Newton boys golf
Rickard, a senior, finished in the top 10 of his first three tournaments. His goal is for Newton to qualify as a team since the Railers are hosting the Class 5A tournament at Sand Creek Station on May 26.
Have you improved as a golfer?
“When I started playing golf in high school, I started on (junior varsity). As a sophomore I was on varsity, but my score very rarely counted for the team. Last year I finally started medaling in tournaments.
“… I feel like I’m making smarter decisions when I walk up to a shorter hole. I’m thinking about a four-iron or something off the tee, instead of just trying to drive the green and putting myself in trouble that I should never have been in in the first place. I feel I’m a smarter golfer and making smarter decisions around the green.”
Why do you think you have become a smarter golfer?
“It’s been through my coaches — they have persuaded me to make changes. And through practice rounds, I’ve made a point to take the lower-risk shots. I’ve seen through practice rounds that my scores are lower, and it has translated to tournaments.
“… Last year I would have tried to get as close to the pin as possible. If I were in trouble off the tee, maybe really far away, hitting a really short drive, I would try to get on the green in two. I’ve been able to accept that I’m going to bogey some holes. I’ve played to get a bogey when I’ve gotten myself in trouble, instead of trying to save a par or a birdie and risking a double or a triple bogey. I’ve really avoided the big scores.”
How did you pick up golf?
“I think I was 5 or 6. I would just watch golf and watch Tiger (Woods). My parents saw I had an interest in golf. They bought me some clubs, and I would hit them around the yard. My parents kept encouraging me to play. It’s nice they made the financial investment and the time investment to allow me to play golf. It’s because of them that I’m still playing.”
You are involved in debate, for which you’ve gotten a scholarship to Emporia State. Why is debate a good fit for you?
“My parents always told me that I’m really good at arguing. I got into it and found I really enjoyed the coach and the people who were in it. It’s something that I sort of stumbled into and found out I was really good at it. I enjoy the research and the ideas behind everything that was going on.”
Why are you planning to study biochemistry and then medicinal biochemistry?
“I want to research and develop medication. I was diagnosed with diabetes in fifth grade. I want to eat a doughnut without having to stab myself with a needle. It’s really self-motivated. I want to cure myself of my own disease and help people in the future, so even if I can’t find a cure for diabetes, I may be able to help people in other ways.”