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Fazio Challenge @ Stonebriar

Boys 12 - 15


It had been a last minute decision to let Kyle play with the big boys of the TJGT.  We knew Kyle could handle the distances set out, but caddies would not be allowed and we were told that without a doctor's letter, Kyle wouldn't be able to use a pull cart.  It has been widely accepted that pre-teens should not carry more than 20% of their body weight since they can't develop muscle mass yet.  Kyle's equipment was 25% of his weight and I was able to obtain a written letter stating the necessity of Kyle using a pull cart.  However management refused to honor the letter so we had to put Kyle's bag in the cart, which couldn't leave the cart path and Kyle would have to trek back and forth for his clubs.
We were really proud of Kyle - he hung in - never got down - never got upset and did well on a difficult course with no help from a caddy and the other boys treated Kyle as a peer and not "a little kid".

Southwest Junior Open
Winter Open
Barton Creek in Austin, TX

Boys 10 - 11

Southwest Junior Winter Open
Reese - Kyle - Jeffery - Mark

Another last minute decision to travel to Austin for the Southwest Junior Winter Open.  After 4 years of spending President's Day Weekend on Jekyll Island for US Kids Golf - we finally said "enough".  It was time for a change.  Kyle wanted to play with the older boys, getting more experience on the longer yardage set up for Boys 10 - 11.  Barton Creek in Austin is a premier venue and our kids would be on the Crenshaw Cliffside Course - known for it's very challenging greens.  Putting would definitely need to be spot on.  Even pitching and chipping was a challenge.  We saw gentle chips roll way past the holes - great pitch shots land where you would think it would give you a birdie chance only to watch it roll past the flag and off the green.
On a memorable par 3, 17th hole - we watched Mark Reppe hit his tee shot left of the flag - up in the rough.  The ball rolled down the embankment and onto the green and settle less than 2 feet from the hole.  It was that close to a hole-in-one. We watched Mark tap in for birdie.  Kyle was last to tee off in his group.  His shot landed almost exactly where Mark's had and proceeded to roll down the embankment and settle almost exactly where Mark's had.  It was unbelievable.  We made sure to thank Mark for showing us where to aimLaughing

We couldn't believe it almost made it in the hole

It was THAT close

FCG National Texas Championship

Callaway Jr World Qualifier

Bear Creek GC

Boys 9 - 10

Kyle's medal & Callaway Jr World invitation

Mid-April brought 2 tournaments to the area.  We had a choice between the NTPGA's All American Tour event at Sherrill Park or the Future Champions Golf Tour and their Texas qualifier for Callaway Jr World Championship.  We decided to play FCGT at Bear Creek because it was the longer yardage and a 36 hole event over 2 days instead of 18.  The weather was not exactly cooperating - the DFW metroplex was getting rain and while Kyle was able to get all 18 holes in on Saturday, overnight the rain really came down and showed no signs of letting up in time for the golfers to get another 18 in on Sunday - especially since many of them had travelled from other cities and states.  The event was shortened to 1 day and any ties were played on a par 3 hole.  Kyle's 79 secured 1st place, 15 strokes ahead of 2nd place.

Teeing off at Bear Creek West

Lone Star Memorial
The Tribute GC
Boys 10 - 11


Southwest Junior Open

Boys 10 - 11


For the second year, UGS held their Southwest Junior Open at The Tribute GC, the links style course reminiscent of the great courses in Scotland on the same weekend that the PGA pros were at St. Andrews in The Open Championship.  This year, not only was Kyle moving up to Boys 10-11, he would be caddying for himself all three days - and it was his choice.  With the heat index over 100 all three days, Kyle did a great job getting around the course, staying hydrated and upbeat.  I was really proud of him and the other parents commented to me how impressed they were with Kyle's maturity and demeanor at such an event.  His scores (72-75-74 = 221) put him in second place - the youngest one in the top 5.

Belmar Junior Championship
Belmar GC - Norman OK
Boys 10 - 11


This was the event we had been waiting for - almost as much as the USKids World Championship.  Justin Hogue had announced that the Junior Championship being held at Belmar Golf Club would have a special presentation for the division winners.  Country Music Superstar, Toby Keith - part owner of Belmar, would sign replica guitars to be given to all the winners, in addition to the more traditional flags.  Toby made the effort to come down, in between concerts, to see the kids, shake their hands and take photos.  It was a short visit - but it was great that he took the time.  Justin stated that next year, Toby's name would be attached to the event.

Our only disappointment was that Paul wouldn't be able to come and caddy for Kyle because he was needed in Midland to be with his mother.  Kyle promised to do his best for Mimi Rose - she's a big Toby Keith fan as well.  Kyle and I drove up Norman and I joked to everyone that Kyle is such a rabid Texas Longhorn fan that I half expected him to spontaneously combust when we crossed the Red River and drove in to Oklahoma. Coach Suckki Jang arranged for his son, Justin to take Kyle out for a practice round and  I was extremely glad he did.

