A year made a huge difference for Brandon Bervig and his golf game.
Two seasons ago, the Liberty golfer advanced to the Class 5A state tournament only to finish tied for 49th in a field of 80. It was his first time on such a big stage, and he said he felt as if he didn’t belong there.
“I wasn’t intimidated but I didn’t have that experience,” Bervig said.
A year later, he shook off the nerves and wrapped up his junior season with a 15th-place performance at this season’s state tournament. His finish 7-over par 149 at the CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora topped any area golfer thanks to an impressive even-par performance on the first day of competition.
For his performance Bervig is The Gazette Boys’ Golf Peak Performer of the Year.
His coach, Stan Woodworth, said he noticed a change in Bervig’s attitude. The golfer used to let a bad shot affect his play, but not this year.
“He really started to understand the mental part of the game and if he keeps playing the way he’s been playing and working on his mental game, he can be one of the stronger golfers in the state,” Woodworth said. “He’s got all the skills he needs.”
Bervig has always been around golf. His dad taught the sport as a profession, and Bervig remembers swinging clubs the size of his arm as a kid. He knew he’d keep playing in high school, and once he got to Liberty, he quickly stepped into a varsity spot.
As a freshman, he missed the state tournament by one stroke.
As a sophomore, he made it to state stage but quickly learned that he needed to work on his game if he wanted to be a standout.
As a junior, he battled with teammate Lucas Howell for the team’s top individual spot. That competitive nature helped the Lancers to back-to-back 5A Colorado Springs Metro League titles.
Then the state tournament arrived.
Bervig admitted that he might have gotten a little big-headed after the first day. He fired three birdies and was within two strokes of the leader. That round got him excited about the next day.
“I’m going to win this thing,” he remembers thinking.
Then, reality struck. He had a less-than-stellar second day, shooting a 7-over par and settling for a tie in 15th place with four other golfers. He said he forgot to do the little things and failed to focus on the now.
At the same time, he was determined not to let a bad round get to his head.
“The second day, he didn’t play as well,” Woodworth said. “But his mentality was good. He never showed a bad attitude. He fought and he fought. He ended playing not as bad as he felt he played, and I think it’s because his mental game changed. I think he took a lot away from that.”