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Fort Zumwalt West student captures junior golf title

Two weeks ago, Braden Hoisington was not happy with his performance at a recent golf tournament.

Last week, he was simply hoping to bounce back with a solid effort.

On July 2, the Fort Zumwalt West junior-to-be bounced back in big-time fashion, shooting a final round 67 and finishing five under par and with a superb 144 to clinch the James Holtgrieve Boys championship at the 20th annual Metropolitan Golf Association Championship at St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, Illinois.

“Going into the tournament, I wasn’t playing really well, so I was hoping to get some good scores,” said Hoisington, who shot a disappointing 76 and a four-over-par at the US Junior Amateur in Quincy on June 25. “The course and everything kind of connected well, so I was able to get some good scores. Everything came together.”

Fort Zumwalt West junior-to-be Braden Hoisington won the Metropolitan Amateur Junior Golf Association Junior Championship on July 2 at St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, Illinois. [Provided photo]

Hoisington and Alton Marquette graduate Colton Bauer competed in the opening round on July 1. Both players shot a 66 and headed into the final round tied for the lead.

In the first round, Hoisington navigated the course smoothly on his first 36 holes. His first round featured only two bogeys.

In the second round, Hoisington had no bogeys and finished his two-day effort with 11 birdies and 22 pars cap off.

“Yeah, that was my first bogey-free round I’ve had in and long, long time,” Hoisington said. “It felt really, really good. Especially after a big first day.”

Bauer started strong on the first day, but three bogeys on the second day left him in a seven-shot hole behind Hoisington that he could not escape.

“He [Bauer] fought back to get back to even par, which is still a good score, but the front nine hurt him a little bit,” Hoisington said.

As summer continues, Hoisington said that he feels his golf skills have been taking shape during the season. In fact, his scores have been “slowly but surely” dropping over the past four weeks.

“Overall it’s been pretty good [so far],” Hoisington said. “I’ve had a couple of good finishes and have gotten my average scores down from 78 to about 76 or 75, so it’s going down.”

Hoisington fared decently in the spring on the course with a pair of top-20 state finishes as a freshman and sophomore, including tieing for 12th place in the Class 4 tournament.

Now, Hoisington is hoping his recent success this summer will translate into better success in his next two seasons at Zumwalt West.

“I think this summer is a pretty big summer [for me] with a lot of bigger tournaments, so I think that will help build my game for my junior year and then my senior year later,” Hoisington said.

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