But then the Lamar sophomore had to play the waiting game. Hicks finished the second — and final — round of the Class 6A boys state golf tournament as the leader in the clubhouse. After a prolonged wait for the final players to finish their round, Hicks ended up two strokes behind state champion Travis McInroe of Plano West.
Hicks tied for second but technically finished third based on a one-hole playoff against Colin Kober of Southlake Carroll. Although he didn’t take home the trophy, the Vikings golfer could take pride in his minus-1 (143 strokes over 36 holes) at the state’s top tournament.
“I’m sure I left some shots out there,” Hicks said. “But I’m happy with how I played.”
Hicks isn’t the only young golfer from Arlington to impress at state. Martin freshman Trinity King, who is 14, finished in the top 20 in the Class 6A girls state tournament. Kristen Gillman, a senior from Lake Travis, took home the championship trophy. Both the boys and girls tournaments were played at Legacy Hills Golf Course in Georgetown last week.
Lamar boys golf coach Gary Webb marveled at Hicks’ improvement throughout the season. The sophomore’s best six rounds of the season came in the district, regional and state tournaments. Hicks won the district tournament. “He’s matured over the year,” Webb said. “That’s the most encouraging thing: I still think he has a lot of room to continue to grow as a golfer.”
At state, Hicks felt he wasn’t striking the ball particularly well, but his short game made a difference. Webb recalls Hicks sinking numerous 5- to 10-foot putts to save par. “I missed the ball in the right spot,” Hicks said. “I made the green and made some good putts.”
On a windy second day, Hicks made four birdies while shooting a two-under 70. “For me, it’s all about confidence,” Hicks said.
Hicks’ time at state ended with a second-place tiebreaker hole in which neither golfer could see his ball very well because of darkness. “I couldn’t see the ball more than 50 yards ahead of me,” Hicks said of the dusk conditions. “I would’ve liked to have won the playoff, but I couldn’t be happier with the performance.”