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Ten Questions for DHS State Champ Ian Kelsey

Junior Ian Kelsey opens up about his big win and what's next.

Deerfield High School Junior Ian Kelsey won the 2012 IHSA Class AA State Golf Tournament. He shot a score of one under par. This is the first state champion for boys’ golf in DHS history. Senior Colin Davis also competed in the tournament. Congratulations to both Warriors! We sat down with Kelsey to hear what he had to say about his golfing career and the State Championship.

Question: When did you start playing golf?  

Answer: I started golfing when I was seven years old with my dad and our family out at the golf course. I used to like baseball a lot more but I got more into it as I started playing more and more. It’s a very addicting game and once you get started it’s hard to stop.

Question: What do you like most about golf?

Answer: I like the challenge and there’s always something new. You never hit the same shot twice and you can never master it. It’s a game that you can always get better at.

Question: What don’t most people know about golf?

Answer: Most people don’t realize how difficult it is and how demanding it is overall. Over the course of 18 holes it’s mentally demanding and physically demanding; people don’t really realize that.

Question: What is your practice schedule like?

Answer: During the summer my mom and I get up around 6:30 a.m. and we go into about two hours of putting. Then I do a range session where I just go through my bag and hit all the shots. Then I go home and rest and probably play nine and then in the afternoon go back out and do another putting session; that’s just in the summer. During the fall, I probably go to the course and hit balls and work on putting for a couple of hours after school.

Question: What was the State Tournament like?

Answer: It was me and Colin Davis -- a good friend of mine. We both made it down state and we were just excited to play. We both knew we could play well. If we played well, we knew that we could finish top ten and have a chance to win it. The first day I played well, I was three under through 15 and I finished with two bogeys coming in. I ended up tied for the lead for the first day. The second day ended up being cancelled for rain. We played one hole, I made par and I was leading the whole thing and then they canceled so we would settle for co-medalists.

Question: What did winning feel like?

Answer: I had mixed feelings, happiness and disappointment because of course you want to prove yourself through the course of the entire tournament and not have it cut short, but it’s still nice.

Question: What was your favorite part of the tournament?

Answer: My favorite part was playing well and not being frustrated the entire round -- except for the last couple holes -- but just being calm and staying in the present and having a fun round of golf.

Question: How did you celebrate your big win?

We had a team dinner the night we got back from Bloomington so that was nice.  

Question: What are your goals for next season?

Answer: I just want to have the same goals as this season, just play well the entire year, stay around par and get downstate and see what I can do again.

Question: What advice do you have for other golfers?  

Answer: Work hard at it. If you enjoy it as much as I do it’s never a bad thing to work as hard as you can. Set high goals and try to reach them.

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