Souderton’s Guzman, North Penn’s Robinson finish fall on high notes

After a long high school postseason run, Souderton golfer Quinn Guzman figured it was best to take a weekend off and recover.

The decision paid off. Time off the links couldn’t slow Guzman down and he continued his recent run of strong play with a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour victory at Mainland Golf Club in Towamencin on November 8.

Guzman shook off a rough putting day, blustery wind and a tough course to post a 73 (+3) and finish atop the leaderboard.

“I really felt like my game was in a good place and I had a lot of confidence going into (Mainlamd),” Guzman said. “I had decided I wanted to focus on working the ball more, being more aggressive and trying to see some more shot shapes on the course.”

Guzman wasn’t sure if his score was going to be enough to hold up but he pointed to his 16 pars and scramble play for keeping his score down. The Souderton senior had played Mainland before, but it had been a while. He took a practice round with some friends, something he called a necessity because the course played very differently than he had remembered.

One of the strengths in his game is draw control but Guzman also wanted to master the fade, so he spent his time off putting in the work on that shot. At the same time, the tournament was also a mental test with the conditions, and Guzman said he had to fight the temptation to be ultra-aggressive and ease back so he could control the ball.

“I like to keep the ball low when it’s cold,” Guzman said. “When it’s windy, it’s all about flight of the golf ball. You see PGA tour pros, if it’s rainy, they can go out and shoot six-under for that day and in perfect conditions they’ll shoot six-under again. But if it’s windy, they may shoot one or two over because the wind is so much harder to play in.”

Guzman said his putting kept him from really getting into a rhythm. There wasn’t much he could do mentally either because he struck a few putts perfectly and they just wouldn’t fall in.

He said he felt like he wasn’t pushing or pulling his putts and hit them on his lines. It was sometimes a matter of an obstacle, like a fallen leaf or the like, or just misreading the green. Other times, it was just golf, a game where it’s hard to be perfect every time.

“If you have a good putt and it just doesn’t go in, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Guzman said. “You have to accept the fact you did what you wanted to. You just have to go hit another good shot off the next tee.

“If there’s a tough hole and you par or birdie it, you just feel like you got a shot on the field. You do feel and understand the whole field has to play those conditions.”

Guzman’s run to states also paid off with a selection to first team All-Suburban One League Continental Conference, his second straight year with that honor. He’s aiming to play in college but hasn’t decided on where yet. Guzman said he’s lined up to play in a tournament out in Las Vegas next month but otherwise is moving into the “offseason” part of the calendar.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be playing, but he’ll be continuing to adjust to his new swing coach and refine what they started working on midway through the high school season. Plus, the points from his win at Mainland carry over to next year, so he has a good jump on 2016, plus some confidence to ride in on.

“It feels good to end the season on a win,” Guzman said. “That’s going to help me next year with the rankings. Once I get those tournaments in, I feel I’ll move up and have a good start for next year.”

Finishing just a few spots below Guzman was North Penn junior Ron Robinson of Hatfield. Robinson has been a bit more active on the tournament circuit since the completion of his high school season.

Wind and the dropping temperatures haven’t been a huge roadblock to the Knight junior, but he said his putting consistency cost him a few extra strokes at Mainland and this past Sunday at Ramblewood. Putts not going down are a frustration for any golfer, but more so for Robinson as they seemed to strike up just as he was starting to get into a groove.

That wasn’t enough to keep him off the leaderboard however, shooting a 76 (+6) at Mainland to tie for fourth and a 78 (+2) at Ramblewood this weekend.

“Off the tee (Sunday), I hit the ball really well and in the wind, that was key,” Robinson said. “If you didn’t hit it well, you weren’t going to play that well. The course was pretty tight, but that set up pretty well for me.”

Robinson said he was able to hit the ball in close to the pin, but he just wasn’t capitalizing. His control was good all day Sunday and he closed out strong, even collecting a birdie on his penultimate hole. He knew his strokes were good, they just weren’t falling so his biggest task was to remain consistent.

Like Guzman, Robinson said he had to play around the wind, keep the ball low and realize it’s not going to carry as far.

“I have to remind myself to hit one more to get there,” Robinson said. “I have to hit a lot more knock-down shots and keep the ball under the wind.”

Robinson is also wrapping up his tournament play for a bit while the winter rolls through, but with a goal of making states as a senior, he’s not taking the time off. Aside from squeezing in some rounds and continuing to work on his hitting, the junior said he has some workouts aimed at increasing his flexibility and strength so he can get more out of his shots.

“I’m definitely really happy ending the season with a second,” Robinson said. “I know I could have done a lot better, but it’s definitely a good way to finish.”

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