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Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Independence's Quezada has sights set on state golf titleSep 20, 2012
By Don Ketchum
Success on the golf course isn’t solely about the drive, the approach shot and the putt. The package just isn’t complete without a positive frame of mind.
Anthony Quezada has worked a lot on the mental aspect of his game, and the senior from Glendale Independence is confident it can help carry him to the Division I individual title.
Not that he was that far off last season, when he finished second to Phoenix Pinnacle’s Zach Wright at the state tournament.
Wright graduated and now plays for LSU, but that doesn’t mean Quezada is about to take anything for granted in his quest for the top spot.
“I fell just short last year, but I am confident I can pull everything together,’’ Quezada said.
Independence coach Rich Novak said Quezada also has worked on his approach shots and his drives, “but it is his temperament that has been the key, the fact that he is doing a better job of maintaining consistency.’’
Quezada said he is more focused.
“My attitude is better, and that helps me manage the course,’’ he said.
“Attitude and the mental part are extremely important. There are a lot of good players in high school who have the physical ability. The thing is, can you put it all together when you need to?’’
Novak said Quezada already has qualified for the state tournament, Oct. 29-30 at Aguila Golf Course in Laveen. Entering this week’s play, Quezada was the medalist in every match except two, according to Novak.
Quezada, 17, has been playing golf since he was 6. He tried playing baseball for awhile, “but golf became my passion,’’ he said.
He has built his game to the point where he has been able to play in some national tournaments on some prestigious courses, such as Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines, both in California.
Like many young golfers, he watches those at the highest level, and it isn’t surprising that his favorite player is Tiger Woods.
“I like the way he plays,’’ Quezada said. “He is determined to get the job done.’’
As he walks the courses, Quezada carries more than just his clubs. It is the challenge of survival as a diabetic. He was diagnosed at age 4. He checks his blood sugar after every two or three holes, takes insulin and has snacks to help him maintain his energy.
“It can be tough or inconvenient sometimes, but it is something you get used to. I have been fortunate to keep it under control,’’ Quezada said.
He works out when he can, concentrating on the cardiovascular as well as his body core and flexibility.
Quezada carries a 3.6 grade-point average. He has narrowed his list of potential college choices, if not decided on one already, but will wait until after the state tournament to make it public.
It won’t be long before the state tournament arrives. Quezada knows he will need to be at his best.
“Just keep my eye on the prize,’’ he said. “I know I can play good golf. I am confident I can get the job done.’’