BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
CENTERVILLE – Kelton Hirsch knows how to keep his eye on the ball.
The Viewmont High School senior took home the individual 5A state title at the recent Utah High School State Golfing championships, as well as helping his team secure a second-place victory in a tie-breaking face-off.
Hirsch won with a score of 73 on day one and 70 on day two, finishing two under par overall.
“That’s his average,” said Bob Greaves, the Viewmont High golf coach. “He’s shot like a 63 before, and won a lot of tournaments this year. He’s an excellent golfer.”
Hirsch, who is still mulling over offers he’s received to play at BYU and other schools, is glad he got the chance to end his last high school season with a bang.
“It was fun,” he said. “It was good to get it done my senior year. I’ve been working hard, and I finally made it happen.”
That hard work has been a hallmark of Hirsch’s golfing experience, which started when he was 6 years old and his father took him out golfing with him.
“I loved it,” said Hirsch. “I’m really competitive, and being able to compete against other people is really fun.”
It is not, however, easy. Though Hirsch remains dedicated to the sport and would love to go on to a professional career, he recognizes that there are things he’s missed out on.
“You have to sacrifice your time,” he said. “You’re giving up other things in order to do whatever it takes.”
He also recognizes the sacrifices of time his parents have made in order to help make his dream happen.
“They’ve given me rides to every single tournament I’ve ever played in since I was eight,” he said. “They’ve supported me the whole time.”
At the recent state tournament, Hirsch helped support the team as well. At the end of regular play, Viewmont was tied with Region 1 foe Syracuse for second place, and each team had to send four players back to the 18th hole for a tie-breaking round.
According to Greaves, he wasn’t too worried about the result.
“We had the first and second best players,” he said. “Syracuse was our main competition in the region, and we felt good about getting second. Last year, we were third after the first day and then dropped to sixth. We had a better run this year.”
For Hirsch, it was a good way to end an already great day.
“I already knew I’d won the individual title, so the pressure was gone,” he said. “We went out there and got it done.”