ARGYLE — Looking back at last year’s Class 3A state golf tournament, the Argyle boys can find spots on the course where they could have salvaged a stroke.
Since Andrews defeated the Eagles by one stroke to claim the state title, Argyle will do everything it can to make sure it does not tally a losing total once again.
Argyle will look to get its revenge in this year’s tournament. The two-round tournament will take place today and Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort near Bastrop.
After a year of waiting, the Eagles are hoping they can bring home their first golf championship in the team’s third straight boys state tournament appearance.
“To be so close and to almost taste a championship was very frustrating,” Argyle head coach Brady Bell said. “It’s like any sport. When a team puts so much time and effort into getting better and getting their program where they’re wanting it to go and you fall a little bit short, it’s just frustrating.”
Last year, Argyle and Andrews were tied with four holes to go in the final round at Austin’s Jimmy Clay Golf Course. Andrews finished with a two-day total of 631, Argyle at 632.
Seniors Colten Katzen and Nick Louy will be joined by junior Lance Roden and sophomores Tommy Parker and Alex Isakson in their quest for redemption.
Louy, who has signed to play golf at Iowa Western, said the one-stroke loss only recently began to dwell on the team’s minds.
“We didn’t really think about it a lot until about a month ago when it really kicked in how bad we want to beat them,” Louy said.
Bell said he’s been sure to give his team plenty of reminders throughout the season of what happened in Austin last May. Whenever a three-foot putt rolls around and out of the hole or full effort isn’t given, Bell said he’ll tell his squad that there is no room for that at the state level.
After all, Argyle experienced the smallest margin of error golf allows.
Bell said he’s been pleased with the consistency of this year’s team and its even level of play among the five players.
Argyle posted a school-record score of 295 in a tournament at Mansfield earlier this season. The Eagles also lost to Andrews by five strokes in a state preview tournament.
Throughout the year, the team has made trips down to Lost Pines to get a feel for the course and get some rounds under its belt in preparation for a potential trip to the state tournament.
“That’s the kind of commitment they’re putting in,” Bell said. “I think they still have, and as do I, a sour taste in our mouths from losing last year by one stroke.”
Bell also lauded Katzen, who was in form much earlier this season, compared with previous years when he was peaking toward the end of the season. The senior, like everybody else, is not fond of second place.
“I definitely started pushing myself early and realized how hard it was after last year to get out of football and get back into the golf for tournaments,” Katzen said. “Failing last year as long as I did made me realize how much harder it was to get my back to where I like it to be for the height of golf season.”
Katzen got a taste of success when the Eagles’ football team won the 3A Division II state football title in the fall. Now he is hoping to replace the sour feeling from last year’s loss to Andrews.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all year,” Katzen said. “Ever since football ended, that’s been my mentality — getting ready for state. It’s been a long process to get back here and hopefully come out with a better result.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.