KELSO — While most teenagers his age are out enjoying the heat of summer, Joey Duwe spends his days hard at work on the fairways, sand traps and putting greens at golf courses throughout the Kitsap Peninsula.
The work is paying off.
Duwe won the Washington Junior Golf Association sub-district golf tournament championship on July 6 at Three Rivers Golf Course in Kelso. The victory enabled him to advance to the district tournament at Gold Mountain in Bremerton July 16-17.
Duwe’s prolific putting skills gave him a significant edge against a talented field of 30 competitors.
“The thing that helped me the most was my putting,” Duwe said. “The greens were pretty slow and a lot of the other golfers couldn’t handle it. I was able to handle it. I didn’t miss a putt under 15 feet.”
Duwe shot a 73, just one over par, tying Jarred Bossio of Olympia and resulting in a playoff to see who would earn the championship.
The 17 year old wasn’t fazed by the pressure of a sudden death playoff hole against Bossio.
“I’ve been in a few playoffs before so I was somewhat familiar with what to expect,” Duwe said. “I have been in that kind of position many times before.”
In the first sudden death playoff hole, Duwe and Bossio both nailed par. On the second playoff hole, Duwe won it with a par on an 402-yard hole.
Despite displaying supreme confidence, Duwe admitted he had to shake off some nerves prior to the tiebreaker rounds.
“Your knees are shaking and you have to try to calm yourself down,” he said. “It’s just a matter of swinging the club and hitting your shots.”
Duwe excelled despite the less than ideal weather conditions.
“It was pretty windy. There was 20-25 mile an hour winds,” he said. “I had to put a little bit of extra power into my shots. It was pretty tough.”
It’s no surprise Duwe performed well under the microscope of pressure. In the spring, Duwe was the No. 1 golfer at NKHS. He took 18th overall at the 4A State Tournament. He will be a senior in the 2007-08 school year.