By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Coming off of a season in which he advanced to the state tournament, there were plenty of reasons for Andrew Good to feel a little pressure this season.
However, the Stonewall Jackson senior has stayed calm, cool and collected and is having another stellar year.
"I've been amazed at how he has not let it affect him," Stonewall Jackson coach Roger Wilkins said of Good's ability to handle pressure. "I've been coaching different sports for a long time, and a lot of times you see kids dwell on the fact that it's their senior year, and this could be their last time to do this. I really think the experience he's had playing tournaments all over the state, and in other states over the last three years, has really helped him. He has confidence in himself. I think he feels like if he just goes out and does what he knows he needs to do, he'll be fine."
Good's ability to handle adversity and win under pressure showed last week. On Sept. 25, he led the Generals to the Conference 35 tournament title at Heritage Oaks golf course.
Good shot a 2-under 68, and with that earned The Northern Virginia Daily's Male Athlete of the Week for Sept. 22-28.
On Monday, Good struggled with his game during a tri-match at Heritage Oaks. That night he said he talked things over with his dad and they figured out what was going wrong with his swing and fixed it.
Two days later, he shot a career-best 68. Good parred the first seven holes, and then birdied the eighth and ninth holes. After making a par on the 10th, Good said he got into some trouble on the 11th hole, a par 4.
"My tee shot went left and into a hazard. I had to drop it, and I hit it on the green, and made like a 20-footer to save par," Good said after Wednesday's tournament. "After the stroke penalty, I still saved par, so that was a big moment. It helped keep my momentum going."
Good suffered his only bogey of the day on the 14th, but then came back with a birdie on the par-5 16th.
He had a shot at a birdie on 18, but it rolled all the around the cup and went out.
Good said his performance on Monday helped him perform better on Wednesday.
"It totally re-focused me," Good said. "If I wouldn't have shot bad on Monday, I don't think I would have shot [good on Wednesday]. It's funny how that works sometimes. I needed to play bad to play good."
Good advanced to the Group A state tournament last year by shooting a 76 in regionals. He then shot a 127 at the two-day state tournament, which was reduced to 27 holes due to rain.
On Wednesday, the Generals won the Conference 35 tournament by shooting a 301 as a team. All six Generals shot at least an 82.
Last year the Generals finished fifth in the Region B tournament. This year with six classifications, the Generals will be playing in the Region 2A East tournament in Williamsburg on Oct. 7.
Wilkins said he feels good about where the team is at as they head into regionals. The entire team didn't play well on Monday, but came back strong in the conference tournament.
"I think they lost their focus on Monday," Wilkins said. "They all had bad days. But then they came back looking for some vengeance on Wednesday. Hopefully that will carry over into regionals."
Good said it was a great feeling advancing to the regional tournament again this year.
"That's been the main goal since the start of the season -- to get to regionals," Good said. "We've been working for this the whole year, practicing hard. I'm excited to get to regionals."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd