Keegan Boone played his sixth round of golf in eight days Thursday. But while in the past the Gonzaga All-Met senior may have been fatigued from playing so much, Boone walked up the hill to the 18th green with plenty of energy.
In the past year, Boone has grown three more inches. At the same time, his weight has dropped. Getting in better shape has helped on the course and on Thursday, Boone maintained his strong play, shooting a 2-under-par 69 to pull away for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference individual title and lead Gonzaga to its third consecutive team championship.
“I’m definitely not as tired as I would have been,” said Boone, who has signed to play at Loyola next year. “It definitely helps on a hot, summer day, keeping my endurance up. When I used to walk 18, I’d get exhausted. Now, I can walk 36 and be okay.”
Wind, not heat, was the biggest challenge Thursday at Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, where par is 71. But while the rest of the field struggled to stay in the 70s, Boone posted three birdies on the front nine and had just one bogey on the round.
He had entered the tournament’s second round one stroke behind DeMatha sophomore Errol Clarke, but the 3-under 33 on the front nine put Boone in control. Boone’s two-round total of 139 finished seven shots ahead of Clarke’s 146. Addison Coll of Gonzaga and Chris Abbott of Paul VI Catholic tied for third at 152.
Gonzaga finished with a team score of 604, 22 strokes ahead of second-place DeMatha.
For Boone, the key to getting in better shape was plenty of walking golf courses and an introduction to the weight room at Bethesda Country Club. He remembered being a pudgy, 5-foot-5, 155-pound freshman who wanted to lose weight. He worked on cardio and strengthening his core. Now, Boone is 5-11 and 160 pounds.
“That definitely was the goal,” Boone said. “I put a little more time in the weight room than in the past, though not as much as it should be. But I started, at least. . . . A lot of people after getting stronger and in better shape, their golf game comes around.”