Methacton’s Vance keeps with family tradition, named Mercury All-Area Player of the Year

With the holiday season in full swing, many families find themselves keeping up with traditions. Whether it’s decorating the Christmas tree, putting candles in the window or something as simple as exchanging presents, it’s a tradition that stays in the family for years.

Methacton sophomore Kyle Vance kept a family tradition alive this fall, earning the title of Mercury All-Area Golfer of the Year, following in the footsteps of his older brother Brandon, who earned it the previous two seasons.

According to Kyle Vance, his older brother has been a huge driving force since the two began playing golf.

“He is someone I have always looked up to,’ said Vance. “I’ve learned a lot from watching him in his leadership role (with the Methacton team), which I took over this season.’

While the two played alongside one another, the brothers did what brothers do best — competed against one another and kept getting better together.

“We pushed each other last year all the way to states,’ said Vance. “In every tournament, we always wanted to beat each other, sometimes more than we wanted to beat the rest of the field.’

The competition led to Kyle winning the District 1 championship and earning All-Area First Team honors.

This season, though his brother had graduated, the great results did not stop.

The sophomore played every match as Methacton’s No. 1, leading the Warriors (8-1) to their second-straight PAC-10 team championship title as they defeated Spring-Ford 184-189 at Gilbertsville.

“We lost six seniors from a very good team last season,’ said Methacton head coach Kevin Flanagan of the transition from Vance’s freshman to sophomore season. “Kyle immediately took ownership of that leadership role. He’s the type of player you can always count on to be at least the low-man or be the equalizer for the other team’s number one. He not only accepted that role, but thrived in it this season.’

Throughout the season, Vance averaged 35.6 strokes per nine holes, and never scored a round above 37 in PAC-10 play. He shot the team-low in eight of the team’s nine regular season matches. Vance shot five rounds under par including 2-under at the PAC-10 Individual Tournament at Gilbertsville and in the PAC-10 semifinals against Perkiomen Valley at Turtle Creek as well as 1-under versus Owen J. Roberts at Skippack, against Perkiomen Valley at Raven’s Claw and versus Phoenixville at Skippack.

Reaching states as a freshman only made Vance want to return to that stage even more.

“Last year, I made it to states and I really wanted to get back this year,’ he said. “I just kept practicing as much as I could to get back there. I always tried my best to shoot a low round every match.’

Much like his brother, who won it during the 2012 and 2013 season, Vance won the PAC-10 Individual Tournament at Gilbertsville with a 2-under par 69, six strokes better than the rest of the field.

“Winning PAC-10s was one of the coolest feelings,’ said Vance. “This was one tournament I had marked down on my calendar all year to work toward.’

Vance opened up the first day of the PIAA District 1-AAA tournament at Turtle Creek with a 75 and backed that up with a 73 the next day to tie for fifth place.

At the East Regionals at Golden Oaks, Vance shot a plus-eight 80, missing the cut by just two strokes.

The sophomore could never quite get it going throughout the round, hitting just six fairways and 10 greens in regulation while needing 39 putts on the day.

And with that, Vance’s sophomore season was over.

“Regionals was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had,’ he said. “My main goal all season was to make it all the way to the state tournament. I felt like I let a lot of people down, especially myself.’

According to Vance, the uncharacteristic round he played at regionals is something he is not quite ready to let go of just yet.

“It was one of my worst rounds all year,’ he said. “I don’t ever want that feeling again.’

Vance has been using that round as motivation this winter to continue to work hard and keep improving his game.

“I think Kyle is going to have his best year next year,’ said Flanagan. “He has committed himself to golf in the winter. I know missing the cut at regionals has been a driving force.’

Aside from simply practicing and working on his swing, Vance has begun competing in some events with the International Junior Golf Tour as well as the American Junior Golf Association.

The sophomore even went as far as to trade in his basketball sneakers this winter to spend more time focusing on his golf game. Aside from just working out, Vance has begun training with a swing coach, something he had never experienced before.

“I’m doing a golf fitness gym to build up my core and my stability so I can be more flexible with my swing,’ he said. “I also got a swing coach this year. I’ve never had a lesson before, so at this point, I’m just trying to cut five strokes for next year.’

As Flanagan sees it, the best is still yet to come from Vance.

“Kyle doesn’t want to be a good player,’ said Flanagan. “He wants to be the best player. There is a huge difference between wanting and believing and I think Kyle is starting to believe he can be that player.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply