DADE CITY, Fla.–The notorious No.1 hole at Lake Jovita made David Snyder bend, but it did not break him.
Surrounded by green vegetation, fresh cut grass and blue skies, the freshman golfer from Kentucky was not admiring the scenery at the second round of the USF Invitational in early March because he was too busy facing an uphill battle on the course.
The young Wildcat shot a 73 in the second round of the tournament despite taking eight strokes on a difficult par-four opening hole.
A key to overcoming a difficult start is being able to regroup, stay composed, and have a short term memory, he says.
“You just have to act like it’s another round of golf,” Snyder said. “Every shot you hit before is already done and over with, so you can’t change it and just got to chip away at it by making birdies.”
Snyder finished the tournament tied for 35th after shooting a 76 in the final round and contributed to Kentucky’s third place finish as a team.
The team’s head coach, Brian Craig, maintains Snyder is able to make good recoveries because he is composed under pressure, he told Melissa Couto of the Toronto Observer.
“David brings tremendous poise in competitive situations to our team,” Craig said. “He is very composed and mature for a freshman.”
Snyder, a Kentucky native, came into the event playing his best golf of the season, following a tie for 10th place at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. As a result, he was feeling on top of his game entering the second round of play.
“I was going in with a lot of confidence,” Snyder said. “I was coming off my first top 10 finish of the year and I had a lot of confidence going into this week.”
If it was not for the infamous No.1 he would have been looking at a second consecutive stand out performance.
Unfortunately for Snyder the hole lived up to its billing as one of the toughest in all of Florida.
Local assistant-pro Leo Cadden chuckles when he talks about the par-four hole.
“Absolutely, it is a very tricky hole, especially for guys from the back tee,” Cadden said. “It’s tight down the left side, a little dog leg left, and has a hazard near the bottom of it.”
Despite the rough start, Snyder was able to right the ship by keeping his cool. Moreover, his maturity is similar to the one exemplified by the world’s number one golfer, Rory Mcllroy, who also happens to be his favorite player.
Based on Mcllroy’s success, it bodes well for Snyder’s future that he is able to maintin his calm and grounded demeanor.