Viera’s Karman keeps his cool, shoots 83 on first day at state golf tournament


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Viera High sophomore Sam Karman hits out of a bunker on the 14th hole during Tuesday's opening round of the Class 3A state golf tournament at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills. Karman shot an 83 on the day.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS – Sam Karman’s first day at the Class 3A state tournament certainly had its highs and lows.

But perhaps the biggest impression the Viera High sophomore made was in how he handled the situation on his way to shooting an 83.

“He just wasn’t sharp, but he kept his cool the whole 18 holes,” Viera coach Gene Trent said.

Karman, who made the state tournament as an individual, was 1-under after three holes at the Mission Inn & Resort. That included a birdie on his very first hole of the day.

However, Karman ran into trouble on holes 5-7, going 5-over par before getting himself back in rhythm the rest of the way.

“It really could have gotten bad, but it doesn’t with him,” Trent said. “He kept his cool. It was par or bogey, really, the rest of the way. He didn’t have his A game, but that’s what happens to golfers.”

Given the way some players handled the frustrations of the day – several players appeared to be trying to finish the day quickly, not even bothering to line their shots or putts up before hitting the ball – the sophomore’s ability to stay calm was impressive.

Karman, meanwhile, was looking forward to getting another crack at the golf course in Wednesday’s final round.

“There were a lot of things I could have done better, looking back at it,” he said. “I had a couple of poor choices. But hopefully (Wednesday) I’ll be able to fix it.

“I know what I did wrong and what I have to work on.”

As much as he wants to play well at this year’s state tournament, Karman is also using it as a valuable learning experience for what he hopes will be two more opportunities to tee off with the state’s best.

And, of course, he’ll always be able to say he got a birdie on his first hole at the state tournament.

“I actually hit a bad drive,” Karman said. “I hit a great second shot that went around the trees. I hit a good third shot and I made the putt.”