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The Greeley Voice

The Greeley Voice

The Greeley Voice

Swinging into the Spotlight: Ken Fernandes’ Freshman Feat

Freshman Ken Fernandes represented Horace Greeley’s golf team this year, showcasing his hard work, talent, and mental fortitude at the 2024 New York State competition. As a freshman at Horace Greeley, this was Fernandes’ first year competing on a team, previously gaining great success as an individual golfer. After an incredible season, Fernandes attended Sectionals at Century Country Club, placing 4th out of 60 high school golfers. A week later, he had a spectacular performance in the State championship at the Mark Twain Golf Course, located in Elmira, New York. Fernandes placed 1st overall after regulation play, then 2nd overall after the playoff holes.

Qualifying for the golf State championship is a rigorous process that requires players to have refined, consistent physical and mental skill in order to progress. Golf is an especially difficult sport, mainly due to the significant role mental stability plays in the game. “A lot of sports psychologists say that it’s impossible to master golf,” says Fernandes, “you have to fight mentally and build physical endurance to succeed in golf.” However, Fernandes believes that these challenges have not made significant impacts on his performance, mainly due to his passion for golf. Fernandes asserts, “I love the work I’ve done. All the practice hours I’ve put in. All the sweat and tears I’ve put into this game.”
Ultimately, this preparation led to the start of the Sectionals competition. Unfortunately, one week prior to his match, Fernandes’ dog, Bingo, passed prematurely. Fernandes shares the difficulty he had concentrating due to this loss, stating, “It was hard focusing going into this event, considering how much has been going on, but I just wanted to honor my dog.” Throughout Sectionals, Fernandes was able to maintain close attentiveness to the game despite his loss. “Golf is such a difficult sport because you have to stay in your own lane.” Fernandes adds, “It’s tempting to constantly think about everything going on, inside and outside of golf, but that’ll only mess up your game.” After a long-day of mentally-taxing gameplay, Fernandes emerged victorious, claiming 4th in Sectionals.

With the opportunity to compete at States, Fernandes moved on to match against the best high school golfers across New York, even playing against Division 1 college golfers. He returned with a first place ranking after regulation play but was unfortunately beaten in the playoffs, ending with a phenomenal silver placement.
As Fernandes continues playing golf, he has big plans for the future. He says, “While I would like to be recruited to college and hopefully go pro, my main goal is to make a lasting impact in golf. I feel golf is underrated and I want to grow the game.” Fernandes also looks forward to supporting the Greeley Boys Varsity Golf team, stating, “Being on a golf team is new to me because I’ve always competed alone. But, playing alongside a team has been a great experience and I’m excited to compete with my team in the coming years.”
Although Fernandes is merely a freshman, he finished with a fantastic season. He had a strong start and maintained his momentum, demonstrating precise concentration all throughout Sectionals and States. With the support of the Greeley Boys Varsity Golf team, there is no doubt that Fernandes will continue to be successful for years to come.

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