Southlake Carroll senior golfer Jeff Litwak rewarded the faith of his coach with a storybook performance in the Class 5A Region I boys golf tournament Monday and Tuesday in Lubbock.
With the first four spots on the Southlake Carroll Black squad locked up, coach Matt Glenn took a chance and went with Litwak for the fifth and final spot. Litwak’s scoring average of 79.33 was seventh on the team going into regionals.
All Litwak did was lead Carroll to the team title and hold off the nation’s top-ranked junior, Dallas Jesuit's Jordan Spieth, for the individual title by winning a playoff.
Litwak matched Spieth with rounds of 72 and 69 at Texas Tech’s par-72 Rawls Course in windy, cool conditions. Litwak won the playoff with a par on the first extra hole.
"Our fifth wheel came up huge,"’ said Glenn, who didn't tab Litwak until the coach's meeting the night before the start of the tournament. "For once, I guessed right."
Carroll shot 586 to win the team title by five shots over Mansfield. Both schools earned berths in the state tournament May 13-14 at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course in Austin. Another five strokes behind Mansfield was third-place McKinney Boyd. Jesuit and Colleyville Heritage tied for eighth.
Spieth birdied the final two holes of regulation to assure himself a chance to defend the Class 5A individual state title he won last year. His final birdie came on No. 18, a hole that he needed eight shots to complete in the opening round.
Going into the second round, Spieth trailed Colleyville Heritage’s Kyle Pilgrim’s 67 by five shots and Flower Mound Marcus' Jeremy LeGuen by three.
"Jordan never gets nervous,"’ Jesuit coach Cathy Marino said. "What makes him great is all he thinks about is shooting low scores. A bad day for him is a 72. A good day is a 68 and a really good day a 65.’"
Pilgrim gained the final individual state berth by winning a playoff with LeGuen.