What is the FWJGA?
The Fort Worth Junior Golf Association conducts the annual Fort Worth City Boys and Girls Junior Golf Championships. The tournaments traditionally are in July and are free for participants. There are no entry fees and no greens fees, and courses played include Fort Worth municipals and country clubs. There are eligibility rules, which a link can be found on the menu. The tournaments are open to boys and girls 8 to 18 years old. The boys tournament has been conducted since 1936 and the girls tournament since 1974. Thanks to the generosities of the City of Fort Worth and the country clubs, which donate their courses each year, there has never been a fee for participants.
Holly Haas, left, who won the 1985 FWJGA Girls City Junior Golf Championship, presents the 2014 trophy to Erica Lautensack, 18, of Arlington. The permanent girls trophy is at left. This was Erica's second consecutive year to win the title, the first back-to-back winner since Stephanie Dukes did it in 1998-99.
Collin Clark wins boys championship
Lautensack cruises again to win
FWJGA Girls City Junior Golf Championship
Photos from River Crest C.C. More photos from River Crest
Photos from Ridglea C.C. from Rockwood from Sycamore
Visit Movin-Pictures for photos from all three days at all courses.
Defending champion Erica Lautensack entered Wednesday's final round of the FWJGA Girls City Junior Golf Championship with a five-shot lead. Though that appeared safe, it must be noted that last week Collin Clark stepped into the final round of the boys championship with a seven-shot lead and had to hang on for a one-shot victory at Colonial C.C.
But Erica, who won by 15 shots last year, showed early that she wasn't going to let the title slip out of her grasp as she birdied the first two holes at River Crest C.C. With no one making a serious challenge, Erica cruised to a 13-shot victory after posting an even-par 70 over the relatively short but tight 6,047-yard course played from the White tees. She finished with a 54-hole total of 220 after rounds of 73 at Glen Garden G. & C.C. and 77 at Ridglea C.C.'s North Course.
It seemed appropriate that Erica birdied the 18th hole from about two-three feet (pictured), which helped her atone for the bogey she took there last year.
Moving into second, thanks to her 74, was Alexandra Batista of the Trophy Club. For Alexandra, it was a nice present for her 16th birthday, which she was going to celebrate with friends at a movie.
Trinity King, a 12-year-old who had held the second-place spot entering the round, couldn't continue her impressive play and slipped to an 87 and tied for fourth with Anna Takahashi, a 13-year-old from Grapevine. Anna birdied the last hole for an 82, which helped take some of the sting out of a triple-bogey and double-bogey. These two young players should be in the title chase for at least five more years.
Trinity, of Arlington, said she began losing focus after double-bogeys on holes No. 6 and 7, a bogey on 8 and a triple-bogey 8 on No. 9. ''I didn't regain my focus for another eight or nine holes,'' she said with a smile. But she had an impressive journey with rounds of 76 and 79 to push into contention.
Kyong Kim, 16, of Crowley was two shots behind entering the final round but struggled to an 8-over 43 on the front when she carded a double-bogey and triple bogey. She rallied on the back for a 37 for an 80 to finish third at 236.
Erica said she enjoyed her second day of proficient tee-to-green play and hit 14 greens in regulation. And it was a satisfying end to her final year of eligibility as she heads off the Stephen F. Austin to play golf and study in its acclaimed environmental science program. ''It feels good to win again, '' she said, noting it's a special tournament because of the variety of great courses they get to play.
She especially enjoyed the birdie three on the final hole when she dropped an 8-iron shot to within two feet. ''I wanted that to finish even par,'' she said.
As far as her challengers failing to make a charge, it didn't affect her play, she said. ''I just focused on what I was doing,'' she said.
Alexandra Batista said she got off to a shaky start by carding bogeys on three of the first five holes, added another bogey and a double-bogey for a 40 on the front. It was sort of deja vu moment for her, saying she didn't get off to a good start last year, either. But she rallied on the back last year and shot a 76 and tied for seventh. She figured if she had rallied once, she could do it again and she indeed did, firing a one-under 34 on the back for her 74.
In the First Flight, which also finished at River Crest, Taylor Brookshire, 17, of Aledo won the title in a scorecard playoff with Amy Cox, 18, of Grapevine. Taylor shot a final-round 84 and Amy an 81 to tie at 252. The Second Flight winner was 14-year-old Athisha Piyapanee of Southlake, who shot an 81 at Rockwood G.C. from the Red tees. She had posted a 73 at Diamond Oaks in the second round.
In the Third Flight, Chelsea Henshaw, 18, of Arlington won with a 262 total. Other flight winners were Jessica Simants, 15 of Azle (Fourth); Megan Erwin, 16, of Mansfield (Fifth); Jessica McCue, 15 of Fort Worth (Sixth); and Jessica Cross, 14, of Mansfield (Seventh).
