Trevor Shott Qualifies for State Tournament for Second Year
September 24, 2012Fountain Valley School
At the beginning of every golf season, the one date that is circled as the most important event of the year is the regional qualifying tournament. It is at this one tournament where a player who has had success the whole season can have a bad round and fail to qualify for states, or where a player who has struggled can produce a monumental round that can get him into the final tournament. There is a significant air of tension before a regional tournament that can inspire some players while incapacitating others.
There are 73 schools registered for golf in the 3A classification which adds up to nearly 292 golfers vying for 84 state positions. There are four regional tournaments, Northern, Denver Metro, Western and Southern. The Southern Region, of which FVS is a member, has the largest field of teams with 24, so proportionately the region has the most individual qualifiers for the state tournament at 33. Besides the individual contest for the state tournament, there is also a team competition where two teams of four players are included in the field. All told there would be 25 individual spots plus the eight team slots available.
Fourteen of the 24 teams in our region were from our league, so we had a good sense of what we were going up against in the field. Trevor Shott ’13 (Beaverton, Ore.) finished the Tri-Peaks league campaign at the 14th position, so we knew that he had a strong shot at qualifying for his second state tournament. Chris Peel ’14 (Colorado Springs) finished near the top 25 of our league so we felt that he had a solid chance with a round equaling his season best. Adam Newell ’14 (Colorado Springs)and Duke MacMillan ’15 (Wooster, Ohio) rounded out our foursome, and they were encouraged by the prospects of producing their low rounds of the season.
It was a beautiful day for golf at Hollydot Golf Links near Rye. As the site of one of the league tournaments and the host of the regionals over the past several years, the players had a good sense of what to expect. We knew that there would be a potential for higher scores due to the format changes in regional golf, but our team goal of 275 seemed attainable.
Each school had an obligation of providing a scoring marker for a group, so it was my job to stay with a grouping of non-FVS players for an entire round. As a result, I only got to see fleeting moments of our players and it was excruciatingly difficult to go through a whole day not knowing whether or not our players were playing well or struggling. I got my first glimpse of Trevor Shott immediately after completing his front nine, and the first thing he told me was that his driver was broken, so I feared the worst that things had not gone his way. I asked him how things were going and in his typical way he shrugged his shoulders and stated that things were going well. Little did I know until after the round that Shott played the front nine in a remarkable 37, which ended up being tied for the low front nine round of the tournament!
The difficult news I discovered later was that the combination of equipment problems and poor putting resulted in a back nine score of 48, which despite being a major disappointment, was not enough to prevent him from qualifying for state. Congratulations Trevor! Adam Newell has worked hard over the past two years to produce a round below 100. Newell has flirted with breaking the century mark on numerous occasions, but swing inconsistencies and mental lapses have denied him a breakthrough round. I felt strongly before the round that some swing adjustments that were made the previous evening may have provided the necessary ingredient in a recipe for success, so it was no real surprise to me when he came up to me following his 15th hole to state that he was on track to shoot a 91 if he parred out with three holes to play.
It is sad to say that the prospects of looking ahead may have spelled doom for Newell as he finished the final three holes at 4 over par to finish at 95, ultimately only two strokes out of a state berth. Although incredibly disappointed that he wasn’t able to qualify, we were both extremely proud of the fact that he broke through the century barrier in the high stress of a regional qualifier. His successful venture should pay enormous dividends next year. I only got to see Chris Peel play the final two holes of his round, and it was evident that he would need to birdie the last two holes to have a chance of qualifying for states. Peel had played fairly consistently for the majority of the day, but several bad holes of triple bogey or worse spelled doom. Peel battled gamely over the last two holes, barely missing two birdie opportunities, but his final score of 96 was not enough to get him into the state field.
I had the opportunity to watch Duke MacMillan play a bit more because he was in the group immediately behind me. It seemed that each time I watched MacMillan he would hit a good shot, but poor work around the greens and disastrous putting resulted in a regional score of 115. All told, the FVS golf team had a successful regional despite the disappointment of being a breath away from qualifying three players for the State tournament. Our team score of 276 was 19 strokes better than our previous best for the year and most likely placed us in the top 15 in the region.
The state tournament will be held October 1-2 at the Pinehurst Country Club in Denver. Congratulations to Trevor for being Fountain Valley School’s first ever two-time state qualifier in golf!