Trigg County junior Hunter Reynolds said he spent a lot of time getting ready for this year.
After missing the state tournament a year ago, he knew he needed to be better.
Reynolds put the work in over the summer and his game peaked at the right time. His hard work and determination are why Reynolds has been named the 2020 Kentucky New Era boys’ golf Athlete of the Year.
Reynolds said his game started to turn a corner during the high school season and finally saw the work he put in over the summer pay off
“I felt like over the offseason my swing got a lot better,” Reynolds said. “I was focusing so much on my swing, my ball striking, hitting the fairways and hitting greens in regulation, I wasn’t looking as much at my short game and putting. I started shooting 76 or 77 rounds which should’ve been par or better rounds. I felt like toward the end of the season my putting came around and that’s why during the high school season I had a lot of consistent rounds of par or better.”
It all came to fruition at the First Region Tournament, where he qualified for the state tournament with a sixth-place finish in Murray.
Given the competition that he had to face in the region tournament, which included eventual state champion Jay Nimmo, Reynolds thought his performance was a big confidence builder moving forward into the state tournament and beyond.
“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that I could play not only against the caliber of golfers at region but in the conditions as well,” Reynolds said. “That took a grind and a confident mentality and that gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”
While a top-10 finish was what he was aiming for, Reynolds settled for a 40th-place finish and a two-round experience in Bowling Green.
“It was a really fun experience to see all the hard work I’ve put in the last couple of years pay off,” he said. “Making it my freshman year was a whole lot different from making it now.”
Now that his junior campaign is over, Reynolds is focused on making the most out of his senior season.
“Next season just trying to get a lot better in the offseason so I can improve on my goals,” he said. “A top-five finish at state would be really nice and I think that’ll be the goal for sure.”
He said he will be focused on taking the big numbers off of his scorecard and make an even bigger impact in his final season of high school golf.
“This year when I got to where I was hitting well, I would have just a couple of bad swings that would keep me from shooting that really low number,” Reynolds said. “Taking that big number on one whole kicked me in the butt. This offseason I’ve just been focusing on keeping that same consistent swing, doing a lot of ball striking drills this offseason.”