Who would have known being a lifelong TCU football fan would help North Crowley senior Conner Parish at golf?
As Parish walked Mira Vista Country Club on Wednesday, playing the third round of the Fort Worth Junior Boys Golf Tournament, he opened his scorecard booklet to get away from the golf course for a few brief seconds at a time.
Inside was a TCU football card with a player posed in an athletic position and the 2014-15 schedule on the back.
As he walked from the tee box to an approach shot, or from a green to the next tee box, Parish would study the schedule to “get away from the golf course.”
“If you’re constantly thinking the whole time about golf and the next shot you’re going to be fried after four hours of golf,” Parish said. “I try to get away as much as I can.”
The strategy helped. Parish sits in the top 5 of the tournament heading into Thursday’s final round at Colonial Country Club.
Parish arrived at the course Wednesday and found himself paired in the top group with leader Collin Clark after second-place golfer Turner MacLean withdrew due to illness.
What he encountered was the hilly, hot terrain of Mira Vista that was not only taxing on strategy but endurance as well.
Parish said he made clean shots, but ended up not liking his placement because of his unfamiliarity with the course.
“The course was playing pretty tough,” he said. “I’ve never played that course before. Really didn’t know where to hit the ball. That’s really what I struggled with the most is I didn’t really know where to hit the ball.”
He rescued himself several times with his putter, which stood out to Clark.
“He’s a good putter. He touches the hole. He didn’t get them all to fall today, but he touched the hole, which is a good sign,” Clark said. “If he can get them to start falling he’s going to do really, really well.”
Parish finished with a 79 for a three-round total of 226, leaving him within striking distance heading to Colonial, where he said he has shot a 78.
“The way I’ve been playing lately, I think I’ll do really well [Thursday],” he said. “Just a little fine tuning on some of the approach shots I had today, I think I could possibly do well.”
As was the case Wednesday, he’ll be chasing Clark, who has a 7-stroke lead at 213.
Just like a baseball pitcher with a lead, Clark said he can take a little bit of pressure off of himself Thursday as he holes to coast to a tournament victory.
“You don’t have to try and push as much,” Clark said. “You still want to push, that way you can win by more and not make things close, but it just lets you know that if you hit a couple bad shots, it’s not the end of the world. You’re not going to lose the tournament entirely.”