Rockdale has produced some great gophers... I mean golfers

“Carl, I want to you to kill every gopher on the golf course.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re going to lock me up and throw away the key...”

“Gophers you idiot, not golfers!”

“We can do that, we don’t even need a reason.”—Bill Murray, Caddyshack, 1980

In doing a little research on Rockdale golfing history since the Tiger golf team is making the first foray in school history to the state tournament next week, it came as a surprise that Rockdale hasn’t produced more state tournament entrants with its wealth of top flight ball strikers.

It’s no surprise that most people consider Allan Jones the best golfer this town has ever produced and if anyone had the chance of being a state tournament entrant or champ, it would have been him.

Jones Jones In Jones’ senior year of 1972, after claiming the district crown, he actually tied for the regional championship, but lost on the first hole of a playoff and was denied.

Before Jones, Jerry Haupt also missed out on a state trip in 1970 when he tied for regional championship, but he too lost in a playoff.

Haupt was also the district champion in 1971.

That particular era included Jones, Haupt and Joe Young on the same team. All three played at Temple Junior College, Jones then went on to Pan American after being recruited by Texas A&M and LSU.

David Martin may be the lone Tiger to ever play at state. He qualified after taking regional in 1973.

As a team, the Tigers were second in regional in 1974.

The next generation of great golfers (which I had the privilege to play with) included Richard Leggett and Wade L. Smith, who both flirted with the state tournament from 1975-78.

Leggett led the Tigers to the district championship in 1977 as district medalist, but it was Smith who just missed out on the regional championship by a stroke.

Billy Boyd—who’s son Waylon is a member of the Tigers’ state tournament team—was a mainstay on those 70s teams.

The golfing lineage continued in 1978 as the Tigers harvested a district title by 40 strokes over Caldwell behind district medalist Brian Jones, Allan’s brother.

Runner-up medalist that year was Ronnie Leggett, Richard’s little brother.

Before the current crop of golfers captured a league title this year and in 2008, district medalist runner-up David Green led the Tigers to the school’s last district championship in 1993, but they could not get out of regional.

It only took the girls program three years to make the trip to Austin. The first girls team formed was in 1976 and the 1978 squad—made up of players off that first team— earned a place in the state tournament field.

The team consisted of Carol Naul, Valerie Schneider, Geri Ferguson, Lisa Freiling and Belinda Holley.

The girls won district by 162 strokes in 1978 and by a phenomenal 168 strokes in 1977.

Ferguson was the district champion, Schneider the runner up.

And consider that the Tigerettes had to deal with an exceptional ball striker in Lampasas’ Marci Bozarth who attended TCU and played on the professional tour for years.

In four years of high school, Bozarth was state champion twice and runner-up twice.

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2010-05-06 digital edition

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