Keller boys golf building momentum at prestigious Fort Worth tournament

Posted Monday, Jul. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Keller boys golf team capped off an outstanding 2011-2012 season by earning a berth into the 5A state tournament.

However, it all began in the offseason, with an outstanding showing by the team’s members in the Fort Worth Junior Boys Golf Tournament.

As July rolls around again in Tarrant County, Keller’s golfers return to the tournament on July 22-25, hoping to catapult their team to state tournament glory with hard offseason work.

Keller head coach Chris Ball requires all of his players to participate in the tournament, which costs nothing to its participants. His reasoning is pure motivation.

“We keep up with how we played as a group against the other schools in our district,” Ball said. “That’s what gave us the confidence that we knew we could go to the state tournament.”

The tournament also gives young golfers a taste of the big time, giving them valuable big-tournament experience for the pressure-filled tournaments that come late in the high school season. To Ball, there is no better testing ground than the annual Fort Worth tournament.

“Outside of playing in an [American Junior Golf Association] tournament, it’s probably the best tournament they can play in in this area,” he said. “I want to see where they stand against other kids in this area and we use that as motivation.”

On an individual level, the team’s upper classmen have plenty of motivation to excel not only through their high school season, but especially at the mid-July tournament. The exposure the tournament provides, should a player put together a few good rounds, can reach college coaches around the country looking to solidify their teams.

“If you’re really good, the coaches already know who you are, but if you’ve got a guy who’s right under that really good level, they don’t know who you are and if you do well, your name gets out in front of everyone because it’s on the sports wires,” Ball said. “It’s huge exposure if they do well at that tournament.”

One of those players is Keller senior Grant Davidson, whom Ball believes has the ability to play at any college program in the country should he put together an impressive year beginning this summer.

Another senior, Brendon Walsh, is on the verge of breaking out as a stellar golfer, Ball said, and could benefit incredibly from an impressive showing in the tournament.

The tournament consists of four rounds, scattered across various golf courses around the Fort Worth area. After the first day, players are seeded in flights according to their first-round score. The next two days are a tournament inside the tournament, as players fight for the chance to qualify for the top flight of the final day, played at Colonial Country Club, home of the PGA’s Crowne Plaza Invitational.

“That’s the biggest thrill for them, to get to go to Colonial and play,” Ball said.

The thrill Ball experiences is having a chance to sit back and watch his players go to work, observing the strides each has made through offseason training and individual practice.

Golf may be a spring sport for most of the schools in Texas, but in Keller, golf is a team sport that begins in July.

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