Hozza moves on to state tourney
It’s one thing to play your best golf when there’s nothing on the line. It’s much harder to stay in form when the pressure is amped up a bit.
Northampton’s Andrew Hozza finds a way to play his best in either situation. With the end of his high school career looming, the Konkrete Kid senior shot a round of 3-over par 75 at Monday’s PIAA East Regional Championship at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood.
Hozza needed a solid round in order to keep his high school career alive one more week and he played better than solid in the regional. The pressure wasn’t an issue.
“I can stay calm after I have a good hole. I can stay calm after I have a bad hole,” he said. “After the birdie putt, I completely forgot I had that by the next hole. Same thing with the double. I parred the next hole.”
Hozza’s 75 was two strokes under the cut line for states. He will move on to next week’s Class 3A state championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
He got off to a good start in his regional round and kept it going the whole way, making just one double bogey and three-putting just once in the round.
“I made like a seven-foot putt (on the first hole) and that just set the tone for the day that everything within 10 feet was going in,” said Hozza. “It was a lot better than [the district championship at] Lehigh. I had six or seven three-putts there.
“I’m very happy. It was a very good round for me.”
Hozza made one birdie, two bogeys, the one double bogey and 15 pars during his round at regionals. It was his second trip to the event and playing there last year helped him achieve his goal of advancing this year.
“Coming in I knew what to expect,” he said. “I dressed for the weather, which was a big thing I didn’t do last year. I was very familiar with the course layout. I wasn’t surprised by anything.”
His past three postseasons have each exceeded the previous one. As a sophomore he made it to districts. As a junior he reached regionals. As a senior, he’ll go to states for the first and only time in his career.
“That was the goal the whole way,” he said. “I took it by steps. Sophomore year making districts, junior year making it [to regionals] and now senior year going to states. It’s all falling in order. It’s perfect. I couldn’t be more excited.”
When the season is over he plans to decide which college golf team he’ll be on next fall. Right now he’s leaning toward Moravian to play for head coach Kevin Edwards.
In the near future, Hozza plans to enjoy his final high school golf tournament.
“No expectations, just go out and play my game,” he said of his goals for states. “I don’t know what the course is like. I don’t know what the competition is going to be like. It’s going to be like [regionals] but even better players. I’m going to just watch and enjoy it and take in the moment. It’s going to be fun.”