There’s another Anand on the Redmond High golf scene.
On the girls’ side, there’s junior Adithi, who won the Washington Junior Golf Association state title over the summer in the girls 14-18 age division and has sparkled on the prep state, district and KingCo stages for the Mustangs.
Now for the boys, there’s freshman Akshay, who’s been swinging big with his 6-foot-3 frame and is already making an impact in 4A KingCo matches.
RHS coach Steve Wiebe said that Akshay has been golfing since he was 3 years old and “I expect him to probably make a good run at the state title one of these years as an individual. He’s really good.”
Anand has medaled in seven 4A KingCo matches for the Mustangs, who were 5-4 at press time. Wiebe said his top guy has shot 2- and 3-under a couple times during the nine-hole contests and is drawing interest from colleges.
“It will be fun to see how he develops,” Wiebe added.
Before Redmond’s matchup with Mount Si last week at the Bear Creek Country Club, Anand discussed his strengths on the course. There’s accuracy off the tee, vast improvement with his putting game and chipping toward the greens.
As for his massive shots off the tee, Anand figures he unleashes the ball in the 280- to 295-yard range. Senior Alex Marshall shook his head, smiled and whispered that it’s more like 300 yards. Anand laughed and said it was OK to go with that number.
Anand said he’s shaped his game around his sister’s mental resilience.
“She’s always had really tough skin. She’s never been fazed by anything, she’s always just live and forget and she’s always coming back. She’s always in the moment,” Anand said with pride.
On the team front, Anand said the Mustangs possess strong leadership from Marshall and junior Ryan Ho, who took fifth at state last year and was part of the squad’s 2A/3A KingCo medalist tourney title.
“I think our team chemistry is really good and we’re looking pretty good going into districts,” Anand said. “It’s a really great environment for me to play at, so I just go ahead and bring my best talent forward. If I have a rough day, that’s unfortunate but we all back each other up and there’s no burden on another golfer, so it’s really awesome.”
The 4A KingCo medalist tournament will take place Oct. 15 and the state qualifier on Oct. 16, both at Snohomish Golf Course.
Wiebe — whose team won the 3A state title two seasons ago — likes what he’s got on the team and noted that Ho is a calm, good-natured player who loves the game.
“It’s been pretty fun so far, getting to know some more new people, making new friends,” Ho said of his RHS experience. Ho said he’s improved his pitching, putting and driving techniques and is working on his mental game.
A sense of humor and good planning is key on the golf course, too.
“During my freshman year when I barely missed the (state) cut at Riverbend, I learned to pack new balls. One of them cracked and I didn’t notice for like three holes, that didn’t go so well,” said Ho, who tied for second at the KingCo medalist tourney as a freshman.
Marshall, who missed state by one stroke last year, said he enjoys leading the freshman players like Anand and Arnav Mittal, who shot a team-leading even par in a loss to Mount Si, 182-188.
“Just talk to them and let them know how high school golf is, ‘cause it’s more of like a team aspect. You never give up on your game, even if you’re having a bad round,” said Marshall.
“We’re relying on him in our matches,” Wiebe said of Marshall. “We’re not as deep as last year, so he’s one of the guys we rely on to come in around par to have a chance to win.”