Trojans golfer Austen Ancell, who was the Division I-A individual champion last year, took second place in a Down Under Sports Golf tournament in Australia in July.
Down Under Sports is a company that arranges for American athletes to go down to Australia to compete in sports at the high school level each year.
The company invites athletes from all over the country to participate in the following sports: football, wrestling, volleyball, golf, cross-country and track and field to compete in competitions in New Zealand and Australia.
The tournament had about 40 U.S. players and 40 Australian players.
All last year Ancell had held fundraisers for the trip and his efforts paid off.
“The course was right up there with some of the top golf courses in Las Vegas,” Ancell said. “I had a slow start the first day and then shot a 77 on the second day.”
While in Australia, Ancell spent a total of nine days in the country on the Gold Coast in Brisbane.
“The people were a lot nicer than what you would meet in Las Vegas,” he said.
Ancell also enjoyed the hotel and was able to take in the sights at the beaches. He said he did some parasailing and sightseeing during the days he was not golfing and the group had some free nights to shop for souvenirs.
He said the Australian golfers were a lot better than the U.S. golfers.
“The Australians played a lot better than us,” Ancell said. “The U.S. team lost by more than 100 strokes. I think that has a lot to do with how the U.S. team is chosen. We take the best in the state, and with some states that could be a golfer that shoots a 110.”
The young golfer also enjoyed playing a round of golf on the award-winning championship golf course, Ko’ olau in Hawaii, where he had the pleasure of staying on Waikiki Beach.
For Ancell the summer has been a busy one. In addition to Australia, he has played in over ten summer tournaments. Most of these tournaments were in Las Vegas. He took the Las Vegas Junior Open, which was held at TPC Summerlin and Southern Highlands. He said he also finished in the top five in three tournaments.
Along with the tournaments in Las Vegas, Ancell also competed in Pahrump Valley’s junior golf program, which just was icing on the cake for him.
“I think if the golf season was to start tomorrow, I could be ready to go,” Ancell said. ” I am now hitting consistently in the low 70s, My game has improved more than last season and I know I will play better than last season.”
Trojans coach Bob Hopkins said he was proud of his golfer.
“If we would have all our kids work has hard as Ancell we would be there,” the coach said. “The problem is Faith has more than five Ancells. I want my guys to know that if you work hard their dreams can come true.”
Since golf does not start in the fall for Ancell, he will have to stay sharp by working on his swing.
“There aren’t too many tournaments for high school kids from now until spring because of school,” the young golfer said. “This just means I will be working on my swing and keeping my grades up.”