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Arapahoe senior David Packer didn't mind when he heard the odd compliment paid to him by boys golf coach Harry Bucker, who referred to him as a dog.
“He is a real bulldog,” said Buckner. “Every time he made a bogey he would say, `Don't worry coach, I'll get it back.' Then he would make a birdie. He thrived on pressure.”
Packer is the 2017 Colorado Community Media South Metro Boys Golfer of the Year.
“I have that mentality,” said Packer, when asked about Buckner's comment. “I used to be a little bit worse after a bad hole and it would cause problems on the next hole. I kind of figured it out.
“Especially this year, whenever I had a bad hole, I just believed in my game and would get it back on the next hole. I just decided to let it go.”
Packer won the Class 5A West Regional at the Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield with a 1-under-par 71 to help the Warriors win the regional title.
“As an individual, I was all-league (Centennial) and I won the regional,” said Packer. “I don't have anything to complain about. In the state tournament on that second day you could see guys giving away two or three shots for losing their mind because of one shot.”
At the Oct. 2-3 state tournament at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Packer finished tied for fourth after back-to-back rounds of 1-over-par 72.
“My putting was better than it has ever been this season,” said Packer. “I've always been a pretty good ball striker and been able to keep it in the fairway. Last year I averaged almost two putts a hole but this year I was able to get in down to a putt and a half a hole.
“I improved a lot and that helped my scores, especially in the state tournament when it was cold and the balls were just bouncing and you couldn't get them to stop and you had to be able to get up and down. It was nice to know that I was going to make that 4-footer to make a par and go on to the next hole.”
Packer's putting improved when he reduced the time spent reading putts.
“My putts had always had good speed but I didn't have the best aim,” he explained. “I always used to line up my ball but I found on the shorter putts when I lined up my putt I almost looked at it too much to be able to read the putt. I just kind of went off feel and it helped me a lot this year.”
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