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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.
Dates set for 2017 tournaments
Dates for the FWGJA girls and boys city championships have been scheduled for the second and third weeks of July. The girls are scheduled for July 10-11-12 and the boys for July 17-18-19-20. Online registration is open. Deadline for the girls is July 5; for the boys July 12. The tournaments for juniors 8 to 18 years old and not attending college. Please check the Eligibility page. Courses to be played will be announced in a few weeks.
.Collin Clark wins his second FWJGA Boys Championship
with a final-round 70 at Colonial C.C.
When Collin Clark won the 2014 FWJGA Boys City Junior Golf Championship, he stumbled to a final-round 81 at Colonial C.C. This year heading into the final round of the 72-hole tournament, Clark wanted a little redemption. And he got it Thursday when he shot an even-par 70 on the historic course to rally from four shots behind and pass third-round leader Brendon Lowrance and six others to claim his second championship. The 18-year-old from Mansfield had a four-day total of 292 to win by one shot over Zach Cole, 18, of Fort Worth and Chris Berzina, 16, of Fort Worth.
Marty Leonard, daughter of the tournament founder Mavin Leonard, presented the Marvin Leonard trophy to Clark. The permanent trophy stays on display, along with the girls trophy, at the Ben Hogan Learning Center at Rockwood G.C. Marvin Leonard was the businessman who built Colonial and Shady Oaks.
The Wendell Conditt medalist award went to Garrison Smith, 16, of Mansfield. He tied Chase Wilson and Blake Bell for the first-round low score of 71, and won the award via a scorecard playoff. Conditt was a long-time director of the boys championship and the 86-year-old attended the awards ceremony.
Cole, who jumped into the hunt Wednesday with a 70 at Shady Oaks C.C., finished with a 73 while Berzina charged to a 70 at Colonial. Cole took second by a scorecard playoff.
Lowrance, 17, of Mansfield and who had a one-shot lead over Chase Wilson and Luke Griggs entering the final day, made the nine-hole turn in three-over 38. He bogeyed holes 10 and 11 before rallying with back-to-back birdies. His rally hit a wall, however, on the par-4 17th when he carded a triple-bogey seven. Griggs, 16, of Argyle shot a 76 for a sixth place finish at 295 and Wilson, 17, of Mansfield slipped to an 81 and a tie for 10th at 300.
"It's a big deal," Clark said about winning again. Besdies claiming his second title, he said, "It's my last junior tournament. I'll play a couple of college tournaments and get ready for the school year at UT-San Antonio."
Clark said this "probably was my best ball striking round I've ever played in my entire life. I hit 16 of 18 greens and I was in every single fairway. I really hit it close the hole day," he said after playing the 6,837-yard layout from the Blue tees. He putted from just off the temporary green (one of two back-to-back temps) on the par-4 15 for a birdie and believed he locked up the victory when he had to sink an 8-foot par putt on the par-4 17th. Cole, playing in the group behind Clark, was tied after a birdie on 17, but he bogeyed the 18th. Griggs, also playing behind Clark, birdied 17 to pull within a shot but settled for a par on 18.
"I told myself that I was just trying to beat the golf course and not think about anyone else. Today, I couldn't really get any big numbers because I was driving it in the fairways. In 2014, I was all over the place. I couldn't have hit it worse that day."
He said the par-5 No. 1 was a key hole. " I hit the ball down the center of the fairway, hit a four-iron 20 feet from the hole and two putted. I said 'All right let's go.' I knew I had to shoot a low number." If there were any setbacks, it was his inability to get up and down from three bunkers. His card showed three birdies on holes 1, 9 and 15. His bogeys came on the sixth, eighth and 12th.
Another bonus of winning for Clark was that he become the second player from Mansfield High School to win the tournament. The other was Kolton Crawford , who won the 2009 and 2010 championships. Clark had rounds of 72 at Rolling Hills C.C., 72 at Ridglea Country Club and 79 at Shady Oaks C.C. before finishing at Colonial.
Winning the First Flight by three shots was Lowry West, 17, of Trophy Club, who shot a final-round 72, the third lowest score at Colonial, for a 306 total. Jared Imber, 17, of Fort Worth, won the Second Flight by two shots after carding his second consecutive 73. Matthew Jerome, 17, of Keller won the Third Flight after a final-round 79 gave him a 322 total, only one in front of Marco Campos, 18, of Grand Prairie.
The Championship, First, Second and Third Flight played Colonial. Each flight was cut to the low 16 after 54 holes. The Fourth through Ninth Flights finished at Walnut Creek C.C.
The 11-13 boys finished their match play competition at Sycamore Creek. Jason Naeger,13, of Keller won the Championship Flight by edging Tanner Smith, 13, of Aledo in their 9-hole match. In the 8-10 Division at River's Edge, Mark Neeley, 9, of Mansfield won the Championship Flight with a final-round 30 on the 8-hole River's Edge course, which was played as two loops on four holes.
