Coty Hearn’s season on the golf course at Patrick Henry Community College exceeded all of his own expectations. The Bassett graduate earned Region X Golfer of the Year and qualified for the 2019 NJCAA DII Men’s Golf National Championship at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana.
Hearn competed in the National Championship May 21-24 and finished in a tie for 59th out of nearly 140 golfers from across the country, cherry on top to cap his PHCC golf career.
“I was happy. I wasn’t mad or disappointed about my performance,” Hearn said by phone Wednesday. “The first day and second day… I putted well, I hit it well, and then on the third and fourth day my putter kind of failed me.”
Not only was it the biggest golf tournament Hearn has ever played in, but it was on a course he’s never played before, in a state he’s never been to and with a mess of a schedule due to rain. Hearn said that tee times got changed every day because there were rain delays each day of the tournament. One day he’d wake up early and have to kill a few hours before taking the course, but others he’d wake up with less than hour before he began his round.
“It was another world out there,” he said. “Every day it was kind of different… I’m a pretty laid back person myself, so I took it for what it was. It didn’t stress me out or anything.”
Being so far away from home, it was good for Hearn to have a support system there with him. His dad, as well as PHCC Athletic Director Brian Henderson made the trip, as did PHCC teammate Jacob Sowers, who walked all 72 holes with Hearn through the weekend. Hearn said Sowers wanted to help in any way he could, so Hearn just asked him to keep things light and like they always are.
“That’s what we do, out there making each other laugh, so that helped me a lot,” Hearn said.
Competing in this tournament is the final tournament Hearn will play while at PHCC, but it also served as a good primer for Hearn going into the summer, where he intends to attempt to qualify for the 2019 Delta Dental State Open and the VSGA Amateur Championship.
“I think it definitely prepared me for that mindset,” he said. “I won’t be as nervous.”
For a player that just wanted to enjoy a couple of more years of golf when he chose to go to PHCC, the ride proved to more than just a few extra casual rounds on the links, but a fun ride that ended with an experience of a lifetime.
“I was happy,” he said. “We had a good time… It was definitely fun. It was a great experience.”