Varsity golf team ends season with State Championship; places 13th in division

Varsity+Golf+team+members+Rita+Liu%2C+Rachel+Cheung%2C+Colin+Grange%2C+Jakob+Esterowitz%2C+and+Tyler+Cosgrove+at+the+State+Championship+match.

Photo courtesy Colin Grange

Varsity Golf team members Rita Liu, Rachel Cheung, Colin Grange, Jakob Esterowitz, and Tyler Cosgrove at the State Championship match.

On Oct. 25, 26 and 27, varsity golf team members senior and Captain Rachel Cheung, senior Jakob Esterowitz, junior Tyler Cosgrove, junior Colin Grange and sophomore Rita Liu participated in this year’s state championship match. The match, which was held at the University of Maryland’s course, hosted high school teams from districts all over Maryland. Although they played as a team in the championship, Cheung and Liu also participated in the individual rounds. “I have never been to state championships before so this is my first time experiencing it. I was only nervous about my teammate’s skill because we are playing against all schools in Maryland,” Liu said.

In practice, we focus on optimizing our scores and understanding where we are losing strokes in matches.”

— Sean Crawford

To prepare for the match, the team has been working on skills during their practices, which are held at Lakewood Country Club. During practices, the team plays nine hole practice rounds, while also improving aspects of the game such as short game, which consists of chipping and putting. “In practice, we focus on optimizing our scores and understanding where we are losing strokes in matches,” Coach Sean Crawford said.

However, their individual skills were not the only thing that the team had to focus on to do well in the championship match. Each player had to overcome mental obstacles before and during the match. For Cheung, the team’s overall spirit throughout the match was vital to a good performance outcome. “I think overall we performed pretty well. I think our team was a little jittery so the nerves did get to them a little,” Cheung said.

In their division, which was the 3A/4A group, the team placed 13th out of 20 teams in total. The team was able to play against teams they had already faced during their regular season matches. Members were able to connect with other players who they consider friends, which made the match more enjoyable and helped calm the team’s nerves. Additionally, the team promotes a supportive environment, not putting additional pressure on players individually. “I wasn’t really nervous going into states, and thanks to our great team environment, I didn’t feel any pressure to do well,” Esterowitz said.

In the individual match, which was out of 40 players for division 3A/4A, Cheung placed 25th, and Liu placed second. Having done well in the district match, the girls had high expectations for states. While both feel that they performed well, they still believe that there is more that they can improve on for future matches. “I don’t think I played my best at the championship, and for next year I will focus on managing my mental problems in order to stop making simple mistakes,” Liu said.

Reflecting on their final season, seniors Cheung and Esterowitz enjoyed the way the team was able to work together and support each other throughout both their regular and championship matches. “My favorite part about this season was hanging out with the team. At practice or after matches. I really enjoyed the bonding and the community environment,” Cheung said.