Nick Ratliff places third at Legends Tourney
Sunday, 08 July 2012 by Chuck Kelly
This weather is grueling but a number of Belton Tiger golfers and future Tiger golfers are braving the Texas heat, honing their skills and staying competitive for next season by playing in various summer tournaments.
At the mid-June South Texas PGA Prestige Tour #2, played at Horseshoe Bay Resort, three varsity Tiger teammates played solid rounds that earned two of them exemptions for the Legend's Boys Tour, Texas State Boys Championship.
Three-year Belton letterman Nick Ratliff fired a 77-76, seven strokes behind the winner, to wrap up third place at the tourney. Ratliff is a two-time All-District golfer and 2012 Co-MVP.
Teammate Matthew Lawyer tied for seventh place and also garnered an exemption.
Tiger Preston Parker also tied for seventh but lost a bid for the exemption in a scorecard playoff.
Ratliff and Lawyer will compete in the Legend's Boys Tour , Texas State Boys Championship July 24-27 at Ram Rock Course, Horseshoe Bay Resort.
On other courses ---
Tiger Team member Andrew Paysse qualified to compete in a 2012 Junior PGA Section Qualifier and carded a 73-70 to place seventh. Paysse is currently ranked 70th among all of Texas junior golfers by Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings.
Kyle Revis recently placed third overall out of 92 golfers in the 15-year-old division at last month's Starburst Junior Golf Classic, He fired a 78-70-81.
At that same Starburst Classic in Waco, Preston Parker finished fourth in the 16-year-old division. His third day was rained out and he finished with a 76-77scorecard.
Austin Ritchie, Brock Ratliff and Hunter Mattson are among other young Belton golfers seen trying to lengthen their drives on the fairways and sharpen their putting on the greens.
Junior golf is a year-round sport and many tournaments that match the young golfers' ability are available to play in. There is a junior tour for most age groups and players abilities.
Some examples are the AJGA, Texas Legends Junior Tour (TLJT), South and North Texas Junior PGA, Texas Junior Golf Tour, Waco Junior Golf, USGA Junior Am, PGA Junior Am and others.
All in all, Texas junior golf is ranked in the top four states in the nation in popularity and best junior golfers.
Many college coaches and recruiters are seeking out Texas prospects for golf scholarships because of the level of play they see year-round.
BHS head golf coach Jim Hellums is expecting a "bumper crop" of golfers to try out for the Tigers in the fall.