Austin’s Hoefflin takes aim at state golf meet

Published 5:00 am Saturday, June 12, 2010

If nothing else, Austin senior golfer Luke Hoefflin has learned that honesty can pay off.

Hoefflin will compete at the Class ‘AAA’ state boys golf meet Tuesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.

Last week, Hoefflin was far from certain of his state appearance, as a penalty he called on himself cost him a stroke and put him in a four-man playoff to get to state. He came through to earn his very first state berth, but he had his doubts along the way.

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“At first thought it cost me state,” he said. “(Calling the penalty) was a tough thing to do, but it’s something I can look back and be happy about the rest of my life.”

Hoefflin came through with a 75 on day-two of the section meet after shooting an 80 on the first day and that gave him some big confidence heading into state, where he will tee off at 12:18 p.m. on Tuesday.

“To perform in a clutch situation is something you always practice for and it was pretty satisfying to actually go out there and do that,” he said.

Hoefflin has never been to the state golf meet before, so he’s not sure what to expect. Luckily for him, Austin head coach Will Pazurek has been there the last two years with Drew Osier, who graduated last spring.

“This is the third year in a row that Austin’s had a state golfer and not too many schools can say that,” Pazurek said. “I’ve gotten to know the course so I can help Luke manage it. On his end, it will be the mental game and I think he’ll do well. He’s got the ability.”

Hoefflin said that Pazurek was a calming force over him at the section meet and he hopes his coach will have the same impact at state.

While Hoefflin was always a solid golfer for Austin, he really hit his stride this season when he started to consistently hit scores below 80.

Pazurek credits an increase in mental toughness, while Hoefflin said everything has come together.

“Everything’s gotten a little better,” he said. “It just seems like I’ve gotten more accurate and everything is under control. Last year I was a little wild and erratic and this year it’s a little more honed in and tight. It’s been quite a difference.”

Pazurek said he’s enjoyed watching Hoefflin grow as a golfer since he was a seventh grader and he’s confident Hoefflin will finish strong.

Hoefflin is just going to try his best.

“I’m hoping to go up there and try my best on every shot. Whatever happens, happens and we’ll see what score comes out in the end,” he said.