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What is the FWJGA?
The Fort Worth Junior Golf Association conducts the annual Fort Worth City Boys and Girls City Junior Golf Championships. The tournaments traditionally are in July and are free for participants. There are no entry fees and no greens fees, and courses played include Fort Worth municipals and country clubs. There are eligibility rules, which a link can be found on the menu. The tournaments are open to boys and girls 8 to 18 years old. The boys tournament has been conducted since 1936 and the girls tournament since 1974. Thanks to the generosities of the City of Fort Worth and the country clubs, which donate their courses each year, there never has been a fee for participants.
Holding an eight-shot lead going into the final round of the FWJGA Boys City Junior Golf Championship gave Brendan Powers, 16, of Mansfield. a fairly comfortable feeling. Then when he birdied three of the first six holes at Colonial Country Club, the Championship trophy was pretty much in the bag.
However, Steven Brandon Massey, 16, of Fort Worth tried his best to put some pressure on Powers when he carded three birdies on the front nine for a 33 while Powers finished the front with a bogey and double bogey for a 36. Massey, though, had started the final round 10 shots behind after a 77 at Shady Oaks, but his three-under par 67 at Colonial did cut the final gap to six shots. Powers shot a final-round one-over par 71 and finished the four-day tournament with a 9-under 275 total. Massey earned the runner-up trophy with a 281. His finish was quite a contrast from last year when he shot an 83 at Colonial to finish 15th.
(Pictured from left are Powers, Massey and Marty Leonard, daughter ot tournament founder Marvin Leonard. Below, Powers is presented the Marvin Leonard permanent trophy, which stays at the Ben Hogan Learning Center at Rockwood.)
Kyle Engelbert, 16, of Fort Worth, who was in second and eight shots behind entering the final round, got off to a rocky start with a six-over 42 on the front nine and finished with an 81 and 293 total and a third-place finish.
Powers posted rounds of 69 at Walnut Creek Pecan, 70 at Ridglea Country Club's Championship (South) Course and 65 at Shady Oaks Country Club. He became the third Mansfield player to win the tournament.
Powers said this might have been his best tournament and he credits much of his improvement since 2015 with his added length of the tee. "I'm just stronger now," he said. For comparison, he said Colonial played long for him in 2015 when he shot 81 and finished tied for 10th. He had led the tournament after the first round with a 69 at Rockwood. He didn't play last year because of back problems.
The Championship, First, Second and Third flights finished at Colonial and played the Blue tees (6,837 yards)..
Winning the First Flight was Caleb Carson, 17, of Saginaw, whose 76 gave him a 303 total to pass Suh Andrew, 15, who shot an 82, by two shots. James Demarque, 18, of Mansfield sailed to an eight-shot victory in the Second Flight after a final-round 73 and 295 total. Robby Evans, 18, of Flower Mound finished with a 78 and 303 to take the runner-up trophy.
Michael Gower, 16, of Keller took home the Third Flight winner's trophy after a 79 and 315 total. Doak Neill, 14, of Aledo earned the runner-up trophy after a 77 and 323.
The Fourth through Eighth flights moved to Sycamore Creek G.C. for the final day and played nine holes to determine the winners and runners-up in each flight.
Ben Huxtable, 16, of Willow Park shot a 38 to win the Fourth Flight by five shots with a four-day 275 total. Graham Folse, 15, of Keller had the day's lowest round, 34, and tied for second with Cole Vigil, 18, of Fort Worth. Folse won a scorecard playoff.
In the Fifth Flight, Blake Bell, 16, of Arlington carded a 37 and won with a 288 total. Winning a scorecard playoff for second was Jose Quintana, 16, of Mansfield. He and Jagr Clift, 17, of Arlington had tied with 294 totals. (Note: at the awards ceremony, a scoring mix up had Rishi Chebrola, 15, of Flower Mound winning the playoff).
The Sixth Flight was won by Seth Milner, 17, of Arlington, who shot a 40 for a 310 total, a shot in front of Spencer Daniel, 16, of Burleson and Ryan Smith, 14, of Mansfield. Daniel won the runner-up trophy after a scorecard playoff.
