AOW: Douthitt shakes off two bad weeks for win

July 31, 2001|By JON HINSHAW, Sports Writer

When Tyler Douthitt took to the links this summer in the Imperial Valley Junior Golf Association, he got two victories in the first two tournaments.

Those winning weeks were followed by the reality of the difficult sport as Douthitt struggled in the next two events and didn't place in the top three slots in either.

Douthitt persevered through the drought, went to the driving range and worked on perfecting his swing, which led to his third victory in the IVJGA this summer, this one Friday at the Campestre Club de Golf in Mexicali.

Playing in the championship flight, Douthitt fired an 81 on the par-72 course, besting Gabriel Plaza and Jose Ramos by two strokes.

"I just went out and hit a lot or range balls, adjusted my swing and got it in shape," said the 14-year-old Douthitt, a freshman this fall at Southwest High School in El Centro. "I had been playing pretty good but then came those two bad rounds. Mostly I just had to think about my swing, get my clubs in a groove and repeat that method.


"It took a lot of practice to get it back," he continued. "I had to think my shots out more. I thought about where the ball was going to land and how I was going to hit it instead of just walking up there and hitting it. You have to put 100 percent into each golf shot."

Douthitt, who said he's been playing golf seriously for about five years, earned the victory at the right time as the IVJGA is preparing for its championship event Aug. 10 at Del Rio Country Club in Brawley. Winning that event is high on Douthitt's list of things to accomplish this summer, but he knows if will be more difficult than the previous matches.

"I'm just going to make sure my swing is good," he said. "They'll be some good golfers in that tournament, some that couldn't play earlier this year because they were in summer school. It would be great if I could win that one because of all the competition."

Douthitt was introduced to golf by his father, Bob Douthitt. The lessons he learned years ago will be what Douthitt carries with him to the championship.

"(He) helped me into the game and the opportunity to succeed in golf," said Douthitt about his father. "After that it was pretty addicting. In team sports the blame can be laid on everyone, but in golf there's no one to blame but yourself, and I like that."

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