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Warriors Golf
Keeping it together

“Keeping it together mentally no matter what,” is a formula Kory Webb hopes will pay off in state title gold for him in 2011.

Webb’s success as a Christian Academy golfer already has helped the Warriors capture back-to-back Class A/AA state titles.

Now it’s time to win an individual title.

Last year, “I was the leader after the first round, but didn’t play as well as I wanted to the last day,” Webb said of his state performance at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester last fall, one year after finishing second in state as a sophomore.

“The second day I hit a couple of bad shots early, and I just let that get to me,” Webb said. “I was just mad the rest of the day; I could have come back and played well, but I never really got it back after that. I just slowly went downhill.

“I’ve been focusing really hard on keeping it together no matter what the second day, the last day of the tournament,” Webb added. “Every tournament this summer I’ve shot better the last day.

“I think I’ve been putting myself in better situations, planning it out better on the second day. This year, if I focus out and play my game, I think I should really have a good shot of winning.”

Webb has converted his improved mental approach into a pair of Southeastern Junior Golf Tour events this summer while finishing second in Tennessee Junior Amateur Championships.

A commitment to The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Webb, 17, said he now welcomes the pressure of big tournaments.

“It’s all fun to me, I love to compete,” he said. “Coming down the stretch in the last group with the lead, that’s where I want to be. Or I want to be chasing the leader. It’s competitive, it just drives me. It’s just fun.

“Pressure will get to someone at least once, and I think that’s kinda what happened last year at state,” Webb added. “Frustration plus pressure put together, it just kinda built up.”

Webb said “ball-striking from the fairway” is his biggest strength. “I usually hit 14 to 18 greens around, that’s pretty good.”

As for clubs, “I have Ping woods, Ping has really good woods, I like the feel of the woods,” Webb said.

“I haven’t lost any distance; I’ve probably gained a little bit. But it’s more accuracy than anything,” Webb added. “I’ve always been a pretty long hitter, so length is not really a problem for me.”

His irons, wedges and putter all are Titleist. “I’ve had these irons for two years. I really like them,” he said. “The ball’s not really a big deal, but I play Titleist, it’s known as the best ball in golf.”

Head coach Hank Fennell will have to replace three key seniors off last year’s state title team.

Helping Webb in pursuit of CAK’s third consecutive state crown are senior Adam Cronan and juniors Taylor Payne, Greg Gilbert and Clayton Dorman.

For the second straight year, the TSSAA state golf tournament will be held at Willowbrook. Webb admitted he prefers Old Fort Golf Club in Murfreesboro, site of the state tournament for several years through 2009.

“I like Old Fort a lot better,” he said. “Old Fort’s the ultimate stadium course for the state, it’s perfect to hold state tournaments. It’s fair.”

On the other had, “Willowbrook’s kinda goofy,” Webb said. “It’s a harder course. … For guys who aren’t very good, it’s hard for them to score.

“The shape of it is not really the best,” he added. “So, if you’re not hitting it in the perfect spots, you’ll be in trouble.”


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