Tre Wright, 14, of Fort Worth shot a 37 for a 221 total to win the Seventh Flight by four shots over John Bowman, 17, of Burleson who carded a 39. And Heston Nichol, 15, of Fort Worth won the Eighth Flight with a final-round 46 and 247 total, four shots in front of Brady Holt, 14, of Azle.
he 11-13 boys finished match play at Sycamore Creek and Jackson Bobo, 13, of Fort Worth won the Championship by edging Sloan Henggeler, 13, of Fort Worth 2-1 for the nine holes. Bobo's trophy will be added to the several he has won in Northern Texas PGA Junior events. Henggeler also has an impressive NTPGA record, and has played in the Dean Deluca Colonial Pro-Am at Colonial the past two years. Winning the First Flight was Luke Wiertzema, 13, of Saginaw, nipping 9-year-old Steven Suges of Fort Worth, 1 up. Suges, who won the 8-10 division two years ago, was given permission to play in this division last year because of his advanced skill level. Erik Ramos, 13, of Mansfield won the Second Flight with a 3-2 victory over Luke Saunders, 11, of Aledo. Evan Jenkins, 10, of Mansfield defeated Hudson McReynolds,13, of Mansfield 4-3 to win the Third Flight, and Robert Matteson, 11, of Aledo, edged Matthew Vasquez, 11, of Fort Worth 1 up, to earn the Fourth Flight title.
Soloman Wiertzema, 10 of Saginaw held on to win the 8-10-year-old six-hole division by carding a 21 in Thursday's final round at River's Edge. Logan Bettinger, 10, of Fort Worth rallied for a 19, but came up two shots short and tied with Jack Vetere, 9, of Mansfield for second. Bettinger won the runner-up trophy after a scorecard playoff. Wiertzema, who has had second and third place finishes on the Fort Worth Junior Golf Tour and NTPGA events, had a three-day 81 total after rounds of 20-21-19-21.
In the First Flight, Soren Harris, 10, of Trophy Club managed to win by a shot after scoring a 23 to top third-round leader Will Johnson, 8, of Cleburne. Harris finished with a 96 four-day total.
Haden Greer, 10, of Fort Worth won the Second Flight, shooting a final-round 22 for a 100 total and 22 shots in front of Alex Hall, 9, of Hudson Oaks.
Trinity King sails to 2017 Girls Championship
(Photos from Mansfield National, Diamond Oaks, Ridley, Hawk's Creek, Shady Valley
and the second day at Sycamore were supplied by Movin' Pictures.)
See photos from Sycamore Creek G.C., Day 1 and Day 2 and Shady Valley
There has never been such a runaway in the FWJGA Girls Junior Golf Championship as there was this year when 15-year-old Trinity King sailed to a 23-shot victory to earn her second title. The Arlington Martin student capped her domination over the field by finishing with a final-round 5-under-par 67 from the Silver (app. 5,712 yards) Tees at Mansfield National for a three-day total of 205. The closest challenger was Stephanie Lee, 15 of Southlake. Her 74 was the next lowest score of the day and she finished with a 228.
King was presented the Championship trophy by LPGA great and World Golf Hall of Fame member Sandra Haynie (right in photo) and FWJGA girls director Doris Fiore. Haynie, who lives in Fort Worth, has many achievements, including winning two LPGA Championships and the 1974 U.S. Women's Open. King is holding the permanent championship trophy in bottom right photo
King began her charge when she opened the tournament with a 6-under 65 at Shady Valley Country Club. She followed with a one-over 73 at Ridglea Country Club's Family Course and then completed her sterling play with the 67. She had won the title in 2015 when she was 13 and finished third last year. Besides the two city championships, King has been building an impressive golf résumé, including last year when she competed in the Nature Valley First Tee Open and in the 2017 USGA Women's Four Ball. She also has been honorable mention all-state in 6A in 2016-17.
On Wednesday, she stumbled only once with a bogey on the 502-yard par-5 sixth hole, but she more than offset that with four birdies and an eagle. The eagle on the 478-yard par-5 13th hole followed a birdie on the 327-yard 12th hole. She had nines of 34-33. King, providing she continues playing in the tournament, has a chance to tie Rae Rothfelder and LPGA competitor Angela Stanford as the only four-time winners.
