Regional High School Golf Roundup

Tompkins' Tenpenny makes program history, wins Region III-6A title

By Dennis Silva II, Sports Editor
Posted 4/22/21

During practice rounds in the week leading up to the regional golf tournament, Tompkins junior Colt Tenpenny started scheming.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Regional High School Golf Roundup

Tompkins' Tenpenny makes program history, wins Region III-6A title

Posted

During practice rounds in the week leading up to the regional golf tournament, Tompkins junior Colt Tenpenny started scheming.

Tenpenny was intensely focused on every shot he took at practice. He established an understanding of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to play each hole. He “studied the heck” out of the course’s yardage books.

Tenpenny’s game plan going into Day 2 of the Region III-6A boys golf tournament on Thursday, April 22, at Gleannloch Pines Golf Club in Spring was simply to know.

“There really wasn’t one shot that I didn’t know what to do,” Tenpenny said. “It gave me the confidence I needed to pull through.”

Tenpenny’s due diligence was the catalyst for his regional championship. Tenpenny won with a two-day score of 140 (69-71), beating Cypress Creek’s Braeden Hoyt by one stroke. Tenpenny, Tompkins’ first boys regional qualifier as a freshman two years ago, is now the Falcons’ first boys state qualifier after setting program records for two-day (140) and one-day (69) scores.

Despite the pressure that typically accompanies a postseason tournament, Tenpenny was confident and assured. On the course’s toughest holes, Nos. 16-18, Tenpenny lost no ground in his lead.

“People come here with a drive to make it to state,” Tenpenny said. “You’re not talking to friends or warming up nonchalantly. Everyone is motivated to do well. It’s a matter of who has the most drive and who put in the most work. With the hours and hours I spent coming into this tournament, I felt I worked as hard as anyone here. There was no need to be nervous.”

After his first regional tournament appearance in 2019, Tenpenny said he had something to build off of this year.

“I felt like I’d been here before and it was just about executing,” he said.

Tompkins coach Jeff Mudd said Tenpenny was never rattled and was impressed by his player’s focus and composure.

“He was super competitive and tenacious,” Mudd said. “Every tee shot, he knew where he wanted to put the ball and how to attack pins. He knew when to play it safe and when to play aggressive. He’s a really cerebral player and he thinks through every shot.”

Tenpenny made one key adjustment to his game. After the district tournament last month, he realized he was choking his hands too far up on the club on shots off the tee. Heading into regionals, he worked on gripping farther away and swinging more shallow.

“Any shot off the tee, I felt I was putting myself in position with a good opportunity to attack from there,” Tenpenny said. “It really set me over the edge compared to a lot of the players I played with.”

As a team, Tompkins enjoyed a program-best regional performance, setting records in one-day scoring (303) and two-day scoring (607). The Falcons finished fifth as a team. Houston Memorial (579), Clear Creek (576)  and Cypress Creek (591) advanced to state. Individually, joining Tenpenny at state will be Cy-Fair’s Thomas Pickrell (70-72-142) and Katy High sophomore Reese Tortone (69-73-142). Tortone and Pickrell finished tied for third.

The Class 6A boys state tournament is May 17-18 at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.

“State will be different for me because I haven’t played that course before,” Tenpenny said. “But my coach has, and to win regionals, it gave me a stepping stone. This is one of the better regions in the state. To come through and beat guys, I can use that. I know I have it, and it’s a matter of preparation.”

SPARTAN GIRLS WIN 3RD STRAIGHT REGIONAL TITLE

Seven Lakes senior Lauren Nguyen missed a tournament earlier this season for the Spartans because she wanted to play in the Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi tournament. She promised Spartans coach Sean Ewing she would make it up to him by winning district and regionals.

Earlier this month, she won district. On Tuesday, April 20, Nguyen made good on her promise, winning the Region III-6A tournament and shooting a two-day score of 137 to lead the Spartans to the regional team title, nipping Kingwood by one stroke. Seven Lakes shot a consistent 302 each day for a two-day score of 604, but needed a dramatic rally after trailing first-round leader Ridge Point by five strokes after Day 1.

Nguyen, however, was dominant Day 1, shooting 65 before shooting 72 on Day 2 and winning by three strokes.

“She’s capable of doing that. She’s shot under par several times,” Ewing said. “But a 65 is pretty special, especially when she bogeys (hole) 17 and could’ve had a 64.”

It was the third straight regional team championship for Ewing’s girls. The Spartans include Nguyen, senior Grayson Heilman, sophomore Maelynn Kim, and freshmen Floortje Rademaker and Kay Song.

“We were confident about our chances,” Ewing said. “After the first day, the girls were down a little bit and I told them nothing was going to be given to them. They regrouped, went to the range after that first round and worked on some things, and came back and performed.”

Cinco Ranch junior Mallorie Luitwieler finished as a runner-up to Nguyen and is also headed to state. Luitwieler shot a two-day score of 140, 71 on Day 1 and 69 on Day 2. As a team, the Cougars finished sixth overall.

The Class 6A girls state tournament is May 10-11 at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.

“I have the big three of Lauren, Grayson and Maelynn, but our Nos. 4 and 5 (players) are freshmen, so state will be brand new to them,” Ewing said. “It’s about keeping them in the moment and not letting them get too nervous. There will be cameras around and people everywhere, so it will be pretty nerve-wracking for them. We don’t want them thinking about too much. If we can do that, it’ll help our chances.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here