For the first time in 15 years and the first time ever in the Class 6A ranks, Hebron’s boys golf team is bound for the state tournament.
The Hawks punched their ticket to Georgetown Thursday, overcoming a five-stroke deficit following the opening round to claim the Class 6A Region I title at Tangle Ridge Golf Club in Grand Prairie.
Hebron posted a two-day team total of 577 to best second-place Southlake Carroll (583) and third-place Trophy Club Byron Nelson (588), both of which also qualified as teams for the state championships May 20-21 at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.
Also in action in Grand Prairie was Marcus, which settled for seventh after posting a score of 610.
Hebron’s Greg Soe set the pace for the Hawks previously, taking first at the District 6-6A tournament, but it was Jun Park who elevated his game Thursday.
Park finished as the regional champion after topping Byron Nelson’s David Harrison in a two-hole playoff.
The pair finished with two-day scores of 137 with Park — who set a personal-best high school score after carding rounds of 67 and 70 — emerging as the winner after sinking a birdie putt on the second playoff hole.
“He had to make a birdie putt on the 18th hole just to get to the playoff,” said Terie Campbell, Hebron head coach. “He really finished strong and really wanted that honor for himself.”
Seo also posted another strong round for the Hawks, finishing in a tie for eighth (74-69—143) with Derek Hamilton in a tie for 19th (74-74—148) and Christian Cardiel in a tie for 32nd (78-75—153). Hebron’s fifth competitor was disqualified in round No. 1, but it didn’t faze the Hawks, as the rest of the contingent more than made up for the slack.
“Everyone really played great,” Campbell said. “On the second day, I had to drop a 75. You’re shooting pretty well if that’s your worst score.”
In fact, Hebron’s team score of 577 was its low for the season.
“It was really impressive, especially with how poor the conditions were on the first day,” Campbell said. “We talked about not doing too much and just going out there and getting pars. That’s what they did, and we’re so excited to be moving on.”
While Hebron advanced, the aforementioned Marauders fell short.
Philip Choi was the top finisher from Marcus in 17th (73-73—146) and was followed by Pablo Ruiz in 23rd (81-69—150), Jax Smith in 42nd (80-76—156), Gavin Simacek in 45th (77-81—158) and Trevor Algya in a tie for 65th (82-83—165).
Hebron will be joined at state, however, by Flower Mound’s Andrew Zobal.
The senior St. Edwards signee is bound for Georgetown for the first time after carding rounds of 72 and 69 (141) to finish fourth and advance individually.
“He knew he needed to get to 2- or 3-under-par to be safe, and he hit a birdie on 17 that got him there,” said Darren Bailey, Flower Mound head coach. “He really rose to the occasion.”
Daniel Shofner nearly also punched his ticket for the Jags as well, but finished two strokes off the pace in a tie for 10th (72-72—144).
In Georgetown, Campbell and the Hawks are hopeful for a medal as a team, but know the competition will be tough.
“Just like at regionals, we don’t have to birdie or eagle,” Campbell said. “Just par out and see where it falls. That’s what they did this week, and they were surprised they were the regional champions. I don’t think they really realize how good they are, which is a nice thing. They’re so young and innocent I think it kind of lessens the pressure on them.”