Atkinson to compete for state title

Published 12:17 am Saturday, May 7, 2011

When he sunk his first birdie at age 12, Josh Atkinson knew that golf was his sport of choice.

The AHS junior will play in the Class 4A state golf tournament Monday and Tuesday in Mobile at one of the Robert Trent Jones golf courses, a feat he’s been playing for since his first year on the golf team in seventh grade.

At the sub state tournament, Atkinson did well enough in a seven-man field to win a state tourney spot.

He said playing “smart” was the main key during the sub state tournament.

Andalusia’s Josh Atkinson will travel to Mobile next week in pursuit of the state golf title.

“I stuck with my game plan, and by that, I didn’t hit my driver on a whole lot of holes,” Atkinson said. “I hit it (driver) five times. I just played conservatively and aggressive at the same time.”

Growing up, Atkinson said his father got him interested in the game. It was with his father that he made his first birdie on the ninth green of a par 3 hole at Andalusia Country Club.

“That sparked off my golfing career,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said his approach to next week is to make sure his first day on the course is a good one.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how I compare to the other great golfers in the state,” he said. “I’m proud to represent Andalusia High School by making it to state.

“My main goal, is as Max Mathews says, ‘you can lose the tournament on the first day, but you can’t win it,'” he said. “In other words, don’t do anything stupid the first day, and play your best. The day you win the tournament is on the back nine on the second day.

“My main goal is to not give it away on the first day,” he said.

Deep down, Atkinson said he believes he can do it — win the ultimate prize.

“I’d be more than honored to win,” he said. “That would be such a great achievement. It’d be outstanding to win. I’m going to do everything I can do to try to do that.”

Atkinson is the son of Toby and Janet Atkinson of Andalusia, and has a sister, Sarah.