We were glad that we would be with Frankie - Kyle's partner at the World Youth Team Challenge.  It was really hot when we teed off at 11:40 - but UGS and Belmar staff made sure there were water stations at every other hole and we were allowed to shuttle the boys from green to tee.  Kyle struggled on the front, and was 2 over at the turn.  When he played hole 2 on his practice round, a short par 4, he used his driver to go over the large tree that was directly in the middle of the fairway. He ended up in the rough, just short of the green.  So, on his opening round, he wanted to use his 3W and try for a better lie.  The plan backfired and his 3W knocked his ball in the fairway bunker on the other side of the tree and he bogied.  On the back 9, he did much better but had to settle for 1 under and I was pleased that he birdied both par 3's.  After the first round, Kyle was in the lead with 71, followed closely by Jerald from Oklahoma, and Frankie came in with a 74.  The first thing Kyle and I did after the round was head back to the hotel for quick showers and clean clothes.

Day 2 would be a shotgun start and Kyle, Jerald and Frankie would be on the par 3, 13th.   The weather was perfect - cool, cloudy with occasional gusts of wind.  Kyle came out of the gate with a bang.  He put his tee shot about 7 feet from the hole and sunk his birdie putt.  He went on to birdie the next 3 par 4 holes,  and was inches away on the par 3, 17th hole (after bogeying it yesterday). He stumbled a bit on the 18th, and had to settle for a 5 but his scorecard showed a 19 after 6 holes.

Back to the front 9, where had a good start, but had a couple of bad holes, resulting in another 38.  This time on number 2 - Kyle decided that he didn't care if he ended up in the rough in front of the green - he wanted to hit the driver and leave himself a chip shot in.   You can see in the photos below that he almost drove the green and his chip shot was almost a gimmie. The day was really starting to heat up and we hit hole 10 - and he was inches from a birdie.  However he did birdie 11, make par on number 12 and Kyle finished with a 68 (38 - 30).

Kyle addressing tee shot. Jerald going to mark his ball right of the flag

Hard to see - but it is between flag and Jerald's ball.

Round 1
Frankie Capan, Nicholas Rankin & Kyle

Finishing the front 9 on the 2nd round, Kyle had another 38, but he made the turn to finish his last 3 holes (10 - 12).  He finished strong and his back 9 total was 30, giving him the win with a two-day total of 139.  (71-68).  The award ceremony was in a large air-conditioned hall and while we waited for Toby Keith, announcements were made and the winners of each division were brought to the head table for pictures.  Everyone was so excited when Toby came in, casually dressed in shorts, shirt and a floppy hat.  He held up one of the autographed guitars and stood behind the table with the winners.  One of the moms called out for him to please take off his sunglasses and he immediately obliged and continued to smile and pose.  Kyle and the others got to shake his hand and then he was off.  It was short, but we were all greatful that he took the time, flying in twice, in between concerts, to sign the guitars and take the pictures. 

Kyle and I were anxious to get back home and show his prize to his dad.  Needless to say, that when we crossed the Red River back into Texas, Kyle wanted me to lower the window to breathe in the fresh Texas air!


Kyle got to shake Toby's hand



Cowboy Series

The Golf Club @ McKinney

 Medalist Boys 12 - 13


After 6 weeks without a tournament, Kyle said he was ready to go.  The break had been necessitated by the beginning of the 5th grade and a minor finger injury (no fracture this time).  Sunday, October 3 looked to be perfect - the temperatures were Autumn cool and it was a course we'd never played before and he would again be competing in the Medalist division of the NTPGA.  Two years ago, 8 yo Kyle tried his hand at this division, shooting an 86 from the white tees at Bear Creek (about 6100 yds), even though he was still young, we knew he could handle the distances set out.

Did he ever!  Kyle won the event, shooting a 79 from the white tees - 6188 yds.   He birdied two of the par 5's, and had no double bogies.  Even though the round took a little over 5 hours from a 2 pm shot-gun start, we were able to get the round done before dark.  We were really proud of Kyle and his grandparents were happy they were out there to watch and support him.




Cowboy Series

Golden Bear Golf Center

 Medalist Boys 12 - 13


Another picture perfect Sunday afternoon for the tournament at Bear Creek.  This time, tee times were moved up and the course layout wasn't spread out in a residential area, so we were all finished well before dark.  Kyle hadn't played the East course in a little over 2 years, but it all came back and he was able to secure his second win, playing with the older boys. 



Cowboy Series

Hogan Park GC

Midland, Tx

 Medalist Boys 12 - 13


It was a great opportunity for Kyle and Paul to visit MimiRose in Midland and play in a golf tournament.  The last time Kyle played at Hogan was back in 2006, when he competed on the Co-Ed 7-9 division.  Now, playing up to Boys 12 - 13, he returned to Hogan, played 18 holes on a 5770 yard set-up and won by 18 strokes. 

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