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The Woodlands High School's Cooper Paull Captures 2024 Golf State Championship, Team Secures Silver

Sophomore standout delivers a flawless performance while the Highlanders mount a strong comeback to claim second place in a thrilling state tournament.

May 1, 2024, The Student Center Staff

Cooper Paull, a sophomore from The Woodlands High School, captured the 2024 Class 6A UIL boys golf championship with a remarkable bogey-free round of 66 at White Wing Golf Club on Tuesday. His total score of 138 secured his first victory at the state level, making him one of the standout young talents in Texas high school golf.

The Woodlands High School golf program, recognized as one of the premier programs in the country, has a storied history of success, including state championships in 1992, 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2012. This legacy of excellence set a high standard for the 2024 Highlanders, who added to this tradition with their performance at the state championship.

Despite starting the tournament with significant challenges, including adverse weather conditions that disrupted their practice and introduced a fog delay on the first day of competition, The Woodlands team displayed the resilience that has become a hallmark of their program. The team, comprising Cooper Paull, Daniel Zou, Abhay Duggal, Tripp Depot, and Caden Cox, began the championship in a less-than-ideal eighth place. However, the spirit of the Highlanders shone through, particularly in Daniel Zou’s impressive recovery from a tough +5 first round to shoot a -5 on the second day.

This shift in momentum propelled the team to collectively post an 8-under 280 in the second round, the best team score of the day, enabling them to surge up the leaderboard and finish just five shots behind the champions, Lake Travis. This dramatic comeback not only underscored their ability to compete at the highest level but also reinforced their reputation as a perennial contender capable of overcoming early setbacks.

Paull's victory is particularly noteworthy, considering he wasn't in the top five of his team at the start of the season. His steady improvement throughout the year culminated in a clutch performance when it mattered most. "Starting the season not even in the varsity top five and ending with a state championship medal is surreal," Paull shared after his victory.

Amy Paull, Cooper’s mother, expressed pride in his development, particularly noting, "Seeing his approach shots improve this season has been incredible. This part of his game really sets up those genuine birdie chances."

This year, Paull made a significant change by introducing a TaylorMade Spyder putter into his bag, enhancing his control on the greens. "The switch to the TaylorMade Spyder putter was the only change I made to my equipment this year, but it's made a significant difference in my putting," Paull commented. His golf bag also includes Ping G425 Max driver, Ping i230 irons, Ping G425 hybrid, and Titleist AVX golf balls, which together form a well-rounded arsenal that complements his precision-focused style of play.

Golf is deeply embedded in the fabric of the Paull family. Not only does Cooper practice at The Woodlands Country Club, which serves as the home course for Highlanders, but his entire family, including his older brother Logan, a senior on the team, are also active members. The love for the game spans generations, with both his parents and his grandparents regularly playing golf. "It’s a family affair through and through," Cooper shared.

Amy also mentioned the family's approach to television, "When the boys were younger, we weren't big on watching TV, but we always made time to watch the major golf tournaments. It was our way of enjoying the game together," she said.

The Woodlands Head coach Noski was taken aback by Paull’s round. 'That kid was dialed in, especially today,' Noski said. 'He made some birdies, but man, he made some clutch par putts.'

Reflecting on his journey and the championship, Cooper was quick to credit the unwavering support of his family and the strategic guidance from his coach. "Coach Eric Noski always encourages us to set our sights high. Despite our challenging start, he kept us focused and driven," Cooper explained. This blend of familial support, shared interests, and professional coaching has been instrumental in his rise to the top of high school golf in Texas.

Cooper's win is not just a personal achievement but a continuation of The Woodlands High School's strong golfing tradition. The school has a storied history in the sport, with multiple state championships, and Cooper's success adds another chapter to this legacy. The Woodlands Country Club, the home course for both the boys' and girls' golf teams, plays a pivotal role in this tradition. It serves not only as a venue where the Highlanders sharpen their skills but also as a community hub that fosters the development of young golfers. When The Woodlands High School hosts high school golf tournaments, the Country Club serves as the venue, further enhancing its role in promoting the sport within the community. By providing access to top-tier facilities and a supportive environment, the Country Club helps cultivate the next generation of golfers. Both teams are perennial state contenders, reinforcing the Country Club's significant impact on the community and on the sport at a local level. Cooper's recent win underscores this relationship, showcasing how community resources contribute to individual and team successes in high school athletics.

Cooper Paull's victory at such a young age not only promises an exciting future but also marks a significant milestone. From now on, whenever he steps up to the number one tee box in future tournaments, he will be introduced as the 2024 Texas State Champion - a prestigious title that will forever be a part of his introduction to the gallery at tournaments.

Under Coach Noski's leadership, The Woodlands High School’s golf program's ability to consistently challenge for the state championship, even when starting from behind, underscores its status as one of the best in the nation. The 2024 team's effort to clinch a second-place finish, despite their initial struggles, added another proud chapter to the program’s storied history, emphasizing its enduring excellence and tenacity.

2024 State Championship Leaderboard:


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