Nichols ready for state challenge

Farwell senior Tate Nichols works on his putting at Farwell Country Club in preparation for the Texas Class 1A state golf tournament in Austin. (CNJ correspondent: Jim Hogg)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ staff writer

Tate Nichols didn’t mind the lengthy wait between winning the Region I-1A golf tournament on April 26 and the two-day Class 1A state tournament beginning today in Austin, Texas.

Still, the Farwell senior is chomping at the bit to get started.

“I’m ready to get to Austin and play,” Nichols said before leaving with coach Tim Kasel on Saturday. “I’m hitting it pretty well right now and putting a little better. I feel I can shoot a good score.”

The tournament is scheduled for Morris Williams Golf Course. Nichols played the course as a freshman when the Steers qualified for state as a team.

“It’s a pretty difficult golf course,” he said. “I think even-par (144) would be a pretty good score for two days.”

Still, he and Kasel have set the bar high.

“I think if he plays the way he’s been playing, he’s got a good chance of winning it,” Kasel said. “The thing about Tate is he’s involved in different sports, but golf’s really his thing.

“He competes in tournaments in the summer and fall, so he’s been in these kinds of situations before.”

Nichols took regional medalist honors by nine strokes at Reese Golf Course in Lubbock. He shot a 36-hole score of 140, including a 4-under 67 on the second day.

“I like to have a couple of weeks to prepare (for state),” he said. “It gives me time to kind of relax and rest, and I can work on the things I didn’t do too well at the regional.”

Nichols hopes to play golf in college. Right now, Nichols plans to follow a couple of older brothers to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in the fall, and may try to walk on with the Horned Frogs’ golf squad — unless something better comes along.

A good showing this week might get him a few more looks.

“If he were to go out and play well, there would probably be more interest in him (from college coaches),” Kasel said.