Chris Senna took the “f” out of golf.
Many, meaning just about anyone who has stepped up to the first tee, believe golf to be one of the most frustrating sports ever invented.
Duplicating the right swing with the right club for the right distance time and time again ain’t easy.
For one round, however, Senna managed to elude any blow up holes, missed 6-foot putts and frustration.
The Horizon Honors senior had a special day on the course last week when he shot an unfathomable 8-under-par 28 in competition at the Foothills Golf Course.
“Everyone was kind of shocked and asked if I really shot a 28,” Senna said. “When I said yes, they congratulated me.”
Foothills will do the same as it is confirmed to be a course record. They’ve asked for a copy of the scorecard so they can recognize the feat and put it on their walls in the clubhouse.
“That is certainly the lowest 9-hole round I have ever heard of a high school student shooting in a match,” Horizon Honors athletic director and golf coach Nate Agostini said. “When Chris handed me the card, I honestly thought he was trying to play a joke on me. His parents told me that the look on my face was quite funny.”
Senna’s round was special, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. He has placed twice — fourth as a sophomore and ninth as a junior — in the top 10 of Division III state tournament.
His career lows prior to last week were 30 for nine holes and 66 for 18. He showed up on campus as a freshman about 5 feet tall and now is closer to 5-8. As he has grown so has his game, as Senna is accurate off the tee and is deft around the green.
With that said no one — no matter how good they are — expects to card six birdies, an eagle and two pars as he did on the 3,400-yard front nine at Foothills. He had birdie attempts on the two pars and even one of those lag putts burned the edge.
“When I was on the range (before the round) everything seemed normal,” he said. “I didn’t expect anything different than usual. Then I got on the course and everything was falling (on the green).”
He birdied the first two holes, got a par on No. 3, carded three more birdies before getting another par on the seventh hole.
The round changed when his second shot with a 5 iron on the 510-yard, par-5, eighth hole came to rest 3 feet from the cup.
“Once I made eagle I knew I had a shot for a 29 if I made par on the ninth,” he said. “Then my approach shot on 9 left with me with a makeable 10-footer.
“When I lined up the putt and stood over it I knew I was going to make it.”
That he did to finish with a round to remember with his dad, Jim, watching the round.
“He got me started,” Chris said. “It was cool to have him here.”
Senna, who is headed to Nebraska-Kearney on a golf scholarship, knows it is going to be hard to better an 8-under 28, but the feat will make him stronger mentally.
“I proved to myself when I’m playing my best I can beat anybody,” he said. “It’s golf, though, so I cannot let my expectations go way up. When I have a bad round, I will know that I can shoot a 28 the next time because I’ve done it. It’s a confidence thing that I know I can do it.”
He is hoping the confidence helps with the young team the Eagles have this year. The team finished second at the state tournament last year. Matching that will be tough, but Senna is enjoying being No. 1.
“I am trying to be a role model and set the stage,” he said. “We will get better as the year goes on and we get closer to state. I want to win (the individual title) and hopefully my teammates are there with me.”
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