Trigg County’s Nick Choate is quite the aggressive goal-setter.

Choate signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play college golf at Murray State University.

Sitting in the Trigg County High School guidance office, he was asked if he had a major in mind.

“No not yet,” Choate said. “Maybe the Masters.”

Of course, Choate was actually being asked about his academic major, but it’s been his ability to reach his targets that has enabled him to progress as a golfer and advance to the collegiate level.

“I was there with Nick the first time he broke 50. We always had a goal for him every year to get better and improve. Finally it led to him signing with a college,” said Trigg County golf coach Jim Garnett. “Every goal that he has ever set, he’s accomplished. I hope that continues.”

Choate finished second in the 2012 Region 1 tournament and was able to compete in the state tournament.

“About his sophomore year, he started getting competitive with others in the region,” Garnett said. “Last year, he separated himself in the region and got a good experience in the state tournament. He proved to himself that he could play with anybody.”

A year later, Choate bettered his performances and won the Region 1 title, advancing to the second day of the state tourament. He made the most of his extended stay, moving from finishing fifth after starting the day in 20th place.

“He established himself as the best player in the region,” Garnett said. “Then in the state championship, after a pretty conservative first round, he let it all hang out and shot 3-under-par — which was one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Garnett said it’s incredible the things Choate can do with a golf ball.

“There’s nobody that can hit a long iron like he can,” he said. “This year he figured out how to putt. If he continues to get better every year, he’s going to be a special player at Murray State.”

Choate hopes to compete for a starting position his freshman season.

“They just put in new greens there, and they’re starting to do some good things to the golf course,” Choate said. “I like the coach and know a lot of the players on the team. Hopefully, by my junior year we’ll be pretty stacked.”

Nick’s mother, Jaime Choate, said Murray felt like the right fit.

“We spent a lot of time in Murray when he was younger. I think you have to be happy somewhere to do good,” she said. “He’s far enough away that he’s on his on, but he’ll be comfortable there.”

Reach Les Johns at 270-887-3260 or ljohns@kentuckynewera.com.

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