Cortez ready to compete at state

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When La Feria senior golfer Andy Cortez steps out on the Plum Creek golf course in Kyle for the UIL state golf tournament, he will do so realizing it will be his high school swan song.

It will be bittersweet, but the La Feria golfer said he is ready and there is no place he would rather be.

“It’s my official last tournament as a high school player,” Cortez said. “Just trying to fathom that in my head right now is crazy. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to end it any other way than at state. But we’re not here just to play the tournament, we’re here to compete and stay in contention to be at the top. Mentally, I feel prepared. I’ve been working on every aspect of my game, short game through my long game. I feel mentally and physically prepared to be in contention.”

The tournament will begin this morning with a tee time of 9 a.m.

This will be Cortez’s second time at state, last making it as a sophomore in 2017.

Though the course is different this time around, La Feria golf coach David Briones expects Cortez to at least be familiar with the big stage, which is made all the more sweet with it being one of the final Rio Grande Valley sports still going.

“It’s a culmination of all the hard work, being one of the last teams standing in the Valley,” he said. “It’s been a reward for Andy and all the hard work he’s put in. This will be his second time around, so he knows a little bit more what to expect. I think it’ll be more relaxing for him since he knows he’d done it before. It’s a different course, but I feel he’s more ready for it this year than he was two years ago.”

There is expected rain in the forecast for the next two days, with high chances for morning showers on both days, including a 90 percent chance for Tuesday.

Briones said Cortez will be looking to give it all he’s got in Round 1 in case weather delays or even cancels the second round.

Even with the weather and a tough field, Cortez, who shot a two-day 149 at the regional tournament, isn’t too worried about anything else aside from just playing his game.

“I’m just there to play the course, I’m not there to compete against anyone,” Cortez said. “Whoever’s game it is on that day, it’s whoever’s game. As long as I’m playing well and playing against the course, controlling myself emotionally and going shot by shot, that’s all I can ask for. I’m not trying to get ahead of myself. I’m not there to worry about anyone else, I’m there just to worry about my game.”