By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- The difference between the elite in the Professional Golf Association tour and the weekend duffers is the ability to mentally play out a round despite one bad shot ending any hope of victory.
For Danville senior Austin Renz, one bad shot kept him from getting a medal at the state championship tournament. But the four-year starter for coach Ron Kanaskie once again carded rounds in the 60s and improved from 18th to an 11th-place tie at states and he also helped lead the Ironmen to an undefeated season and back-to-back District 4 Class AA championships.
For those accomplishments, Renz was named the The Daily Item's Golfer of the Year.
Renz is also a starter on the basketball team. His sister Amber is a standout sophomore basketball player as well.
Renz noted the first time he picked up a club was when he was 8 or 9, but that he didn't start playing competitive golf until he was 12.
"Golf used to be fun for me," he said. "I would go out and play and hit the ball and enjoy myself."
Renz, the son of Wayne and Kim Renz of Danville, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play golf at St. Francis College of Pennsylvania.
"He enjoys the practices and spends tons of hours practicing rather than playing," Kanaskie said. "He always prepares himself well and he's willing to go the extra mile and that's what separates him from a lot of high school golfers."
Renz carded a 66 last year, his lowest round in his four years on the varsity level and he shot a 68 this year at the Bucknell University Golf Club.
He had the lowest stroke average in the Heartland Athletic Conference and was the District 4 Class AA boys champion the last two years.