Marion golfer Travis Hett made up for shooting one bogey in Marion Country Club’s two-day 36-hole Club Championship by knocking out 13 birdies to win with a 132.
Hett, 26, shot 5-under-par Saturday with a 67, then returned Sunday to shoot 7-under with a 65.
He attributed his victory to playing a conservative and controlled game.
“Golf is such a mental game,” Hett said. “One thing I had engraved in my mind was to just focus on one shot at a time.”
He also chose to tee off with his irons when other players used drivers.
“I hit my irons on holes 2, 5, and 7 because those holes have very little room for error,” he said. “I knew if I could get off the tee box I would be in pretty good shape because I could use my wedges to get on the green and putt for birdie.”
He said he made more putts on the second day of the tournament, but missed many close putts for birdie.
“Short game is everything,” he said.
Tyler Smith and Joe Lovelady, each shot a 146 to place second and third after a scorecard tiebreaker. Nickolas Hett, Travis’s brother, came in fourth at 154, and Jerry Hess took fifth at 163.
Hett also won the tournament last year, and in 2007 when he was a senior at Marion High School.
Three years ago his father, Aaron Hett, won it. However, this year father and son did not have to face one another.
Aaron shot a 150 to tie Bryan Hess for the win in the senior men’s championship. Don Noller took third with a 156, Bernie Waner was fourth at 162, and Dave Shiplet was fifth at 165.
Travis’s sister, Lindsay, won the women’s championship at 151. Judy Noller placed second at 165, and Lois Smith was third at 209.
Travis said he wasn’t thinking about results while he played but he was proud to win again.
He may be looking to take his game to the next level.
“Golf isn’t just a hobby for me,” Travis said. “It runs in the family.
“I’ve been working really hard at my game over the past year, and I think I might have reached the level of mental maturity to forfeit my amateur status and try to play in the Adam’s Golf Pro Tour series next year.”
He plans to continue training until then and “try to do the pro thing” before he and his wife, Sheila, start having children.
“I’d like to go down as the best golfer that has ever come through Marion,” Travis said. “I want to set something for my kids to chase someday.”