As the rain started to come down, Andrew Paysse took the opportunity to check his phone.
It told him all he wanted to know. He was in position.
“There were a couple of rain delays and I could check the live scoring on my phone,” Paysse said. “After the first rain delay I was around 15th. When the second one came and I was under par, I knew I was in the mix.”
It turned out the Belton junior was more than just “in the mix.”
Paysse fired a 5-under-par 67 on April 29 to share the first-round lead in the 5A boys golf state tournament. He didn’t fare as well on Day 2, but Paysse, who needed a playoff to capture the No. 3 medalist berth in the Region I tournament, overcame a bogey on his next-to-last hole and managed to scrape together a 71 — just enough to capture the 5A state boys golf title at Morris Williams Golf Course.
It was his best performance of the year. A performance that earned him the state title and the Daily Herald’s Boys Golf MVP.
“I could see my game evolving and getting to where it wanted to be,” Paysse said. “At regionals the weather was horrendous, but I played OK. I didn’t have my best stuff, but I got through. After that first round, I saw momentum swing in my direction and it helped my confidence. I have not gone that low in a while. I have had a couple of good rounds, but not five-under.”
The first-round 67 gave Paysse the separation he needed to withstand the charges of McKinney Boyd’s Vincent Whaley (72-67), Klein Klotz (70-69) of team state champion Austin Lake Travis and Brad Able (73-66) of The Woodlands. After that, he just had to find a place for his state medal — still sitting in his bedroom — and adjust to life as a a state champion.
“At first it was surreal that I had won the state tournament, but over the past couple of weeks it has settled in ... “I kind of think about (sometimes) — all the good shots I hit and how I was able to fend off Vincent,” Paysse said. “It was a great experience.”
Boys First Team
- Zane Washburn, Gatesville
- Dane Hankamer, Salado
- Nick Ratliff, Belton
- Drew Dewald, Copperas Cove
- Logan Fox, Harker Heights
Boys Second Team
- Kase Spears, Salado
- Bryce Cole, Gatesville
- Brantley Cole, Gatesville
- Zach Plunk, Belton
- Kyle Revis, Belton