BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Maverick Pavletich is one unique golfer. First his name--Maverick--which seems to align perfectly with the style of play of his favorite golfer Phil Mickelson.
Then there's his practice routine. "Every shot is a must make shot, even the practice shot," said third year coach at Garces Armando Robles. The term "practice how you play" might as well be embroidered on Pavletich's Garces golf bag. "If you're not practicing with a purpose then you're not doing much," he said.
You've heard "drive for show, putt for dough" Maverick thinks the game is won or lost with his wedge. During a three hour practice session, Pavletich says he'll spend half of that working on his chipping.
One of the shorter hitters off the tee, he's found if he can get up and down he can compete with anyone. "Yeah I think this (chipping) is the most important part of the game right here," he said.
All that quality practice helped create a signature win. "His goal was to peak at the right time and he did, said Robles. After being home schooled his freshman year, Pavletich enrolled at Garces to get some high school competition. Tuesday he beat the best in Kern County at the South Area championship.
Maverick won by two shots firing a one under par 71, as just a sophomore. "A lot of people said good job and congrats and that felt nice but I know you gotta stay humble because it's golf. It can beat you up out there," he said. An attitude that puts the win in perspective for his bigger goals. "I want to turn pro, that's honestly my goal. I've worked for a long time," he said.
Big dreams for a golfer still growing into his game but thanks to his intense work ethic, Maverick Pavletich is making everyone remember the name. "Make no mistake about it he's on a mission," said Robles.
Pavletich will play in the Division I section championship Monday at River Island Country Club in Porterville.