Later this month, Greencastle teenager Brad Haussin will be playing in the biggest golf tournament of his life when he travels to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. for the 2008 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.
Not bad for a kid who won't even take his first high school swing for GHS until next April.
"This is actually the first big tournament that I've ever really entered. I've played in some city tour events, but this is the first big one," Haussin said.
Although the earlier tournament was slated for 18 holes, rain shortened the event to nine holes. Haussin won by firing a 36, narrowly edging the 37 posted by Graham Bixler of Zionsville.
While he was prepared to play the full 18, Haussin did not complain, considering he had the lead after nine holes.
"We had a bunch of rain delays, so they just called it at nine holes. They just said they'd take a nine-hole score. I was fine with it, knowing that I was in the lead," he said. "It felt great. I don't know how to really explain it."
However, this next tournament will be more than just playing a county away. In Florida, Haussin will be playing a 54-hole tournament on the PGA National Champion Course. It is a course challenging enough to be a PGA Tour stop.
"It's where the tour players play the Honda Classic; I really don't know much about it, though," Haussin said. "I'm nervous and excited at the same time."
The events in Palm Beach begin June 25, with tournament registration, official practice rounds and a long drive competition. The tournament itself will be June 26-28. Haussin will be heading down a day early for some extra practice on the course, though.
"We're scheduled to go down a day early to play a practice round on the 24th," he said.
While Haussin may not have a lot of experience in tournaments, he has spent his share of time on the golf course, having played as long as he's been able.
"I've really been playing every since I could pick up a club and get on the course. I played on a course when I was about four," he said.
With this big tournament experience under his belt, Haussin should be an asset to the GHS team when he begins play next spring as a freshman.
"It'll be a great experience," he said. "I'm excited to go into the high school level and play some competition against other schools. I know almost all of them on the team."
Haussin even has a link to one Tiger Cub golfer who has already graduated. He said he actually owes this experience to Eric Davis, who will be heading to Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas this fall to golf for the Tigers.
"I want to thank Eric Davis and give him credit for taking me out there and getting me into this event. He's the one who got me started in playing bigger competition. He's the one who drilled me out there," Haussin concluded.