For Lee, the runner-up finish was quite an improvement from last year when she finished runner-up in the Second Flight.
Aysis Azarcon, 15, and Michelle Zhou, 15, tied for third at 233. Azarcon of Grand Prairie and Zhou of Keller shot the same scores each day (75-82-76) to finish at 233. Last year Azarcon finished fourth and Zhou 11th.
In the First Flight, also at Mansfield National, Ella Fisher, Chelsea Romas and Keirsten Daniel tied for first, necessitating a scorecard playoff. Fisher, 13. of Aledo won the playoff and Romas, 13, of Coppell was runner-up. Fisher had won the 9-hole Championship award in 2015. She also has won several NTJRPGA titles and is a two-time Drive, Chip, Putt regional qualifier. Romas competes in the North Texas PGA junior events and tied for third in the Spring 17 Championship.
Brooke Biancalana, 13, of Keller won the Second Flight after tying with Katie Jones, 17, of Burleson by winning a scorecard playoff. Jones had won the past Region 2 District 9-5A individual competition with a 77. Both had survived Tuesday's match play to advance to the final round with an 18-hole stroke play competition. Both shot 81s.
Felicity Reeves, 17, of of Saginaw and captain of the girls Chisholm Trail High School, won the Third Flight with an 85; Camryn Chambers, 15, of Flower Mound won the Fourth Flight with an 85; Cami Engelbert, 16, of Fort Worth; won the Fifth Flight with a 90; Leah Woodford, 14, of Mansfield won the Sixth Flight with a 107; and Mackenzie Stevens, 15, of Haslet won the Seventh Flight with a 101.
The 9-hole division finished its competition Wednesday morning..
Lauren Gatsos, 12, went from a seventh place finish in 2016 to a first place finish this year, winning the 9-Hole Championship Flight with a closing 43 for a 127 three-day total. Gatsos, a Fort Worth St. Paul Lutheran student, carded rounds of 45-39-43 to prevent Jax Betz, from repeating as champion. Betz, 12, a Keller Indian Springs Middle School student, finished second, closing with a 45 and a 136 total. Micaiah Joubert, 12. from Grand Prairie, finished third for the second consecutive year with a 147, one shot in front of Katie Freeman, whose 49 was highlighted by a 70-yard hole out.
Catherine Haas-Black, 13, of Benbrook and a St. Paul Lutheran student pulled out of a second-day tie to win the First Flight. Her closing 55 gave her a 171 total. Lindsey Gatsos, 9, took the runner-up spot with a 56 and 180 total. Isabella Sandoval, 14, of Euless and a Heritage Middle School student finished third by carding a 67 for a 183. She had been tied with Haas-Black for the lead entering the final round.
Courses, Tees and Formats for the Championship
The revised (July 2) boys schedule: Click to see the schedule. Subject to change. Pairings and tee times are expected to be posted by Thursday evening.
Wendell Conditt retired as FWJGA executive director before the 2013 boys and girls championships after being the guiding hand of the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association since 1973. The FWJGA, comprised of volunteers, honored him by awarding the first Wendell Conditt Medalist Award to the girls and boys champions in 2013. The award will be presented each year to the player with the lowest first-round score in each tournament. Wendell presented the boys award this year after the final round at Colonial C.C. He's pictured at right with the award.
Wendell began his involvement with the boys tournament when the Fort Worth Men's Golf Association, which included the city's country club members, conducted the tournament. The free boys tournament began in 1936 at the behest of businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, with its purpose of giving all boys, no matter financial standing, a chance to play in a tournament.
The men's association disbanded in the 1960s, but had enough money remaining for Wendell and good friend Guinn Phillips to conduct the tournament for a few years. Several of Wendell's friends also contributed to help keep the tournament going. However, the contributions eventually ran dry and the tournament wasn't conducted in 1972.
