Katy Roundup: Black wins Western Junior
With a solid short game and steady nerves, Cinco Ranch's Connor Black won the 94th Western Junior at The Beverly Country Club last week in Chicago, Ill.
The 15-year-old incoming sophomore shot a 3-over-par 74 in front of a host of college coaches on the final day of the tournament to win by two strokes over Hunter Kraus of Germantown, Tenn.
The top three finishers at the Western Junior received invitations to play in the Western Amateur, set for Aug. 2-6 at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill.
Black entered the championship as the 27th-raned junior in the country but led the field by four strokes going into the final round, helping him overcome a handful of shaky moments on the back nine.
"I came into the tournament today thinking it was my tournament to lose but I hung in there," Black said before receiving Milt Woodard Trophy.
Black played the front nine in even par and went to 1-under after a birdie on the 10th, at which point things got complicated.
Black made a double-bogey on the 11th after he put his second shot into a bunker and three-putted.
He saved par from a greenside bunker on the 12th and birdied the 13th hole to get back to 1-under only to watch his tee shot on 14 land in a divot. Then his second shot traveled just 30 yards.
His pitch to the 14th green rolled above the hole, which makes things very difficult on Beverly's classic Donald Ross layout, and he two-putted downhill for a bogey.
Meanwhile, playing partner Nicolo Galletti drained a 35-foot birdie putt on 14 to pull within three shots. Black then bogeyed two of the last four holes, but Galletti double-bogeyed No. 16 to effectively fall out contention.
Black finished at 1-over par 285 on rounds of 69-72-70-74.
The incoming sophomore who's ranked as the No. 1 player for the 2013 graduating class said the Western Junior was special, especially after missing the cut last year at 14 years old.
"I told my dad at the beginning of the year that this was the tournament I was looking forward to most, along with the (U.S.) Junior," Black said. "This tournament is so professionally run. The people at Beverly have been so nice.
"They have taken us in and put their arms around us and really made us feel comfortable."
Black also praised the course and conditions.
"Beverly is such a great course," he said. "I'm not sure if I've ever played fairways where you feel like you're walking on carpet."
Coaches from Texas, Texas A&M, Houston and Duke were among those following Black's final round.
His father, Harvey Black, a lawyer who caddied for his son, said Connor is interested in studying architecture as well as playing golf in college.
"We've visited a number of schools, but it's going to be up to him to decide," Harvey said.
Cinco Ranch volleyball camp
The Cinco Ranch freshman volleyball camp is coming up next month.
The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 25-28 at the Cinco Ranch Junior High gymnasium and gives incoming ninth-graders a chance to develop skills and get to know the Cinco Ranch system.
The cost is $25 per camper. For more information, contact Danielle Wells at 281-237-5295, or download the registration form at Cinco Ranch High School's athletics home page.
Taylor golf tourney
The Taylor High School Athletic Booster Club golf tournament is coming up this month.
The tourney is set for Monday, July 11, at Willow Fork Country Club in Katy. Check-in is 11 a.m. and a shotgun start for the four-man scramble with two flights for different handicaps is set for 1 p.m.
The entry fee is $125 per player ($75 for students) and includes cart, balls, green fees, lunch and dinner and a putting contest. Hole and driving range sponsorships are available for $100 apiece.
The registration form is available for download at www.taylormustangs.org. For more information contact Rob Taylor at 281-384-2798 or email@example.com.
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