Kane focused for golf regional

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Heritage Hills junior Ethan Kane has made a lot of progress on the mental side of golf, and he's ready for Thursday's regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HENRYVILLE — Ethan Kane feels no nerves as he is set to go out today and represent Heritage Hills in the regional held at Champions Pointe Golf Club.

The junior feels calm, focused and that he has nothing to lose.

"I got to go put balls into the hole, and I got to make the putt," Kane said. "That's all I've got do - not too worried about it, not too stressed, just got to play my game and let it happen."

Patriots coach Adam Zollman saw Kane as one of the team's top golfers going into the season, but it's the mental aspect of golf that Kane has worked on more than he has the physical one. He believes his swing is always going to be there, but it's vital to him that he keeps his cool while he plays and not get mad after a bad shot.

Kane will try to go to the course to make a few putts in a row, and trying to also make some tee shots. It's important to him to keep his cool, as the next shot matters more than the last one.

He's had to do some work in this area and has progressed through the season in this aspect.

"Earlier in the season, I had a lot of stuff going on school-wise, and I was doing some other extracurriculars, and I was trying to just rush through golf," he said. "And I realized that's not the way to play. So, I just kind of realized, the more relaxed I am, the more I realize it's just a game and I got to put the ball in the hole and I play better that way."

"Physically, he's fine," Zollman said. "He's a stud, he can go play anywhere at anytime. It's the mental part where we all have to understand that there's going to be a bad shot in golf - no matter if it's on our error, if the wind got it, if it runs into a bad divot somewhere or some kind of outside issue, we're moving onto that next shot.

"We can't fix the shot that we just did," he continued. "Let's move onto that next shot, take our breath, go through our same routine and move on. And he really has done an excellent job of continuing to improve upon that from when I first really was around him this summer to now through the season and now coming into this summer, and even getting ready for his senior year next year - it's just something that's a continuation of him just working and building that mental aspect."

For Kane and Zollman, it's tough that the whole team isn't competing at regionals. The Pats shot a team score of 372 in the June 4 sectional at Sultan's Run Golf Club, which was just off the 371 score Springs Valley posted for the final team spot. However, Kane shot an 82, and that was good enough to secure one of the three spots open to individual golfers on teams that didn't advance. He'll have that motivation as a senior next year to go to regionals with the team.

The focus today is posting a good score, and he'd be happy with shooting a 75 or a 76, regardless of whether he advances to state. Zollman believes he's capable of posting a score like that, and even lower.

The top five individuals from non-advancing teams will move on to state. 

"It comes down to making putts, and I think he starts rolling putts in - he's a scary golfer," Zollman said.




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