Winning the Georgia Junior Championship means a lot more to Brock Hoover than just hoisting a trophy.
“It felt amazing to win the tournament,” said Hoover, a Woodstock resident and King's Academy golfer. “Finally, all the hard work had paid off, and I was just really excited.”
The tournament win meant a great deal to Hoover for many reasons, including the hours he put in, as well as the many times that he missed out on sleepovers or hanging out with friends.
Hoover also went through a winless stretch since his last tournament win three years ago. He won a handful of tournaments when he was younger, but he struggled to get back to the top of his game since.
“When I turned 14, I started to grow a lot, and it made me uncoordinated,” Hoover said. “It made it hard to play at the level I wanted to because of how my body was changing.”
Through hard work and determination to not let his changing body continue to slow him down, Hoover was able to become the golfer he said he knew he could be.
“I feel that the hard times when I was younger morphed my character into someone who never gives up and always fights to the end,” Hoover said. “Even though things may be tough, it’s important to keep working because it will get better.”
The determination paid off as Hoover led throughout the tournament and held off Thomasville's Jack Boltja to win by two strokes with an 11-under par 205 for the three-day tournament.
However, despite holding at least a share of the lead in every round, Hoover's emotions were jumbled. He felt feelings of uneasiness and nervousness, but also excitement that he was doing so well.
“It was pretty nerve-racking, honestly, leading most of the way through three rounds, except for being tied for a small portion for a little bit,” Hoover said. “There was a lot of nerves and pressure to keep the lead, but, more than anything, I think I was more excited.”
Several of Hoover's friends took part in the tournament, which helped Hoover relax and take some of the pressure off.
Woodstock’s Billy Goddard and Cherokee's Steve Kibare and Harrison Smith also competed in the tournament.
“It was fun to play and celebrate with my friends in the tournament and eat with them after the rounds, because I haven’t had them around for a while,” said Hoover, who planned to compete again at weekend tournament in Athens. “It kind of made the tournament more laid-back, like I was at home."