It’s been a long road since 2008, the year a young Diego Ibarra went from being a three-sport star at San Luis Elementary in Eagle Pass and going to his father’s baseball games every Sunday. It was then that his parents attempted to channel his energy into a different sport during the annual summer program at the Eagle Pass Municipal Golf Course where he first picked up a club.
While, being the natural athlete that he is, he really enjoyed it at first, then he was discouraged by the coach running the program when he wanted to play in the local junior golf tournament held there every year, but he was told he was not ready.
Ibarra prepares to embark on his biggest challenge yet, the 2018 State Golf Championships which will be held at The White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown this coming week on May 14th and 15th, it all worked out for the best as this initial discouragement became his motivation.
He began to go to the golf course every Sunday, then Sundays became weekdays and weekdays became every weekend as his golf game began to take shape very quickly. So quickly in fact, that by the next summer, he was not only good enough to participate in the Eagle Pass Junior Golf Tournament, he won it.
Behind the tutelage of then CC Winn Golf Coach Beto Hernandez, Ibarra became a force to be reckoned with across South Texas and even across the border as he won two out of the first three International Golf Challenges, a closest to the pin tournament held from our neighboring country of Mexico to the United States.
Then his uncle Adair Ibarra encouraged him to try the Junior PGA circuit last summer where he won six out of fourteen tournaments there earning a berth in the 2018 Junior PGA Championship held at The Woodlands last August.
A third place finisher in 2016, second place finisher in 2017 and three-time first team All-District and Regional Qualifier, Ibarra came away with the final District 29-AAAAA Golf Championship held April 3rd and 4th at The Pleasanton Country Club.
Then came a second place finish at Regionals this year. He did it with a great performance on April 24th and 25th at the Golf Club of Texas in San Antonio. Ibarra was the second qualifier at the Region IV Championships held there.
Now as he becomes only the second golfer in the history of Eagle Pass to qualify for the State Tournament since Mario De La Cabada did it in 1983, Ibarra looks to the future at a possible Division I scholarship and hopefully one day, the PGA.
We will be following Ibarra's experience in this year's State Championship.