Reagan becomes youngest City Am champion

A VICTORY FOR THE AGES: Patrick Blunt (right) congratulates City Amateur champion Grant Reagan on the 15th green at Huntington Park Sunday afternoon. 

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

When Grant Reagan was handed the trophy after winning the Championship Flight of the Shreveport City Amateur Match Play Championship at Huntington Park Sunday afternoon, the Byrd junior-to-be took a minute to look over the names of the tournament’s past winners.

“Eddie Lyons, Craig Webb, Robby McWilliams, Patrick Blunt,” Reagan said out loud as he scanned the names on the plaques. “Wow.”

Lyons won the event nine times, Webb was the 1991 champion, McWilliams was a three-time winner and Blunt was the City Am champ in 2016.

While Reagan seemed to be in awe looking over the names, he didn’t realize he had something on all the past winners – at 16, he is the youngest champion to hoist the huge trophy.

What surprised Reagan was the fact that he defeated one of those players on the list of past champions. In the sweltering heat Sunday, Reagan captured the title with a 4&3 victory over a foe twice his age, 32-year-old Blunt, who played college golf at Louisiana Tech.

“I felt great out there,” said Reagan, who also won the Greater Shreveport Medal Play Junior Championship in May. “That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the course since (high) school golf. I only had one bad shot out there today.”

That came on the par-5 sixth hole, where Reagan hit his second shot in the water and bogeyed the hole to watch his 3-up lead fall to 2-up. After exchanging pars on holes seven, eight, and nine, he won the next two holes to go 5-up with six holes to play.

Both players’ tee shots came up short and right of the green on the par-4 13th, where Blunt was able to get up-and-down for his birdie and narrow Reagan’s lead to 4-up. Blunt hit a perfect tee shot on the par-four 14th while Reagan’s started down the right side of the fairway and started trickling toward the water.

“I thought it had gone in the water,” said Reagan, “but I knew I just had to win one more hole.”

When he got to where he thought his tee shot had gone in the lake, Reagan found the ball sitting in the dirt just short of the water. With an incredible second shot, his ball landed on the front of the green while Blunt’s was on the left edge of the green.

After both players came away with par, and Reagan held his 4-up lead with just four holes to play. When Blunt was unable to get up-and-down for birdie from behind the green on the par-5 15th, the victory was Reagan’s.

“It’s pretty cool to be the youngest (to win the City Am),” said Reagan. “It took some good golf to do it. My game felt super solid this week. I was able to make putts, and that’s key.”

Reagan will now go for the “amateur slam” when he plays in the 65th Louisiana Junior Amateur Championship July 6-8 at East Ridge Country Club.

Other winners at Sunday’s City Am included Ricky Blair (Presidential Flight), Harold Turner (First Flight), Rodney Orrell (Second Flight), Danny Williams (Third Flight), and Steve Summerlin (Fourth Flight).

Benton’s Noah McWilliams has added another LJGT tour victory to his resume.

McWilliams shot a 9-under to cruise to an 11-stroke victory at the LJGT at Tamahka Trails held last Thursday and Friday at Tamahka Trails Country Club in Marksville. He followed a first-round 67 with a final-round 66 on the tough course.

McWilliams also shot a 9-under when he captured the LJGT at Querbes Park in April.

Photo by JOHN PENROD

Contact Harriet at SBJHarriet@gmail.com