Chow perseveres in final round at state | VailDaily.com
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Chow perseveres in final round at state

COLORADO SPRINGS -The whipping wind and rain set the scene for Austin Chow’s toughest round of prep golf as a Battle Mountain Husky Tuesday. It was also his last.At the final round of the 4A State Golf Championship, held at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Chow exhausted his mental and physical reserves of energy to finish with an 86 on a day when it seemed nothing could go right. The weather was terrible. The pain in his hip from a recent hockey injury was excruciating. The injury was debilitating, too, since the senior had only 50-60 percent of his range of motion and strength when it came to his golf swing.With the rain and the pain also came this: a triple bogey on the front nine and a 10 on the par-4, 14th hole where Chow fired three tee shots into a lake. Chow said it would have been understandable if he had ended his day right there on the course after putting the double-digit mark down on his scorecard.The bothersome hip was the reason he was unable to clear the water hazard on the first three shots. When he finally did land on the fairway on stroke No. 7, it was already apparent that his chance at a top-20 finish was gone.

A warm car ride back home to Edwards sounded pretty good at that moment, but the senior didn’t retire.”After that 10, some people thought I was going to quit,” he said. “But, I just stuck to it and I finished. I fought through a lot of adversity.”He not only finished, but finished with a flair. He birdied the 15th and then shot par on the remaining three to finish with his final score.Chow’s coach Cassie Desmone said that she was amazed by her senior’s perseverance.”It was a frustrating round, but I could see some true character in that round,” Desmone said. “He held his composure completely right after that and was able to birdie, and then get three pars. That’s an incredible mind for you.”

Never a quitterChow said the main reason he didn’t quit was that it was the state golf tournament. He worked tirelessly this year finally to qualify in his last year as a Husky, and that to concede defeat after one lousy hole and one really, really lousy hole was a ludicrous notion.”When I think back on this, I’m not going to remember the final scores,” Chow said. “I’ll think about how I had a lot of character today and was able to stick through it. To have a hole like that is just devastating, when you watch your balls plop in the water over and over. Mentally, that’s really tough to handle.”But, I birdied the next hole and then finished strong. Not many people would be able to do that. My goal for the tournament was to finish and not have to withdraw and I did that.”Hard to say goodbye

The only thing tougher than hole No. 14 for Chow and Desmone was saying goodbye after their final round together as player and coach. Clint Wilson, Chow’s teammate and Desmone’s other star pupil, was also in the Springs to be with his friend and coach. Desmone said parting ways with both of her best players was hard to do.”It was a sad day to say goodbye, but they were super great,” Desmone said.Added Chow, “It was good to be with my coach and Clint and just spend some time with them. I was just so glad to be at state and to have a good experience.” Staff Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at npeterson@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily


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