Q & A with Sean Kato

sean katoSean Kato
Redmond, WA.

1) When I was 11 months, I was watching my dad hit balls in our backyard. We had several acres of land, and a few flags spread out. One day he handed me his club, and I started hitting balls with it. From then on I have been playing this great game and been in love with golf ever since.

2) Throughout my time on the golf course, I have learned a few valuable lessons. One of them is never to let a previous bad shot affect the rest of my round. We are only human, and we make mistakes. I have learned to accept them and move on to the next shot. Another lesson I have learned is never to give up. You could be having a bad round, but if you stick to it and keep believing, you might be able to turn it around and shoot a good score.

3) Golf has taught me a lot about myself over the years. I have learned how hardworking I am and how much work I need to put in, to compete at the highest level. I have been through the highs and lows of the game, but I have learned that the ‘lows’ are there to keep you humble and enjoy the ‘highs’ when they come around.

4) Golf is enjoyable because it is just you and the golf course. No one else. No teammates. No coaches. To pull off a shot when you need it down the stretch of a golf tournament or if you’re just playing with some buddies for fun, the work you put into your game is the greatest feeling.

5) My plans after high school include playing golf at Oregon State University in the fall of 2018. I couldn’t be more excited to play golf at the college level. After that, I plan to peruse professional golf and one day play on the PGA tour.

6) For golfers just picking up the game, I encourage them to make it fun. You won’t be Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth in a week. Golf is about improving a little bit each day. Don’t set your expectations too high, just enjoy the game and improve little by little each day.

7) I have learned through playing Washington Junior golf tournaments. I started when I was eight years old, and it was some of the first tournaments I’ve ever played. Throughout my time playing, I realize that WJGA has taught me how to play golf within the rules because of the knowledgeable volunteer rules officials at every event. I am thankful for this tour and how much they give back to Washington junior golfers. You learn quickly there are so many great players in the area, and you have to be very good to compete with them.

8) My favorite golf course would have to be Bear Creek Country Club, my home course. It is a challenging golf course, very demanding off the tee and into the greens. The greens run very fast with a lot of breaks. The course is fun because I sometimes find myself I have never been before and have to pull off new shots all the time.

9) A huge highlight was this year at the 2017 WJGA State Championship. Winning the overall title was a dream come true for me. I trailed by five strokes after day one but then fired rounds of 65 and 68 to win by two strokes. It is awesome to have my name with Fred Couples and Ryan Moore on the same trophy. I also won an AJGA at Oakbrook Golf Club in July. I shot my lowest competitive round, a 64 in the opening round, highlighted by an eagle on the par four 7th hole. I followed it up with rounds of 70 and 68 to post -8 and win by two shots. It was another truly incredible week. I am fortunate to be in these positions and close them out. It is a challenging task to finish off a golf tournament after sharing the lead. My experience at the Ryan Moore AJGA helped me shut the door at the State Championship this past August. I knew exactly what I needed to do to get the job done.

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