Memorial boys get another shot at state golf title -

Memorial boys get another shot at state golf title

Last year at the UIL state golf tournament, Memorial’s boys team came in second to Austin Westlake. Two weeks ago, the Mustangs advanced to state for a second straight year, finishing second to Kingwood by a single shot in regionals.

Second is good. But it’s not the position the Mustangs are seeking for the 2022 Class 6A tournament, which runs Monday-Tuesday at Legacy Hills Golf Club.

“I have the utmost confidence with my guys,” Memorial coach Clayton Brady said. “The golf speaks for itself but they’re just fun to be around. I’ll take my team over anybody. The opportunity to get to play in (Georgetown) at the state championship is what you want.”

Memorial and Kingwood are joined in the 12-team tournament by Region III representative Cypress Creek, and out of Region II, The Woodlands and College Park.

“I’m proud of our seniors, they have grit, which I think makes us dangerous at the state championship,” Brady said. “We have a lot of experience there, we like the golf course.”

Memorial has a talented group of seniors in Preston Rouse, Walker Bergen and Tyler Gardner, as well as sophomores David Martinez and Charlie Wylie. Sophomore Gray Gammill qualified for the Mustangs as an individual.

At regionals at Eagle Pointe Golf Club in Mont Belvieu, Wylie tied for third. He played the final three holes in 2 under leading the Mustangs’ second-day charge that came up just short to Kingwood.

Earlier this season, Memorial placed second at the state preview tournament at Legacy Hills.

As Region III champions, Kingwood comes into state with momentum, as well as confidence. Holding off Memorial and beating the Mustangs for the first time this season has energized Kingwood heading into the two-day, 36-hole tournament in Georgetown.

“Winning (regionals) was an incredible bonus,” Kingwood coach Jeff Bellnap said.

Kingwood’s contingent is comprised of three seniors and two juniors. Senior Luke Lohman played as an individual as a freshman, but this year’s group will be making its first appearance as a team at state.

“It’s going to be a new experience for everyone, but we’re going to go out there and do what we can do,” Kingwood’s Jackson Becker said.

Added Becker’s teammate Brooks Pawlak: “We all like the course. It’s our first time at state, but we can all play well on that course. We’re going to go there and try to get something done. We can give it a run. Memorial got second in state last year, beating them was big.”

Cypress Creek punched its ticket to state by finishing third at Eagle Pointe. The Cougars’ 1-2 junior tandem of Rex Hargrove and Braeden Hoyt finished 1-2 respectively at regionals.

Hargrove and Hoyt were standouts on last year’s team as well. The Cougars as a team are returning to state for the second straight year.

“We’ve got an experienced group of guys and we’re all ready to go back and show what we got,” said Hargrove, who won the individual regional championship by two shots over Hoyt.

The Woodlands rolled to the Region II title, beating runner-up Mansfield by 13 shots at Bear Ridge Golf Club in Waco. All five of the Highlanders finished in the top 10 — Zach Morvant (2), Alex Papayoanou, (5), Will Jordan (5), Daniel Zou (9) and Jake Lile (10). Papayoanou, Jordan and Lile return from last year’s squad that placed fourth at state.

District 13-6A champion Bowen Ballis leads College Park, which qualified a team to state for the first time.

Montgomery, as well as Montgomery Lake Creek, qualified for the boys 5A state championship to be played at White Wing Golf Course on the same dates as the 6A competition.

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