Fuller hopes to have his best shot for last at Davidson Day
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014

Fuller hopes to have his best shot for last at Davidson Day

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/07/15/03/RMjYK.Em.138.jpeg|220
    Davidson Day golfer Kyle Fuller, left, joined by his dad, Micah, on a recruiting trip, will play golf at Air Force next season.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/07/15/03/ocmXb.Em.138.jpeg|209
    Davidson Day senior golfer Kyle Fuller is finished second in the SPAA conference championship and ninth at the state tournament last season.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/07/15/03/LOrPu.Em.138.jpeg|375
    Davidson Day senior golfer Kyle Fuller wants to peak at this season’s NCISAA 2A state tournament in May.
  • Five golfers to watch

    • Kyle Fuller, Davidson Day, Sr. – 6-foot-7, 195 pounds. Finished second at last season’s SPAA championships and tied for ninth at the state tournament.

    • Patrick Cover, Hough, Sr. – 5-foot-9, 160 pounds. UNC Wilmington signee back to lead talented Husky team after finishing seventh at both I-Meck conference championship 4A West Regional last season.

    • Blake Feist, Hough, Jr. – 5-foot-9, 165 pounds. Transfer from Lake Norman Charter, where he was reigning Southern Piedmont Conference Player of the Year and finished fourth at 1A state tournament.

    • Noah Edmondson, Cannon School, Jr. – 6-foot, 140 pounds. Defending NCISAA 3A state champion is an Arkansas commit.

    • Will Gordon, Cannon School, Jr. – 6-foot-3, 170 pounds. Vanderbilt commit shot a school-record 66 to win CISAA conference title last season. He also tied for ninth at states.

Kyle Fuller is a busy guy these days, on and off the golf course.

The Davidson Day all-state senior golfer and headmaster’s honor roll student is juggling his Patriot academic and athletic responsibilities and plays a busy junior golf slate across the Southeast on many weekends.

When he’s not at school or playing golf, Fuller, 18, is also a volunteer fire fighter at Cornelius Fire Station No. 2.

All of this is helping him get ready to attend the Air Force Academy. His career there starts June 16 with a 10-day workout session at the U.S. Olympic Training Center Colorado Springs.

“I’m super excited about going to Air Force, and honestly I’m ready to go and get basic training over with and get started (at Air Force),” said Fuller, who received two Congressional nominations to attend Air Force from Senator Kay Hagan and Rep. Robert Pittenger, for a scholarship worth nearly $445,000. “But first, I’m trying to enjoy the rest of my time at Davidson Day and with my friends and family. I really want to enjoy this last run as a high school golfer.”

Fuller has been a part of the Patriot golf team since it began his freshman year. He won the Southern Piedmont Athletic Association conference title that season and finished third at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A state tournament (76-71 – 147).

His sophomore year, he repeated as SPAA conference champion and finished 12th at the state meet, which he said was disappointing.

Last year, Fuller was runner-up to Gaston Day junior Archer Price at the SPAA conference championships before earning all-state honors again, tying for ninth at states (75-76 – 151).

Fuller’s primary goal in his senior year is to peak at this year’s NCISAA 2A state meet May 12-13 at Tallamore Golf Club in Pinehurst.

“I was so close to winning it all my freshman year, that I thought for sure I would win a state championship,” Fuller said. “Now, I’m down to my last shot and so my main goal is to put myself in a position to win that individual state title. I know it’s not going to be easy. You have to be at your best for those two days, and hope nobody else shoots a couple rounds in the 60s or something like that.”

Davidson Day golf coach Mike Thomas sees it the same way.

“Kyle has a good chance of winning any golf tournament he plays in,” Thomas said. “But it comes down to how you handle those couple days and that’s tough.”

Fuller, who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 195 pounds, is feeling as good about his game as ever.

The Davidson Day junior, who regularly drives the ball 290-295 yards and has a scoring average of 74, had a strong summer winning the Hilton Head Shootout in May and the Clemson Invitational in June.

He also plays regularly on his home course, NorthStone Country Club, where he trains under professional Courtney Ford and tries to play with other local golf standouts and long-time friends like Hough’s Patrick Cover and Blake Feist.

While he will play in several more junior tournaments this spring and summer before going to Air Force, Fuller and fellow seniors George James and Graham Kiley, who have also been with the team since it started, hope to finish strong together.

“Kyle, Graham and George played a big role in starting this program and getting it to where it is now,” said Thomas, whose team grew from five players last year to 12 this season.

After the high school season ends and his 10-day training at the U.S. Olympic training center is complete, he reports to six weeks basic training, where he won’t be able to touch a golf club.

Then, Fuller will have about a week to earn his spot in the Air Force golf lineup.

It may be a hectic time, but Fuller believes everything Air Force will offer both academically and athletically will be worth it in the long run.

“I’m excited to see what I can become at Air Force,” said Fuller, who has an eight-year commitment to Air Force after college (four active, four reserve). “I’m not only going to get in great physical shape, but also be able to gain weight, work on my golf game and have unlimited resources to do so.”

“As a player, Kyle has always had all the tools,” Thomas said. “But I think with his experience and now going to the Air Force, with all they offer, will make a huge difference in his game. I think it’s the perfect fit for Kyle.”

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at jedwardsjr23@gmail.com.

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