Photo Courtesy of The Nguyen Family

Adrienne Vaughn
Staff Reporter
October 24, 2017

Branden Nguyen had one goal in mind going into his sophomore year: to be better than his big sister, Atholton alumna and two time golf state champion, Bryana Nguyen.

Branden is very similar to Hannah Montana. If you ask a random Raider whether or not they know of Branden’s amazing talent, many will likely say no. At school he modestly flies under the radar, but on the golf course he’s a superstar who placed eighth in the county as a sophomore.

During this year’s regular season, Nguyen finished with the second highest average out of all golfers in Howard County, he averaged 23.4 points per regular season match and totalled 187 points in eight matches.

Scoring for golf favors lower point totals and follows this format: one point for a double bogey, two for a bogey, three for a par, four for a birdie, and five for an eagle. Nguyen averaged mostly pars throughout the season. In layman’s terms, a par means a player finished a hole in between three to five five shots,
depending on how difficult the hole is.

Branden, his teammates, and Coach Appleby, attribute his success to his strong work ethic and family.

“Branden is an extremely hard worker. He comes from a family that is very supportive of his interests. He works tirelessly at his game and really understands the relationship between what you put in and what you get out. His work ethic is second to none. I know his work ethic will keep getting better and better,” said Coach Appleby.

When Branden was seven, he began playing golf with his sister and dad. Now, his dad finds tournaments for Branden to participate in. During the summer, Branden prepared for the season by participating in multiple tournaments through the American Junior Golf Association, in hopes of having an amazing sophomore year.

With districts quickly approaching, Branden’s plan is to, “play my game and keep my head. I just have to stay focused and not get mad at myself and psych myself out if I make a bad shot.”
Although his county tournament standing showed otherwise, Nguyen
was disappointed with performance and thought it could have been much
stronger if he hadn’t been frustrated over a few of his shots. In order to advance from districts and onto states on October 23, Nguyen must receive a score of 81 points. Un-phased by what may seem a daunting number, Nguyen believes he will qualify with ease. Nguyen hopes to win districts and, if possible, states.

“To win states I have to get under par. Seventy-two is par,
and you have to shoot 71 both days. I have shot 72/73 before but never 71/71. There are so many players, so I play the first day, and then they make a cut. Then other people play the second day, and they make a cut. Then the people who made the cuts play the third day.”
Although Nguyen is only a sophomore, a lot of his teammates
look to him for advice. Junior Justin Silverstein mentioned how
approachable Branden is and how comfortable he feels asking Branden for help with parts of his game. According to Silverstein, Branden is always willing to help.

After high school, Nguyen hopes to continue his career at a
D1 college and said, “I have been talking to the UNC, Navy, and Maryland coaches. For golf, recruiters have to scout players in person because highlight videos could potentially be deceiving. However, they usually only come out to larger tournaments. Branden has high hopes for his upcoming seasons. “If I win districts I plan to send out an email asking them to come watch me golf.”

No matter what the future holds, it’s safe to say Nguyen’s winning record will continue his reign at the top of the tee.

Posted by Adrienne Vaughn