How does it feel to be named player of the year?
“It’s really nice because there’s a lot of talent in Montgomery. So, that factor is exciting, and I’m really happy it happened. It was one of my goals playing in high school to be All-Metro player of the year. It means a lot.”
You competed at state as an individual. What are the pros and cons of going to the state tournament by yourself?
“Going to state alone, it hurts because I didn’t have any veterans to rely on like I did in previous years. We had seniors to tell us how to play the course, and this year, I had to figure it out on my own. Also, you don’t have teammates to rally around. If you have a stretch of three bad holes but you see a teammate playing well, you can be like, ‘If they can do it then I can,’ and start playing better. It’s more of you against the state. I think probably the best part about it is you get to see how you stack up against the rest of the state. And playing with other individuals, they’re all pretty good golfers. You get to play with good guys and see how you play against them.”
Because MA has had strong players in years past, did you feel pressure to live up to those expectations?
“I felt a little pressure, but midway through the season, I saw I could post some pretty low scores and that I could compete. Definitely seeing how well you have to play to have the standards that (former MA player Will Sellers) had helped a lot. To have a guy on your team like that, and see how he handled it helped a lot.”
At the beginning of the year, did you think you could be the player of the year?
“I didn’t think it’d be this year. I won the Chilton County Invitational, and that’s when I realized that I might be able to win All-Metro player of the year, and that’s when it became my goal. I just started playing really well after that.”
You’ve had three coaches in four years, how did you adjust to different coaches?
“Every year I’ve loved my coach, they’ve all been great. The hardest part was, you have to talk to your coach so much, and if you don’t know him that well, it’s hard to do. But as you get into it, it’s easier to do. With coach (Clay) McInnis, we practiced a lot more. We used to just go out and play, but this year, we’ve actually gone out and worked on our short game. It was a little more organized, because the year before, we were kind of on our own practicing, but having a little order was nice.”