Robinson’s Cade Allison rolled in a 12-foot, uphill birdie putt on the second playoff hole to finish second in the 2019 Starburst Junior Golf Classic on Tuesday, his best-ever performance and the best local finish in the Boys’ Championship Division in recent years.
Allison, the son of Robinson head football coach Tommy Allison, recorded rounds of 75 and 71 for a 146 total, the last 18 holes at Cottonwood Creek, a course he estimates he has played hundreds of times since he was five years old.
“My game has come a long way in the last year, it really has. I’m happy to have played well today. I was third last year, but I’m just trying to get better,” Allison said.
The senior-to-be qualified for the UIL Class 4A state tournament as a junior this spring, shooting a 70 in the final round. He has already received some college golf interest and an offer from McLennan Community College.
“I put myself in some good positions today with some good shots,” he said.
He birdied holes 10 and 14 and recorded his only bogey on the 15th hole.
The Championship Flight was won by Peyton James, a sophomore from Roswell, N.M., who shot 72-66—138 to capture a title that former Masters champions Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed have taken home in years past.
“I played here about four years ago and I remembered it was a good time in Waco, so I’ve been working my way back,” James said. “Starting about a month ago, I’ve been playing the best golf of my life.”
James made the nine-hour car ride with his parents and led after both rounds, never being challenged, and left with a large glass vase filled with the Waco-based candy.
Allison faced off against Nacogdoches golfer Jack Summers for second and third place. After both players parred the first playoff hole at Cottonwood, the par-4 18th, they walked back and played it again. The second time around, Allison made his birdie putt and took his best-ever Starburst finish.
“I’ve seen that putt here many, many times and I knew it was uphill and broke just a little bit. My only thought was not to leave it short and I didn’t,” Allison said.
In the Girls’ Championship Division, the best local finish was by McGregor’s Paige Gilstrap, who finished fifth with rounds of 88 and 76. Gilstrap is a three-time 3A state silver medalist, and helped the Lady Bulldogs to a team state title this year.
In the 17-and-under division among the boys, Clifton’s Colby Davis tied for 11th and had the best local finish with rounds of 98 and 86.