GV golfer Montague proves to be best soft touch

slynch@mercedsunstar.comJune 16, 2013 

BEA AHBECK CASSON/bahbeck@mercedsunstar.com Golden Valley's Audon Montague is the Sun-Star's All-Area Golfer of the Year. Pictured in Merced Wednesday. (6-12-13)

BEA AHBECK

What started out as a novelty gift turned into a life-long love for Audon Montague.

The Golden Valley senior said his father bought him a Snoopy driver when he was a kid.

"I would just swing it all over the farm," Montague said. "It's how I first started to like golf.

"My dad bought me some clubs after that and the rest was history."

Montague said he forged his golf skills on the family's El Nido farm, working on his short game in the yard and using the orchard as a driving range.

The hard work paid off in his senior campaign as Montague helped the Cougars earn of share of the Central California Conference title and is our Sun-Star Boys Golfer of the Year.

"I always liked watching and playing golf," Montague said. "My dad played a little bit and I would go to the driving range with him or out to a course.

"I really upped my practice time this year. I really wanted to see if I could play in college, so I was out probably 10 extra hours a week just trying to improve my game."

Golden Valley head coach Rod Ivy said the extra practice paid dividends as Montague caught fire in the second half of the season. He lowered his scoring average above par to 4.142 in CCC play — good for third best in the league — culminating with a 38 at Pheasant Run as GV handed Turlock its first conference loss in three years.

"Everything came together for him that day in pretty ugly conditions," Ivy said. "The winds were blowing really hard, but nothing bothered him that day.

"When you're hitting the ball solid and keeping it low, the wind doesn't really effect you.

"He's a big kid — like 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds — and everyone thinks he's a football player. So he can drive the ball really well like you'd expect, but he also has these soft hands that allow him to have a really good short game."

Montague said his attention to detail on the short game was the biggest difference this season.

"I've always been really good at the short game, but I got better at reading the greens," Montague said.

"I was just out there as much as possible getting a good feel for the greens.

"I worked on taking my time and aiming for a specific spot," he said. "I felt like it made me a better player."

Montague doesn't intend to stop now.

He'll play for Modesto Junior College next year and attempt to garner the eye of a four-year school.

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