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Norcross' Healy keeps focus on improving game

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Norcross' Zach Healy is the Daily Post boys golfer of the year. Healy shot 67 at the state tournament to win the individual title and lead Norcross to the team championship.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Norcross' Zach Healy is the Daily Post boys golfer of the year. Healy shot 67 at the state tournament to win the individual title and lead Norcross to the team championship.

Zach Healy was not immune to all the winning.

The night before Healy and his Norcross teammates on the golf team teed off in the Class AAAAAA state championship, their coach gave them one message.

"He said, 'We want our rings,'" Healy remembered, noting state championships in football and boys and girls basketball. "The other teams got them and we felt like we had a shot at it. Luckily, that's what happened.

"Especially with the year Norcross had, we wanted to make our mark."

Healy led the way.

The junior shot a tournament best 67, taking low medalist honors and giving his Blue Devils a state championship and a bit of revenge against Peachtree Ridge. The state runner-up Lions topped Norcross in the Region 7-AAAAAA tournament two weeks prior. The 67 ties a low for Healy's competitive rounds and it was the first team state championship for Norcross in boys golf.

"It was awesome," the Daily Post's boys golfer of the year said. "I went down there trying to (win). Obviously, I wanted the team to win. Whenever you go into a tournament, no one that goes there wants to finish second. I wanted to win and I just put my mind to it and did it."

Like any golfer, Healy remembers every moment of his round. He remembers his double-bogey but also his seven birdies.

"It was a great round," he said.

And a great season for Healy, who also took 7-AAAAAA medalist honors, besting Peachtree Ridge's Zach Pritchard, a future BYU golfer.

Healy's a college commit as well, planning on playing at Georgia after his upcoming senior season.

Georgia has sent plenty of golfers to professional success and playing in that environment was a draw for Healy. He hopes to play for his career, but he's not looking that far ahead yet.

"You always set your goals big. That's absolutely what I want to do," Healy said of turning pro.

"It doesn't get much better than that. But we'll see how it goes. Right now I plan on just getting to Georgia. I definitely have to improve and see improvement."

When he started playing golf seriously about age 12 that was his first goal. Well, his second. His first concern was playing well enough to keep pace with his fellow golfers at Berkeley Hills Country Club.

"When I started out (at Berkeley Hills), we had a lot of good players," Healy said. "There was really no one to play with but them. I had to improve fast, or pull out the wallet."

He didn't always win, but he improved. Fast.

"At that time (when I first started playing seriously), no way (could I compete). I was not good enough," he said.

"I truly felt if I worked and worked really hard at it, I could absolutely attain it. I worked really hard and it's paid off."

He also learned he preferred golf over the other sports he grew up playing. He burned out on baseball and kept swimming until time on the course kept his attention.

Healy thrives on the individual parts of the game. He likes the control of his game, his round.

"Still, to this day, it's the sport that makes you the most angry," Healy said. "Your fate or the shots don't fall into somebody else's hands."