Caldwell wins regional golf tournament

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

Pineville golfer Braxton Caldwell participated in the 10th Region golf tournament at Eagles Nest Country Club in Somerset on Tuesday. Along with Caldwell, Ryan Evans played as an individual for PHS. The Bell County golf team and Middlesboro golf team played in the tournament as well. The winning team, and seven of the lowest scores will go to the state tournament.

Although there were multiple participants, Caldwell faired the best on the day, winning the regional championship. Caldwell had three straight birdies to bring himself to -3 and didn’t look back from there. He finished with an overall score of 70 (-1).

Braxton’s mother Shannon says that she is elated for her son and that he has worked hard to achieve his goals.

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“It makes me feel feels such joy for him,” said Shannon. “He has worked so hard and to see him win — I am just overjoyed. I remember watching him when he was barely able to walk with his plastic golf club set. God has truly blessed him. His success is due to the Lord’s blessing and many hours of hard work.”

After years of hard work, Caldwell feels that this championship has culminated all of his hard work. “It feels awesome to be the Region 10 champion,” said Braxton. “It’s something I’ve wanted to win since I played in my first regional championship in the seventh grade. I’ve put in countless hours of practice since then. My junior year I was so close — I was -2 with four holes to play, and didn’t close out strong enough to win. That set a fire under me to get my game to where I would be successful under pressure.”

“I went and got my first swing lesson this spring from Jason Gandy. He has help me eliminate one side of the golf course, now I know exactly what my misses are. My dad has always helped me with the mental side of the game,” said Braxton. “I played with confidence Tuesday. I went into the playoff on Tuesday to be the region champ, and I had 197 yards into the wind for my second shot. I was slightly tree hooked, it was a really difficult shot, but I knew I had it. I had worked on my game so much and I stepped over the ball and it was like nothing was going through my head.

“I wasn’t thinking about how bad that shot could go, only what I needed to do to hit it. I stuck it to about 12 feet of the pin. I had to two putt for the win. I’m really excited to work on my game this winter and get ready to continue my athletic career at the division one level. I’m going to be competing against some of the best college players in the nation this time next year. That’s something awesome to look forward to and use as motivation.”

Along with Braxton winning the Region 10 championship, his uncle Donnie Caldwell was awarded the KPGA’s Golf Professional of the Year. Donnie’s work with the youth in the area has helped get all local golfers that have worked with him to improve on their game.