AUSTIN — The legend of Scottie Scheffler grew by about 144 yards on Tuesday at Onion Creek Club.
The Highland Park junior repeated as Class 4A state champion and helped the Scots win their first team state title in three years. He put the icing on the cake by firing a hole in one on the 144-yard No. 17. And he did all of that on a bum ankle.
“It feels really good,” said Scheffler, who had previously fired a pair of holes in one but never in a tournament. “I’m just glad I get to enjoy the victory with my team this time.”
Scheffler, who hurt his ankle playing basketball after regionals, finished with a 135 (71-64) to win by three strokes. His final round of 6-under included six birdies, two bogeys, and one magnificent eagle, which Scheffler buried with a wedge. And even the always low-key Scheffler was pretty giddy after helping the Scots win the program’s 16th state championship.
The last time Highland Park did not finish first or second at state was 1999, when the Scots were third. This year, they dominated the field, winning by 25 strokes over second-place Cedar Park.
“They played great all day long,” Scots head coach Jeff Loyd said. “He’s [Scheffler] a fantastic kid and just an unbelievable talent on the golf course. It’s a pleasure and an honor to have him on the golf team. I don’t think I’ve got a player on my team that would not put the team before individual accomplishments. That’s what makes it so much fun — to work with guys like that. It makes it all worth while.”
Also for Highland Park’s “Blue” team, which shot a 560 (286-274), Charlie Click and Jake Potter finished tied for 10th place at 143.
“We were kind of scared there for a little bit early on the first day,” said Potter, a junior. “We made a quick turnaround on the second nine and then kept the lead. The downhill putts weren’t as fast today. It also wasn’t as windy, and I think everyone was just a little more intense.
“I’m just glad Scottie’s on my team — that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
For only the third time, Highland Park advanced two boys teams to state. The “Gold” team finished in eighth place with a 604 (307-297).
After missing state last year for the first time since 1993, the Highland Park girls returned to Austin under first-year head coach Matthew Claborn. The Lady Scots finished in eighth place with a 676 (345-331). Trophy Club Byron Nelson won the title with a 621 (316-305).
“It’s huge,” Claborn said of getting back to state. “The seniors made it their goal to get us back here this year. We accomplished that goal. We ended up playing really well and getting some experience for next year. We had 11 girls that came down on their own just to experience it and see it. The parental support and the kids — it’s amazing how much they support each other.”