On the golf course, intangibles are always in play.
Whether it’s the weather, bad bounces or a challenging hole, the best players are able to make the best of a bad situation.
And sometimes putting up a good score isn’t the true measure of success.
Mountain View senior Graham Moody knows that as well as anyone. His experience last summer at the Oregon Stroke Play Championship, July 24-26 at Salishan Golf Links in Gleneden Beach, Ore., reminded him of that.
“I got second in a men’s event, against some of the top men in the state,” Moody said. “Tough course, tough conditions. I was able to be one of two guys to play under par. That one in particular I was proud of.”
Moody had a lot to be proud of last summer, when he was named the Oregon junior player of the year for a second in a row.
“It was a nice icing on the cake,” Moody said. “My summer was pretty busy, which was nice. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to play a much (because of the pandemic). But the Oregon Junior Golf Association put on some great events.”
Moody’s original plan last summer was to play in some big tournament across the country. But in an effort to limit his travel amid the pandemic, he stuck to events in the Northwest.
“Everything stayed pretty local, no flying, trying to minimize hotel stays,” he said. “But as far as results go, I played well over the summer. I won a couple of junior events (including the Oregon Junior Amateur). I made all the cuts, which is the main goal. Even if you’re not winning those events, you are putting yourself in position to play all of the days and not go home early. That’s what I’m most proud of over the summer, the consistent play and making the most of this summer.”
In a normal, this week Moody would have been playing the 3A district tournament with his Mountain View teammates in the culminating event of the fall portion of the high school golf season.
And with Moody, Willy Yeh and Tyler Klepec in their senior seasons, this was supposed to be a big year for the Thunder.
“I’m still trying to communicate with the high school team as much as I can, stay in touch, try to play together as much as we can,” Moody said. “But it’s tough, especially when in the back of your mind, you’re thinking ‘What if we don’t get the chance to play the high school season?’
“I’m proud, looking back, of how we’ve been able to play as a team these past couple of years. But I’m also looking forward to the spring, optimistic that we will be able to play.”
Moody is also looking forward to moving to the University of Wisconsin next year to play for the Badgers.
“I’m just really excited to get to go out there,” Moody said. “It already feels like I have a whole new family out there. It’s really cool to be going to a school where you feel wanted, and everyone values you being there.”
Moody is focusing his efforts now on improving his fitness and strength as he prepares for the transition into college golf.
“It’s something I haven’t really focused on much as a golfer,” he said. “But going to Wisconsin, they’ve got this great fitness program, and it’s pretty intense. So I’m just trying not to get beat up too much when I get there.”
He also hopes that work will pay off in the spring, when he hopes to return to competition with his Mountain View teammates.
“It’s just a matter of staying prepared and hoping for the best,” he said. “It’s all we can do at this point.”
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.