The king of swing
Falkville's Kyle Pressley nabs state golf championship
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
FALKVILLE – When the name Presley is heard, one naturally thinks of the king of rock-and-roll. Falkville has its own Pressley, Kyle, and you can just call him the king of swing.
Pressley, spelled with two S's, won the Class 1A-2A state high school golf championship this past week in Huntsville.
Pressley, a sophomore at Falkville High School, won the title with a two-round total of four-under 140. He beat the defending champion, Houston Academy's Glenn Northcutt, by one stroke.
Pressley says he won thanks to playing with Andrew Villarreal of Catholic High School just a week earlier at the sectional meet.
"I learned from Andrew that you don't just pull the driver out on each hole," Pressley said. "It's a safer shot to use a fairway wood instead of the driver. The driver can cost you strokes. It's so easy to hit it out-of-bounds with the driver."
Pressley shot a four-under 68 on the opening day to grab a six-shot lead. The lead was too big, according to his coach Gerald Holmes.
"I didn't want him to get nervous thinking about the big lead," Holmes said. "I just told him not to think about the scoreboard. I told him, just play par golf and you'll win it. I kept telling him during the round, par, par, par, that's all you have to do."
Pressley shot an even-par 72 on the second day of the tournament. He won the title thanks to two par saves on the final three holes of play.
He made a 12-foot put to save par on the 16th hole after hitting his first two shots into the water hazard. On the 17th, he made a six-foot putt after hitting two shots into the sand traps. On the 18th, Pressley chipped within 10-feet and two-putted for the win.
"I was surprised when they said I won," Pressley said. "Northcutt was playing three groups ahead of me. So I wasn't sure what his score was."
Pressley recorded nine birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey and 23 pars to total four-under par for the two-day event.
Winning is not new for Pressley, in the 14 matches Falkville played this season, he took medalist honors nine times.
Pressley began playing the game at the age of 12. "I went to the Quail Creek junior golf camp," Pressley said. "That's when I picked up the game, it was four years ago. Now I play as much as I can to get used to the competition."
Pressley has a busy summer planed. He will participate in seven tournaments from May 29 through June 14.
One of those tournaments will be the Alabama State Amateur Championship. Pressley qualified for the event with his state high school title.
Pressley became the second Falkville High golfer to capture the state title.
In 1999, former Blue Devil golfer Jonathan Henderson won the title. Henderson now plays golf at the University of North Alabama.
Pressley hopes to follow in Henderson's steps and play at the collegiate level.
"I want to help my parents out," Pressley said. "I don't want them to have to pay for my college education. I hope to pay for it by playing golf. I dream of attending The University of Alabama, but I'll go to another school if I they offer me a scholarship."
Pressley, who is in his third year of high school golf, won the state title on his first try.
He failed to qualify in 2003. That disappointment led him to set some goals for his career.
"I'm actually ahead of schedule on my goals," Pressley said. "After I failed to qualify last year, I made it my goal to make the state tournament in 2004 and maybe win it in 2005. It was a surprise to win it this year. Now I want to win it two more times."