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The success of Texans in the USGA’s national junior championship continued this week at the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur.
Travis Vick, 16, of Houston and Sadie Englemann, 14, of Austin, both earned medalist honors in their respective events and lead a group of seven Texans into the match-play portion of the event that will determine the eventual national champions.
Starting in 2007 when Houston’s Cory Whitsett won the U.S. Junior, Texans have won five of the last nine national junior championships. Jordan Spieth won the title in 2009 and 2011 on his way to becoming one of the best players in the world. Highland Park’s Scottie Scheffler won it in 2013 and Plano’s Will Zalatoris won it in 2014.
This week at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., Vick blistered the course for an 8-under 64 in the opening round and followed it up with an even-par 72 to win medalist honors by three shots over
Vick, a three-sport high school athlete who also plays football and basketball, fell one stroke short of claiming co-medalist honors last year after bogeying the final hole, broke away from a tight pack when he eagled the par-5 second, his 11th hole. He rifled a 211-yard 4-iron over the flag and then sank a breaking 20-foot putt.
“It’s just a humbling feeling,” said Vick, who finished three strokes clear of Min Woo Lee, 17, of Australia, and Eugene Hong, 16, of Sanford, Fla. “All the best players come here from every which way you can think of, so to come out on top, it’s really special.”
Starting today (July 20), Vick leads a group of four Texans into the 64-player match play bracket, where they must survive six matches over four days to become the next national champion. Vick is joined by Corinth’s Noah Goodwin (72-72), Austin’s Reid Davenport (70-73) and Houston’s Cole Hammer (65-78). Three of the Texans are in the top half of the bracket and may eventually
At the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Ridgewood CC in Paramus, N.J., Englemann surprised herself by earning co-medalist honors with Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi with a 5-under 141 score after 36 holes on the par-73 layout.
The petite ninth-grader at Austin’s Westlake High School shot rounds of 69-72.
“All I wanted was to make the cut,” Englemann said. “It was nowhere in my mind. It’s amazing. This is one of the first tournaments that I’ve scored well in. This summer has been a turning point in my game. I made the birdies when I had to.”
Englemann leads a group of three Texans into the match-play bracket. Montgomery’s Hailee Cooper, who won the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball in May with Austin’s Kaitlynn Papp, finished T-6 with rounds of 73-73. Allen’s Ellie Szeryk (73-81) also moved on to match play.