High School Golf

Spartans freshman Nair ‘different’ on course

By Dennis Silva II, Sports Editor
Posted 4/20/21

On the third hole of the first day of the District 19-6A boys golf tournament late last month, Seven Lakes freshman Shaun Nair had to step away and gather himself. His legs were shaking.

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High School Golf

Spartans freshman Nair ‘different’ on course

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On the third hole of the first day of the District 19-6A boys golf tournament late last month, Seven Lakes freshman Shaun Nair had to step away and gather himself. His legs were shaking.

“’Coach, I’m so nervous,’” Spartans coach Sean Ewing recalled being told.

Nair had a bad case of the jitters. Despite playing in big junior level tournaments most of his golf life, showing clear signs since he first picked up a club four years ago that he was a natural talent, Nair was initially overwhelmed in the first true big tournament of his high school career.

It didn’t last.

“These tournaments are different,” Ewing said. “He settled down, hit five birdies on the back nine to get him back to even, and it worked out. And the second day comes, and he was just focused from the beginning.”

Nair trailed Taylor senior and reigning district champion Kevin Kim by one stroke after the first day. He ended up winning by six strokes, posting a two-day total of 142 (72-70). Nair was spectacular on holes 16-18, putting the ball exactly where he wanted and making the putts he needed to.

He managed the game in veteran-like fashion down the stretch to not only secure his individual championship, but also help the Spartans to the team title as well.

“He put the ball where he needed to, hit a green, two-putt, par the way in and moved on,” Ewing said.

Nair said he wasn’t trying to think too much. Just stay calm. One shot at a time.

“I just wanted to win,” he said. “Just be aggressive. I was putting well. The big thing is I just wasn’t nervous. The first day, I was very nervous the first four holes. I just got used to the pressure after that first day. I wanted to win, and it’s very exciting to do it my freshman year.”

Nair fell in love with the game of golf ever since his dad took him to Meadowbrook Farms. He credits his dad for why he plays.

Nair enjoys the mental aspect of the game. He is a bright young man who embraces challenges, which explains why he thrives amid the torturous mind games golf has to offer.

“One shot can screw you over,” Nair said, smiling. “One mistake can end your whole round.”

Nair is gifted at putting and keeping the ball in play. He has made strides in being able to think and work his way through the game. He averages 290-300 yards on drives, but it’s putting where he really stands out.

“Just put it in the hole,” Nair said. “When I’m standing over the ball, the only thing I’m thinking is, ‘This is going into the hole.’”

He is confident because he puts in the work. Ewing calls Nair a “silent leader.” Nair stays on the golf course working on his game long after practices. Teammates see that and follow suit.

“He’s special,” Ewing said. “His golf IQ is off the charts. He understands how to make the shot he needs to make. You can’t coach that. He practices the shots he needs to hit. He doesn’t go out there and just pound balls. He practices with a purpose. That’s what makes him different.”

Heading into the Region III-6A tournament April 21-22 in Spring, Nair is looking forward to yet another test of his wits. Ewing has faith that Nair can help the Spartans to a top-three team finish, or even take No. 1 again individually.

“We have a lot of confidence going in,” Nair said. “We’re just trying to get to state. That’s always the goal.”

Seven Lakes High School, Seven Lakes Spartans, Shaun Nair, high school golf, Katy ISD, athletics, Katy, Texas, sports

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