In the Nine-Hole Division, Madison Davis, 13, of Justin won the Championship Flight after a scorecard playoff with Anne Moon, 13, of Fort Worth after both had tied at 142. The nine-hole players finished at Sycamore Creek G.C. Sally Sohn, 14, of Flower Mound won the First Flight; Bryce George, 13, of Grand Prairie won the Second Flight; and Kaylee Banister, 13, of Arlington won the Third Flight.
The tournament began with a record 165 registered entries.
Final results are posted.
New medalist award honors
Wendell Conditt, longtime director
Wendell Conditt retired as FWJGA executive director before the 2013 boys and girls championships after being the guiding hand of the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association since 1973. The FWJGA, comprised of volunteers, honored him by awarding the first Wendell Conditt Medalist Award to the girls and boys champions in 2013. The award will be presented each year to the player with the lowest first-round score in each tournament. Wendell presented the boys award this year after the final round at Colonial C.C. He's pictured at right with the award.
Wendell began his involvement with the boys tournament when the Fort Worth Men's Golf Association, which included the city's country club members, conducted the tournament. The free boys tournament began in 1936 at the behest of businessman Marvin Leonard, with help from Dr. Alden Coffey, with its purpose of giving all boys, no matter financial standing, a chance to play in a tournament.
The men's association disbanded in the 1960s, but had enough money remaining for Wendell and good friend Guinn Phillips to conduct the tournament for a few years. Several of Wendell's friends also contributed to help keep the tournament going. However, the contributions eventually ran dry and the tournament wasn't conducted in 1972.
Jack Montgomery of Fort Worth, a PGA Tour competitor and who had a sentimental attachment to the tournament, helped Wendell resurrect the boys tournament in 1973. Not only did Montgomery help raise money, he also bagged a donation of wieners and chili, and helped conduct the younger boys at Sycamore Creek. He skipped playing in the Western Open to donate his time.
''That year, we gave away about 10,000 chili dogs,'' Wendell said. ''We gave those kids chili dogs as long as they could eat them.'' Because there were few junior tournaments at that time, the boys tournament would attract large numbers, even more than 700 players, which is one reason so many chili dogs were consumed.
Before the age of computers, Wendell, Guinn and Star-Telegram sports writer Jim Trinkle often would be figuring results and pairings until midnight.
There were several businesses that stepped in to help the tournament, and one of the biggest supporters has continued to be Marty Leonard, daughter of the tournament's founder Marvin Leonard. The boys permanent trophy is named after him.
Woodhaven assistant pro Bobby Seaholm acted as tournament chairman when Montgomery became involved and, Wendell said, Seaholm was instrumental in getting the Star-Telegram to sponsor the tournament. In fact, the tournament became known as the Star-Telegram tournament to participants until the newspaper ended its sponsorship in the '90s. Also, Coca-Cola has supplied drinks to the boys and girls competitors for many years.
Wendell was instrumental in adding the FWJGA girls tournament in 1974, which was played only at Diamond Oaks C.C. for several years under the directorship of Benita Christensen. Over the years, there have been several volunteers who have been crucial in the organization's ability to conduct the tournaments.
Wendell had talked about retiring for a few years, and he and Guinn had handed over many of the duties to their sons, John Conditt and Martin Phillips, in the '90s. However, after a few years, Martin stepped aside and Wendell jumped back in as the director. Stepping entirely away from a tournament, Wendell said, has been difficult. The tournament has been a big part of Wendell's life for many years. And it still was when he announced he was retiring before the 2013 tournament.
Wendell has been the backbone of the tournament, and has been instrumental, along with Marty Leonard, in ensuring the country clubs and the City of Fort Worth have continued to provide their support by donating their courses for the girls and boys tournaments to make this a truly unique tournament -- the largest free junior tournament anywhere. Wendell also has had his friend, PGA great Lee Trevino, involved in helping raise money, which mainly goes for trophies.
Wendell's influence and guiding hands will be missed.
Present and past volunteers, staff and sponsors: Jim Barrett, Darren Baucom, Donna Berry, Chuck Birkhold, Ann Brown, Frances Busch, Randy Cairns, Arlene Clark, Charles Clines, Leslie Clines, Colonial Country Club Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of North Texas, John Conditt, Wendell Conditt, Gere Cozby, Vada Cushman, Pat Evans, Rudy Flores, Betty Floyd, Jim Ford, Suzi Gallemore, Melissa Gower, Bill Hatley, Jim Hilton, Gail Hitt, Brain Hutchins, Diane Johnson, Gere Johnson, Gay Joyner, Judy Knifong, Martha Kolb, Marty Leonard, Martha V. Leonard Fund, Kevin Long, Euginia Ludwig, Jan Marsell, Debbie Martinak,, Ben Matheson, Dr. Don Matheson, Larry Nelson, Marcus Newton, Dee Norris, Mike Pennell, Nancy Pennell, Orville Persons, Darrell Peters, Pat Peters, Chad Potts, Roberta Reeves, Pat Ryan, Sandra Ryan, Barbara Smith, Karen Stepp, Mary Stembridge, Kate Tran, Dale Thelen, Lee Trevino, Cameron Webb, Mike Wells, .