2017-05-19 / Sports

Wilkins will compete solo in state golf tournament

BY JEFF LOWE
DISPATCH RECORD


Morris Wilkins putts during the district tournament last month. The senior is the Badgers’ only individual qualifier for the 4A boys’ state tournament next week in Horsehoe Bay. 
JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD Morris Wilkins putts during the district tournament last month. The senior is the Badgers’ only individual qualifier for the 4A boys’ state tournament next week in Horsehoe Bay. JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD Coach Justin Schulze has led a golf team to state all four years he has been in Lampasas, but now he is taking an individual qualifier for the first time.

Morris Wilkins, a senior, advanced to next week’s 4A state tournament at Apple Rock Golf Course in Horseshoe Bay with his top-five finish at regionals.

Wilkins was fifth in the overall individual standings but moved into a tie for second, because the top three golfers were on qualifying teams, and their scores did not count toward individual qualification.

“I’ve made a lot of progress [since regionals],” Wilkins said. “Started hitting the ball even better, started making more putts. The last seven rounds I’ve played have been under par, and I’m just planning to go into the tournament thinking I can win it.”

Great golfers are set apart from the competition at Apple Rock if they can keep the ball in-bounds.

“They’re separated by who can keep the ball straight and actually hit the ball …,” Wilkins said. “If you hit 10 or 15 foot off the fairway, or even out of the rough, you’re going out of bounds.”

Although it’s only a few miles from Slick Rock, Apple Rock has very different terrain than the course that hosted the girls’ state tournament.

On the front nine, “there’s not a single hole anywhere on the course that’s anywhere close to flat,” Schulze said.

Hills and undulating greens are two of the major challenges, the coach added.

Competing as an individual medalist is a change for Wilkins, but Schulze said it has its benefits.

Without having to shoot a certain score to get a high team standing, “You can focus just 100 percent on what you’re doing,” Schulze said.

And that is one of Wilkins’ strengths already.

“He does not have a difficult time focusing and concentrating,” Schulze said.

Wilkins will tee off at 10:50 a.m. Monday in the last foursome of the day -- all individual qualifiers.

Round two is Tuesday at the same site.

PAST BOYS’ GOLF CHAMPIONS FROM LAMPASAS

1951 team champions Mickey Bozarth, E.L. Pharr, Jim Boyd, Jimmy Hetherly.

1952 team champions Mickey Bozarth, E.L. Pharr, Jim Boyd, Gale Shed. Boyd also was the first-place individual.

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