The Johnson County Longhorn Golf team had another successful run last week. Playing in three separate matches, two on their home course at Red Tail Mountain, the team managed to keep a fairly consistent pace. We are playing our best golf of the season right now, and I hope we can play just a little better come districts. We have played some tough teams on their home course and have not been blown out by anyone. We are 11 strokes better right now as a team than we were all of last season said Coach Steve Arnold.
The first match of the week was against Unicoi County and Daniel Boone at home. Boone ended up claiming the win overall with at combined score of 162, but the Longhorns were still able to trump Unicoi 168 to 218. The star of the evening was senior Jon Vannoy who managed an impressive 39 strokes over nine holes. Jon has had the talent to shoot in the 30s for the past 2 years, Arnold said. But for some reason just couldnt get over the hump. It usually takes a guy becoming a senior to mentally figure some things out and Jon is doing a great job right now, and deserves to be playing the way he is. Vannoy continued to be a huge asset to the team in the next two matches, scoring 40 against Hampton and Happy Valley, and then shooting a 41 at the Elizabethton Course at the end of the week. According to Vannoy, one of the biggest problems is being mentally prepared for the game. Ive got to think more about each shot, Vannoy said. Ive got to change the way I approach. For me the tough thing right now is mental errors, mainly in my putting. Last year I started out with a 37 in my first match. Baseball kind of messed me up with my swing and Im still just trying to get it back. I have to think about distance, wind, everything possible. One of the toughest things is just the hand eye coordination, which is something that most people dont realize.
This determination and dedication to the sport has helped Vannoy consistently keep the top spot for the Longhorns this season, a fact that Coach Arnold readily admits. Jon has played his best golf lately, Arnold said. Since he put his driver in the bag and has not taken it out he has had his best scores of the season. Players dont realize that a lot of their ability lies between the ears.
Fortunately many of the other players on the team are not far behind, and the battle to get in the top six becomes more heated with every match. One of the surprise performances of the week came from Morgan Eggers, who managed a 49 in the second home match of the week against Hampton and Happy Valley. Unfortunately Eggers was not in one of the top slots at the time and his score wasnt able to help the team overall, but, as Coach Arnold pointed out, that could rapidly change.
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