Gatesville sophomore Zane Washburn is preparing to play in the second Class 3A state golf tournament of his short career when play begins May 2 at Austin’s Jimmy Clay Golf Course.
Washburn finished second individually at the District 8-3A tournament, where the Hornets won as a team, and produced a two-day, team-low total of 156 at regionals to help the team advance to its sixth state meet since 2007.
How does it feel to be going back to state?
“It feels real good. All of us have worked real hard this year. All we have pretty much worried about this year is getting to state as a team. We’ve been working as hard as we can to get back.”
How difficult is it to reach state in consecutive seasons?
“You’ve got to work real hard. We work every day at it. As soon as I get out of school until dark, I play every day.”
How exciting is it reach state in each of your first two seasons?
“It feels good. I work every day at it, but I’m lucky to go both years.”
Gatesville’s girls golf team is going to state as well. What is it like to be part of such a successful program as a whole?
“They work on it just as much as we do. All of them do. It is very exciting. Golf is pretty much our main sport that we want to do the best at.”
What is something you want to accomplish before graduating?
“I’d like to win state one year. I know its hard, but it is possible every time we go. I want to win (individually also) every time I go out. Last year, I got fourth. I tied for third and lost in a playoff. I felt accomplished leaving there in fourth place because all the hard work paid off.”
Did that experience motivate you for this year?
“Yes, I’m going to really try to win it this year.”
When did you first fall in love with the sport of golf?
“I’ve been playing golf my whole life — since I was about 3 years old. I was left-handed until I was about 10 years old and switched to right-handed. Me and my Dad played a lot.”
How did the switch from being left-handed to right-handed come about?
“Well, I used to play baseball, and I’d hit the ball left-handed. I still do whenever I do play. Just somehow, I switched to right-handed, and it worked out better for me. I just seem to be more consistent as a right-hander than I was a left-hander.”
What do you like to do when you aren’t playing golf?
“I like to go fishing and hunting. I watch golf. I like to watch a lot of golf of TV.”
Do you try to pattern your game after anyone?
“I watch Tiger Woods a lot. I just like watching how he does everything and take after him.”
Between now and state, what are you doing to prepare yourself?
“I’m just practicing on my weaknesses until I get them right.”
What do you consider some of your weaknesses?
“Hitting shots 100 yards and in (from the pin). I’m just trying to get them real close every time.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com