July 23, 2012:
Student golfer Maverick McNealy, who will enter grade 12 this fall, managed to make it to the final eight at the USGA Junior Amateur championship, held July 16-21 at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H.
McNealy faced Canada’s Matthew Scobie in the quarterfinal match, where he rallied back from 4 down after eight holes, winning three straight holes with birdies on holes nine and 10 and a bogey on hole 11. The back-and-forth continued with Scobie winning holes 12 and 14, and McNealy responding with a pair of birdies on the next two holes. On hole 18, McNealy earned a par to force the match to extra holes. Both players scored par on hole 19, but Scobie parred on the 20th hole to finally win the match.
“Though it was slightly disappointing, I was very, very happy with my first performance on an international stage,” McNealy said. “By making the top 8, I earned an exemption from qualifying for next year’s Junior Amateur at Martis Camp in Tahoe! Very exciting!”
McNealy closed several point deficits in the early rounds to qualify for the top 64, defeating Cameron Young of Scarborough, N.Y., Dylan Wu of Medford, Ore. and China’s Zecheng Dou.
June 13, 2012:
Rising senior Maverick McNealy recently took second place overall at the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying golf tournament at the Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno. McNealy shot 70-73, earning the final spot in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship by a single shot, becoming one of 150 golfers in the country younger than 18 to compete in the championship.
The San Jose Mercury News also named him as a member of their Boys Golf First Team.
The Sunnyside tournament was McNealy’s third attempt at qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur. In 100-degree weather, the tournament was especially challenging. “It was very difficult to stay mentally and physically sharp,” he said, “but I think the fact that I was very regimented with nutrition and hydration allowed me to make up a lot of ground on the second round.”
Part of the secret to McNealy’s recent success has been his steady training routine. “I practice and play every day of the summer, and have a very regimented pre-tournament routine. I do a workout two days before a tournament, but none the day of or day before. I get to the course 50 minutes before my tee time, and warm up on the range (I hit 13 wedges, 13 irons and 13 woods), then I chip and hit sand shots for about five minutes, and then putt until I head to the first tee,” he said.
McNealy will compete in the California State Amateur tournament in late June before heading to the U.S. Junior Amateur in July. He hopes one day to play division 1 golf in college.