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The big payoff: Hard work is delivering on the course for Mount Si boys golfers | Slideshow
Alex Nelson's drives cleaved through the warm air of one of the last days of summers. And his putts all hit their mark.
The Mount Si freshman had a golden day on his first varsity tournament, co-medaling with a fellow 'Cat, Sebastian Gant, at Mount Si Golf Course.
"I was just taking my time, doing what I normally do," Nelson said of his game. He's at home on the course, and like the rest of the varsity squad, is only beginning.
Mount Si won their first league match of the season, Monday, Sept. 17, against Juanita. Gant and Nelson went two under par with scores of 38 on nine holes.
Senior Jake Archambeau shot 39, junior Marcus Deichman and sophomores Mac Smith and Reed Pattenaude hit 41s, and Tanner Simpson had a score of 43. Junior Dylan Savage shot 44, sophomore Sam Young shot 45, and junior Duncan Kelly shot 46. Mount Si won, 197 to 217.
That win is down to hard work. Boys squad members practice on weekends and extra in the afternoons. A tenet of head coach Brandon Proudfoot's youth program was to instill the need to golf on their own. Now, that emphasis on play is paying off.
"Their scores from the beginning of the season have dropped so much as a team," Proudfoot said. "This team has worked harder on their own than I've seen any other team, boys or girls, to date," in his three years as coach.
"It's been amazing," he added.
On Monday, Gant hit three birdies, five bogies and one par, on hole 12, the par-five longest hole in the course.
Archambeau was proud to have tied with the number-one high school golfer in Washington, Juanita's Frank Garber.
"If you do that, it's a good day," he said.
The freshman has figured out his direction, and is getting more confident with where he is hitting the ball.
"His scores have plummetted," Proudfoot said.
In the top four, Gant is shaping up as Mount Si's top player, followed by Pattenaude and Archambeau.
Deichman was on junior varsity last year, and has found his footing as Mount Si's most consistent player.
Before this week, Nelson shot even par in a preseason match, and is looking very promising.
Nelson's achieved his goal to get on varsity. On Monday, his focus was to come in under 40. He achieved that, too.
Golf is a sport that he and his father have always enjoyed.
"We aren't members, we just play here mainly, and like to have fun," Nelson said. He loves the mellow feel of the sport.
"Everything is the way it should be on the golf course," Nelson said.
• Mount Si plays today (Thursday, Sept. 20) against Interlake at Tam O'Shanter Golf Course.