled than the Boys. Three players shared the lead after the second round including last week’s champion at BlackHorse, Katy Cardno; last year’s Girls 14 & Under state champion, Christine Lin; and this year’s Match Play winner, Christina Stringham.
However, it was Sandra Lee of Carrollton who shot the low round of the day, 75, for the win. Lee, 15, finished second last week at BlackHorse after having won at Onion Creek the week before. But this was, by far, the biggest win of her career.
"I didn’t expect this to happen," said Lee as she walked off the 18th green following the trophy presentation.
Having only moved to the U.S. a year ago from Korea, Lee has certainly put herself on the Texas junior golf map. She also earned three AJGA tournament exemptions with the victory.
This was the 81st Texas State Junior Championship and the fourth consecutive held at Barton Creek. The Legends Junior Tour has run the event since its inception in 2005.
The event is open to any resident of Texas, 19 and under, who has not yet enrolled in college. This year there were over 500 entries for the Championship.
Boys Top 5
x-Jade Scott, Daingerfield, 68-69-78-215
Nick Tremps, San Antonio, 72-69-74-215
John Duke Hudson, Sonora, 72-70-74-216
Ben Pounds, Austin, 72-74-71-2171
Jack Lempke, Frisco, 74-74-71-219
Sean Luke, DeSoto, 77-70-72-219
Garett Fisher, Keller, 74-72-73-219
Girls Top 5
Sandra Lee, Carrollton, 79-75-75-229
Christina Stringham, Pasadena, 72-81-78-231
Mariana Sims, Austin, 80-75-77-232
Christine Lin, Austin, 75-78-79-232
Katy Cardno, Sugar Land,76-77-81-234
On Tuesday, champions in the 14-under divisions were crowned after two days of play. For the boys, the 14-under state champ is Cole Kennedy (141) of Texarkana, two shots ahead of Scott Scheffler of Dallas. For the girls, the 14-under state champ is Grace Choi (158) of Dallas, who defeated Sydney Williams of Melissa in a playoff.