Last man standing

First Posted: 5/5/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN It was cold, it was rainy and it was windy Monday evening at Piney Point the unholy triumvirate for golfers. Compounding the problem for East Surry golfer Seth Covington was he had just bogeyed a hole on the back nine. It was the perfect time to quit, to call it a day and blame it on the weather.
But that just isnt Covingtons style.
He doesnt make excuses, East Surry first-year coach Jason Anderson said. Thats the one thing about his game he is mentally strong. He comes back from mistakes and his body language never changes.
That does not mean he wasnt thinking about the bogey.
It was really frustrating. I tried not to let it get to me too much. I just kept my calm and tried to get a good shot on the par 3.
Staying true to form, Covington shook off the bogey and birdied his next hole. Anderson, who also coached Covington during the basketball season, said it was between a 35 and 40-foot shot.
That helped my confidence going into the other nine (holes), Covington said.
He finished with a 74, good for a third-place finish out of roughly 60 competitors. The bogey wasnt the only thing Covington had to shake off. The not-so-spring-like conditions didnt help his cause either.
It was really windy, Covington recalled. I just tried to keep the ball under the wind as much as I could and get the right shots. It was tough, but I managed.
Next up for Covington is a trip to a familiar place. The East Surry boys golf team has won four consecutive state championships, but will not defend their title this year. That leaves Covington as the lone representative for the Cardinals this coming Monday and Tuesday at the 12th annual 1A state golf championships held at Siler City Country Club.
It will be different, Covington said. Im just going to play the same as I did last year. I wont be able to hang out with all my teammates, so Ill have to find another way to keep my mind off it until I tee off.
However, Covington does see some advantages to playing at states by himself. When he competed as part of a team last year, the pressure was intensified five times.
Itll be more relaxing for me because I wont have to worry about the other five people on my team, he said. I dont have to worry about messing up for the whole team. Last year it was a lot of pressure; if you messed up you let your team down. Thatll change a little.
That does not mean Covington wont be thinking of his team while hes there. He knows it is up to him to carry on the tradition the Cardinals have created over the past four years.
Thats one thing I do want to do, Covington said. Weve won four state championships. I want to represent East Surry really well by either finishing high or winning it.
With his pedigree and the fact Covington has been the top player on East Surry with a 38 average over nine holes, he could make some noise next week.
Seth could definitely come out of that thing as an individual champion, Anderson said.

Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.

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