High School Sports

Myers Park golfer Henry Shimp seeks first state title before starting college at Stanford

Myers Park’s Henry Shimp and the Mustangs begin their quest for a state championship on Monday, when they tee off at the N.C. 4A Western Regionals at Broodmoor Golf Links in Fletcher.
Myers Park’s Henry Shimp and the Mustangs begin their quest for a state championship on Monday, when they tee off at the N.C. 4A Western Regionals at Broodmoor Golf Links in Fletcher. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Myers Park High’s Henry Shimp has enjoyed great success in golf. Twice he’s won the Carolinas’ Junior championship. He’s won two N.C. 4A Western Regional titles. In 2014, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur national championship.

There hasn’t been much that Shimp hasn’t accomplished in golf. But before he leaves Myers Park for college at Stanford, he wants to help lead the Mustangs to a state title.

No Mecklenburg County team has won the 4A championship since Providence 20 years ago. Only two players from the county have won the individual 4A title in the past 24 years: Hough’s Patrick Cover in 2014 and Per Wickman in 1992.

On Monday, Shimp and the Mustangs begin their quest for state titles in the N.C. 4A Western Regionals at Broodmoor Golf Links in Fletcher. Shimp tees off at 1:20 p.m., hoping to qualify for the state championships for the fourth consecutive year.

“It’s been an important step since my freshman year when we had such a good team and ended up losing (the state championship) in a playoff,” said Shimp, the reigning Observer Player of the Year. “Ever since then, it’s been a big goal for me and the team to win the state title.

“I think we have a really good chance. For me to win individually would be cool, but not nearly as important as winning the team title. I’d rather the team win and I come in last myself, rathan than me win the individual and the team not winning.”

Shimp, 18, is 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds. He regularly hits his driver 300 yards. That would rank No. 24 on the PGA Tour this season.

A year ago, Shimp won the Mecklenburg County Invitational at Pine Island Country Club, where he shot a 68. He was the only person in the 74-player field to shoot under par.

Not long afterward at Myers Park Country Club, Shimp recorded five birdies and an eagle en route to a school-record 29 on the front nine against visiting Charlotte Catholic.

“He’s definitely the real deal,” Myers Park coach Jason Lockwood said. “He’s a very special player. ... I feel like anytime he tees it up, he’s got a chance to win. If he plays his game, he’s got the total package.

“He drives it well. He hits his irons well and his short game is incredible. This is a kid you could see on the PGA Tour or Web.com Tour and playing as a pro somewhere.”

Shimp was a baseball player until middle school, when he began noticeably outplaying his partners in golf. He now plays or practices six days a week while maintaining a 5.2 grade-point average in Myers Park’s academically rigorous International Baccalaureate program. Shimp’s schedule includes IB Spanish 5, IB English 4, IB Economics 2, IB Chemistry 3, IB Math 2, AP Calculus and IB Theory of Knowledge.

For college, he’s thinking about studing at Stanford’s Management Science and Engineering School or becoming a math major. Shimp says he plans to stay in school for four years, no matter how successful he becomes in golf.

“I’m not dead-set on turning professional after college,” Shimp said. “After four years, we’ll see how realistic a goal that is. If I have a chance, that’s great. I want to make sure I set myself up to be successful in something else if golf isn’t the path for me.”

Wertz: 704-358-5133; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr

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