Kennedy Pedigo overcomes two-shot deficit to win
FWJGA City Girls Junior Golf Championship by two shots
Kennedy Pedigo of Fort Worth continued her consistent play to overcome a two-shot deficit in the final round at Shady Oaks C.C. to win the FWJGA City Girls Junior Golf Championship by posting a two-over par 73 at the difficult Shady Oaks C.C. for a 54-hole 221 total. She passed second-round leader Kyong Kim, 18, of Crowley who carded a hole-in-one on the par-3 175-yard hole but still couldn't make another rally en route to a 77 and a 223 total. (Pedigo is shown with Shady Oaks pro Chad English)
Defending champion Trinity King, 14, of Arlington, who was four shots behind starting the final round, fell off the pace with two consecutive double bogeys on the third and fourth par-4 holes and finished with a front-nine 42 to drop eight shots behind Pedigo, who made the turn with a 36. Kim double-bogeyed the par-4 ninth for a 40. King mounted a rally on the back nine and finished with a one-under 34 for a 76 and 226 total.
Almost everyone else fell back as they had difficulties on the fast, undulating greens. Kate Tran, 17, of Arlington and teammate of King at Martin High School, was the only other 12 players in the Chasmpionship Flight to break 80 as she finished with a 76 and 239 total.
Pedigo, who is a junior and home schooled, already has verbally committed to SMU after her senior year.
"It means a lot," Pedigo said of the victory. "I've played in it for three years now and my sister played in it last year. There's a lot of history behind the tournament so it's exciting to have (won)."
Pedigo said she was focused on her game and wasn't sure when she gained the lead, but said it "hit her" before teeing off on the last hole. "I knew I had the lead then."
She had jumped ahead by two shots when she birdied the par-4 360-yard ninth while Kim double-bogeyed. She added two more shots to her lead with another birdie on the par-4 355-yard 11th while Kim carded a bogey. However, that lead was quickly slashed when Kim scored her ace on the 12th.
Pedigo built the lead to two shots again on the par-5 14th when she parred and Kim bogeyed. However, she gave a shot back on No. 15, another par 5, when she hit her third shot approach fat and came up short of the green. She couldn't get up and down for her par as her fourth shot went long and she failed to sink the putt. However, she pushed ahead by two again on the par-4 17th after Kim three-putted for a bogey and she parred.
Pedigo said it was kind of "shocking" when Kim scored her ace, but made her realize she needed to keep focusing on her game and not give away any shots. Despite a few troublesome drives, Pedigo said she hit a lot of greens the three days and believe a slight swing change helped to be more consistent. "I shortened by backswing a little. It had a tendency to get to long in tournaments."
It helped, too, she said, that she made a couple of long putts during the tournament.
She also has been able to compete in at least a tournament a week because she's home-schooled. "That helps because I can travel a lot (to play in tournaments)." Among the tournaments ahead for her is the WTGA State Amateur in Dallas July 26-29.
Kim said the double-bogey on nine probably was the turning point, though a three-putt on the par-4 second for a bogey set the tone for her problems on the fast greens. She was boosted by the ace, but had two bogeys after that. She just couldn't get a handle on the greens. "If a putt was downhill or over 15 feet, I probably would three-putt," she said.
Kim hadn't played a tournament this summer heading into this tournament, saying she was "worn out," and won't play another until she goes to the University of North Texas. "I'm done for the summer. I'll just practice," she said.
Though King couldn't find the consistency she needed to repeat, she was encouraged with her one-under par 34 on the back nine. She said look for her to return next year. "Definitely," she said.
In the First Flight, also played at Shady Oaks, Jacqueline Moreno, 16, another Arlington Martin player, won with a 75 and 250 total, three in front of teammate Allison Wade, 18, and Sally Sohn, 16, of Flower Mound. Wade played golf with Mark Brooks, the 1976 boys champion and a PGA Championship winner, in 2015 at Pebble Beach in the Nature Valley First Tee Open.
Savannah Battle, 17, of Boswell won the Second Flight, shooting an 80 at Diamond Oaks C.C. to win by five shots over Stephanie Lee, 14, of Southlake, who closed with a 76. Preslie Sandidge, 18, of Fort Worth won a two-hole playoff against Courtney Gisburne, 16, of Arlington to win the Third Flight. Both had 267 totals. Mackenzie Fee, 15 of Mansfield was the Fourth Flight winner by three shots with a 283, and Haley Moore, 16, of Hurst won the Fifth Flight by five shots with a 289.
In the 9-Hole Division at Sycamore Creek, Jax Betz, 11, beat older sister JJ, 12, for the Championship Flight trophy by shooting a final-round 39, giving her a one-shot victory. The First Flight was won by 12-year-old Maia Dabney of Mansfield. Her final-round 54 won by two shots over Victoria Farkas, 10, of Fort Worth and Catherine Haas-Black, 12, of Benbrook.
Coralie Domergue, 15, of Flower Mound won the Division III First Flight after a playoff against Kaitlyn Crump, 18, of Mansfield. Domergue shot a final-round 45 while Crump finished with a 46 to give them 195 totals. The Division III players played 18 holes Monday but didn't make the cut for Division I or II, and then played nine holes Tuesday and Wednesday. Kristen Webb, 16, of Fort Worth won the Division III Second Flight by four shots with a 46 final round and a 206 total.
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 Community Foundation of North Texas, John Conditt, Wendell Conditt, Gere Cozby, Vada Cushman, Pat Evans, 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, 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, Dale Thelen, Lee Trevino, Cameron Webb, Mike Wells, Lela White.
Fort Worth Junior Golf Association©