Timberline senior honing his skills, looking for a better run at state golf tournament

ccripe@idahostatesman.comMay 13, 2013 

Timberline High's Mark Brassey made 14 birdies in the 36-hole 5A state tournament last year at Pinecrest Golf Course in Idaho Falls.

And he finished sixth.

The problem: He also made 14 bogeys and two double-bogeys. His scorecards featured a meager six pars.

"It was really inconsistent," Brassey said. "That's kind of how my game has always been. I'll have a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys to counteract that. I've been really trying to work on limiting the bogeys and above that."

The senior's progress showed last week, when he shot a 3-under-par 69 to win his first District Three championship. He hit three ugly hooks with his driver late in the round, including one that went out of bounds, but parred the final hole for a one-shot victory.

He's among the favorites in this year's state tournament Monday and Tuesday at Lewiston Country Club.

"I used to let my emotions get a little to my head, thinking bad thoughts," Brassey said. "Now I really think, 'Get a par back,' if I have a bad hole."

He has been on quite a roll since last year's wild ride at state.

He won the Dropping Junior to begin last summer - shooting a 6-under 65 in the second round at Hillcrest Country Club, his home course.

He signed a letter of intent with Boise State after deciding UC Santa Barbara was too expensive and Arizona's roster was too deep.

And earlier this season he shot a 64 at TimberStone Golf Course in Caldwell, the site of his district triumph.

"This last summer was when he kind of figured things out," Timberline boys golf coach Todd Simpson said. "He had a ton of holes where he shouldn't have gotten bogeys, and a ton of birdies, because he's so long and so aggressive all the time. He's eliminated those numbers that are high. He's been putting a lot of (60s) up."

Brassey has been playing golf since he was 3 and seriously since he was 8 or 9, but it's not his only pursuit. He carries a 3.8 GPA at Timberline, volunteered for about 35 hours this academic year as part of the National Honor Society program and served on the Wolf Connection, a school leadership group that staged a prom for senior citizens and spent time with kids at the nearby elementary school. His individual volunteer project involved working with refugees from Africa.

The district title earned Brassey a spot in Timberline's hall of fame, which was one of his goals. He'd like to top that this week.

"Winning districts and winning state would be a pretty cool thing to do my senior year," he said, "… but there's a lot of good competition."

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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