Sports

Youthful golf champion looks Sharp

"Port Orchard's Brady Sharp, 15, continued his torrid summer with a Washington Junior Golf Association 14-15-year-old division state championship Saturday.But he didn't have much time to let it sink in.Sharp and his mother Susan immediately drove to Sandpoint, Idaho, for the PGA Junior Series tournament - a two-round tournament with the winner advancing to nationals in Palm Beach, Fla.Playing against players ages 14 to 17, Sharp entered the clubhouse Monday with a 70 to lead but there were 16-17 year-olds still out on the course.He shot a one-over par 73 in the final round of the state competition at Kent's Riverbend Golf Complex. Competition started at the North Shore Golf and Country Club in Tacoma, where he shot an opening round 72 and followed that up with a 70 for his best round of the three-round tournament.Sharp, who plays out of Village Greens Golf Course, led after each round and held off Ryan Morton of Avondale to win by three strokes.Sharp said he is always striving to play better each time, but admitted right now he is just going on all cylinders.I'm putting really well and hitting the greens about 16 times a round, Sharp said.One of the biggest challenges isn't the physical skills but the mental preparation, which is something Sharp said he takes pride in.He said winning obviously helps his confidence level.It (the state title) gives me a lot of confidence, Sharp said. I just try to stay focused on my game. I wouldn't say I'm cocky.Nervousness hits him at the first hole but I'm fine after that, he said.Playing well in big tournaments is nothing new, either.He finished third at the AAU nationals three years ago.Sharp attributes much of his success to practice and instruction received by his coach, Doug Hathaway of Village Greens.Village Greens is a community golf course with many par-3 holes, which has led to many people questioning why Sharp isn't playing out of a more prestigious golf course.I just say, 'Look who's ahead of you, ' Sharp said."

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