Scott's Sports Spot
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 18, 2012
Sam Grindle wins State Class C Golf Tournament
by Jack Scott
Sam Grindle has been aspiring to win the State Schoolboy Golf Tournament ever since his freshmen year when he shot a 75. Last year he shot an even par 72, but lost by two strokes. This year, even after he won the PVC Tournament by seven strokes with a 72 and led the Team Tournament at Natanis last week with a 69, he didn’t take anything for granted in posting a four-under-par 68 to win the tournament. He was grateful that he finally achieved his goal and he did it under less than ideal conditions. The day started off cold and windy making for a challenge to all the golfers.
The playing foursomes are made from the rankings, but Sam knew he couldn’t assume that the players in his foursome would be the only contenders. He got off to a hot start with three birdies (that’s one under par for you golf challenged readers) on the first four holes, and that built his confidence. After eight holes, he led his nearest competitor by two strokes, but he birdied the ninth and the other player bogeyed it (one over par), giving Sam a four stroke advantage.
Knowing he didn’t have to push it and could play more conservatively, he gained two more strokes on the tenth hole when his closest competitor got a double bogey to push the lead to six. Though Sam bogeyed the eleventh and seventeenth holes, he followed each one with another birdie to preserve the four-under-par round. Just to give a perspective on the play that day, the next best round for all class schools was a 74.
Though he has had lessons in the past, Sam attributes his recent success to playing a lot on different courses this summer. He has been hot all year with many scores under par. It wouldn’t make sense to mess with success the way he is playing now. Once again he qualifies to play in the New England Tournament next June at the Bretwood Golf Course in New Hampshire.
Sam intends to pursue golf at the collegiate level when he goes away to school next year. When I asked him if he would be going to a warmer climate for school, he replied “definitely.” Being able to play all year round will only make Sam a better golfer.