The first time Calvert Hall golf coach Drew Forrester watched Lorenzo Sanz play, during the summer before Sanz’s eighth grade year, he knew almost right away that the ingredients were there for something special.
Now a junior at Calvert Hall, Sanz is more than delivering on that potential after a pair of victories this summer in high-level tournaments.
Sanz won the age 16-18 division at the Middle Atlantic PGA’s Bob Benning Classic in June and in mid-August captured the title at the American Junior Golf Association UHY/The First Tee of Greater Baltimore Junior Championship at Hillendale Country Club. He finished a combined 17-under par in the two tournaments.
“He’s always had a strong mental approach, but technically, he’s a much better player than he was two years ago,” Forrester said. “When I got him, he was already a really good player. So, he has definitely improved and he still has room to improve even now. He’s still a high school junior and he’s got a lot of great golf ahead of him. You see just little areas of improvement that he’s made every time.”
On the heels of those two championships, Sanz ranks as the top golfer in the class of 2022 from Maryland, according to the Rolex AJGA rankings. His recent string of success builds on a victory he secured in January 2019 at the Pinehurst Junior Golf Open in North Carolina.
The accolades, however, haven’t stopped him from constantly finding ways to tweak his game.
“My short game is probably the strongest part of my game — my putting is very good inside of 10-15 feet,” Sanz said. “So, if I could just hit a little more greens [with my irons, I would] make a little more putts. That’s where you get those 5-under par [to] 6-under par scores."
At the Bob Benning Championship, held at Stoneleigh Golf and Country Club in Virginia on June 24-25, Sanz followed a first-round 71 with a 65 to win by seven shots. Over 36 holes, he had 11 birdies and an eagle to finish 8-under for the tournament.
Then at the Greater Baltimore Junior Championships, Sanz shot a three-round total of 207 (67-68-72) that put him at 9-under par and five shots clear of the field. It marked the first AJGA tournament victory for Sanz, who finished in a tie for sixth in the same tournament in 2019.
As important as the first two days were to establishing a lead, he said he was just as pleased with his even-par final round in difficult weather conditions.
“The last day, the wind kicked up a little more and there was a little rain,” Sanz said. "I ended up shooting even par (72), which is still pretty solid for that condition. But it just shows you that my game stays pretty level, it doesn’t fluctuate that much and I’m very consistent.”
Forrester said the performances this summer showcase a versatility that Sanz has as a player.
“There’s an old phrase in tournament golf — ‘his game travels well’,” Forrester said. “It’s reserved for someone who can go to a new course and play it with the same basic quality he’d play with at his home course. Lorenzo’s game travels well. He hits fairways and greens no matter where he plays. And he’s an excellent putter. That combination in tournament golf usually bodes well for a quality player.”
Sanz first picked up a golf club at age 11 and began playing in tournaments two years later. That set him up to hit the ground running once he arrived at Calvert Hall.
In his freshman year for the Cardinals, Sanz played in every match, becoming just the second freshman to ever accomplish that feat under Forrester in his eight years coaching the program. Sanz set the scoring record for freshmen that Forrester has coached.
While Sanz lost the majority of his sophomore season when the season was postponed because of COVID-19, he has spent plenty of time on the links since golf courses reopened in May. The big difference for him has been a focus on the individual aspects of the game, as opposed to the team concepts that will hopefully return come next spring.
“It’s different. It’s the team versus individual and individual is all by yourself — you’re the one that controls everything,” said Sanz. “So, it’s going to be a little different because while practicing, I have to be very careful [with my teammates], but I think we’ll definitely have a season.
“I think that our team will be very prepared and we’re going into it very strong this year. We have a chance of winning it and I think that we could go all of the way this year.”