Jack Montgomery of Fort Worth, a PGA Tour competitor and who had a sentimental attachment to the tournament, helped Wendell resurrect the boys tournament in 1973. Not only did Montgomery help raise money, he also bagged a donation of wieners and chili, and helped conduct the younger boys at Sycamore Creek. He skipped playing in the Western Open to donate his time.
''That year, we gave away about 10,000 chili dogs,'' Wendell said. ''We gave those kids chili dogs as long as they could eat them.'' Because there were few junior tournaments at that time, the boys tournament would attract large numbers, even more than 700 players, which is one reason so many chili dogs were consumed.
Before the age of computers, Wendell, Guinn and Star-Telegram sports writer Jim Trinkle often would be figuring results and pairings until midnight.
There were several businesses that stepped in to help the tournament, and one of the biggest supporters has continued to be Marty Leonard, daughter of the tournament's founder Marvin Leonard. The boys permanent trophy is named after him.
Woodhaven assistant pro Bobby Seaholm acted as tournament chairman when Montgomery became involved and, Wendell said, Seaholm was instrumental in getting the Star-Telegram to sponsor the tournament. In fact, the tournament became known as the Star-Telegram tournament to participants until the newspaper ended its sponsorship in the '90s. Also, Coca-Cola has supplied drinks to the boys and girls competitors for many years.
Wendell was instrumental in adding the FWJGA girls tournament in 1974, which was played only at Diamond Oaks C.C. for several years under the directorship of Benita Christensen. Over the years, there have been several volunteers who have been crucial in the organization's ability to conduct the tournaments.
Wendell had talked about retiring for a few years, and he and Guinn had handed over many of the duties to their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, in the '90s. However, after a few years, Martin stepped aside and Wendell jumped back in as the director. Stepping entirely away from a tournament, Wendell said, has been difficult. The tournament has been a big part of Wendell's life for many years. And it still was when he announced he was retiring before the 2013 tournament.
Wendell has been the backbone of the tournament, and has been instrumental, along with Marty Leonard, in ensuring the country clubs and the City of Fort Worth have continued to provide their support by donating their courses for the girls and boys tournaments to make this a truly unique tournament -- the largest free junior tournament anywhere. Wendell also has had his friend, PGA great Lee Trevino, involved in helping raise money, which mainly goes for trophies.
Wendell's influence and guiding hands will be missed.
Present and past volunteers, staff and sponsors: Jim Barrett, Darren Baucom, Donna Berry, Chuck Birkhold, Ann Brown, Nancy Burk, Frances Busch, Randy Cairns, Martha Campos, Arlene Clark, Charles Clines, Leslie Clines, Colonial Country Club Charitable Fund of the North Texas Community Foundaton, John Conditt, Wendell Conditt, Gere Cozby, Vada Cushman, Pat Evans, Doris Fiore, Rudy Flores, Betty Floyd, Jim Ford, Suzi Gallemore, Ann Gilley-Hemphill, Melissa Gower, Joe Hancock, Bill Hatley, Linda Hicks, Jim Hilton, Gail Hitt, Brain Hutchins, Jan Jackson, Diane Johnson, Gere Johnson, Gay Joyner, Judy Knifong, Martha Kolb, Marty Leonard, Martha V. Leonard Fund of the North Texas Community Foundation, Wade Lewis, Harold Lockman, Kevin Long, Rick Lopez, Eugenia Ludwig, Jan Marsell, Debbie Martinak, Ben Matheson, Dr. Don Matheson, Leah McCann, Jackie Meinen, Lyndle Motley, Rick Murr, Marilyn Neely, Larry Nelson, Marcus Newton, Dee Norris, Mike Pennell, Nancy Pennell, Orville Persons, Darrell Peters, Pat Peters, Karen Petrie, Martin Phillips, Chad Potts, Roberta Reeves, James Renfro, Sheila Rowland, Pat Ryan, Sandra Ryan, Piper Sanders, Barbara Smith, Karen Stepp, Mary Stembridge, Kevin Sulley, Madeleine Sulley, Dale Thelan, Kate Tran, Lee Trevino, Cameron Webb, Mike Wells, Lela White.
Fort Worth Junior Golf Association©