Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cypress Boy, Houston Girl Little Linksters Champs

Let's hear it for the boys - and girls - of the Southern Texas PGA's Little Linksters program, which had its 2008 championship tournament at Cypresswood Golf Club (Tradition Course) in Spring on Monday and Tuesday. Here is the report from the STPGA:

Patrick Rhodes of Cypress weighed in with a score of even-par 72 on the Tradition Course at Spring’s Cypresswood Golf Club to win the Boys 10-12 Division of the 2008 Southern Texas PGA Academy Sports & Outdoors Little Inkster’s Championship.

Rhodes carded nine-hole scores of 35 and 37 for his winning total— all competitors, ranging in age from 7 to 12, played nine holes on Monday, Aug. 11, and nine holes on Tuesday, Aug. 12.

"I was hitting my approach shots and chipping and putting well," said Rhodes, a 10-year-old who has been playing in the Little Linksters program for three years, of his winning effort.

"It really feels good to win," added Rhodes, who won several of the Little Linksters weekly tournaments this summer. "This is the biggest tournament of the year. I didn’t really think I'd win ... I'm pretty excited."

Karsten Pontikes of Houston finished at 36-38—74 for second place in the Boys 10-12 group, followed by Stevan Hinojosa of Rio Grande City, Charles Kim of Cedar Park and Tyler Ware of Georgetown, who were knotted in a third-place tie at 75.

Katharine Patrick of Houston posted an 18-hole total of 41-39—80 to win the Girls 10-12 Division of the tournament. Patrick, an 11-year-old with three years’ experience with the Little Linksters, finished two strokes ahead of The Woodlands’ Brooke McDougald, who took second place with a score of 44-40—82.

Patrick and McDougald, friends and close competitors, were paired together for the final nine holes and found themselves even for the day going into the last two holes. Patrick went 3-5 to preserve her victory when McDougald went 5-4.

"I’ve played with Brooke a lot and have never beaten her before," said Patrick. "I feel pretty good. It’s a pretty big tournament, and it’s a lot better to win a pretty big tournament than a regular tournament."

Houston’s Travis Vick won the Co-Ed 7-9 Division, posting a score of 36-34—70 to finish two strokes ahead of runner-up Daniel Martinez of Austin, who finished at 35-37—72.

Hicks, 8 years old, has been playing golf since he was two and has spent the past two summers playing with the Little Linksters, said, "I was putting real well today. I made some comebackers and some birdies. I just feel happy about the way I played."

The winner of over a dozen Little Linksters events, Hicks said he had a 3-stroke lead with two holes to go, but didn’t start feeling comfortable about the margin until he scored a par on his next to last hole. "I knew then that all I had to do was par, and I could have made a bogey, to win."

Zane Warren of Sugar Land took third place in the Co-Ed 7-9 Divison with a total of 37-39—76.

All of the competitors in the season-ending tournament earned invitations through their play in Summer 2008 Southern Texas PGA Academy Sports & Outdoors Little Linksters tournaments.

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