For Belton senior Andrew Paysse, the Class 5A state title he won to cap his junior season was the beginning.
Since winning the individual state crown this past spring in Austin, Paysse accepted an offer to play for his dream school and, in November, signed with Texas A&M to play once his Belton career is finished.
“Particularly with our sport, it all boils down to how hard you’re willing to work,” Belton golf coach Jim Hellums said. “He’s got good basic talents … and a lot of kids have that but the ones that are special like him are the ones that are willing to work and eat sleep and drink golf. He basically has made himself who he is.”
Yet Paysse nearly saw his season end in Lubbock rather than Austin. The then-junior needed a playoff to escape Region I in wintry conditions.
“What I most remember about it is how cold it was,” Paysse said. “I didn’t have my best stuff at that tournament, but I just ended up birdying to make that playoff.”
Paysse punched his ticket to the state tournament in Austin and seized the opportunity by shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the first round. He held on to take the individual 5A crown right at the time colleges like A&M were looking to fill recruiting classes.
“It was nice to do that, and it sort of came at the right time as far as going to college,” Paysse said.
Now Paysse is prepared to follow in the footsteps of family members who attended A&M while looking to continue the Aggies’ strong golf tradition.
But, first, Paysse is looking forward to his senior season, where he will not only hope to repeat as an individual champion but also reach for an even higher goal on the golf course.
“We’d like to get the team to state this year,” Paysse said. “We feel like we have a really strong team this year, a solid five guys, and we feel like we have a good chance of getting to Austin.”