North Creek High junior golfer Ryan Knox has been the Jaguars’ top golfer for the last two years. Courtesy photo

North Creek High junior golfer Ryan Knox has been the Jaguars’ top golfer for the last two years. Courtesy photo

Positive mindset, solid results on the golf course

Checking in with North Creek’s Knox.

Ryan Knox never stops working on his golf game.

North Creek High head coach Tony Olney said that after matches and training sessions, the Jaguar junior linkster can usually be located on the practice green, focused on getting even better.

“Ryan is a real grinder. He doesn’t let a bad or good hole affect his game. His short memory and willingness to never give up on any shot is a big part of his success,” Olney added.

Come May, Knox could be headed to his first 4A state tournament if KingCo is allotted three teams, thus opening up a spot for Knox. At the KingCo championships on Oct. 15-16 at Snohomish Golf Course, first-place Redmond finished ahead of Eastlake, 583-594, and the two squads are set for state in the spring. There may be a third 4A KingCo team in Mount Si — which took third with 609 points — and that will be determined in March when other districts begin their golf seasons and officials see how many 4A squads are competing, according to Redmond head coach Steve Wiebe.

At the championships, Knox finished 16th with a 79-77-156 and earned second-team all-KingCo honors. He secured a first-team all-league spot last season and was the first North Creek athlete to collect a district award.

Knox, 16, noted that a highlight at the tourney was nearly notching an ace on a par-3 hole and putting in for a birdie on day two. He didn’t play as well as he wished to on the morning holes, but stepped things up during the afternoons.

“I’d kind of give myself a reset button,” Knox said of turning the corner from the ninth hole toward the back nine and getting back into the tourney.

Watching Tiger Woods golf about 11 years ago, Knox got a jolt of inspiration and gravitated toward the game. He got his first taste of high school golf as a freshman at Bothell High three years ago where he gained confidence and learned about leadership from his fellow golfers and coach Jim McCausland.

His dad, Jeff — who was a Bothell High baseball pitching star before graduating in 1984 and played minor league and AAA ball — coached his son and cemented a strong mindset in Ryan.

“He just basically told me, you know, when you go out there, you shouldn’t be frustrated at anything,” Ryan said. “If you do something you’re loving to do, then don’t make it hard on yourself. If you love to do it, then simply go out and have fun.”

Knox praises his coaches for providing support each day out on the course.

This is what especially fires Knox up about getting out the clubs and tackling the golf terrain: “I think what’s fun about it is challenging your mindset every day. Every day, you’re not gonna get a good score or shoot a good round, but it’s how you’re able to come back from those is what the satisfying part about it is.”

The Reporter asked Knox a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?

The Lodge, and another favorite would have to be Boston’s (both in Mill Creek Town Center).

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I think this has to tie in with when I’m golfing: I think what frustrates me the most is when I don’t know what I’m doing wrong during a round and then it’s the last four to three holes that I finally figure out what I’m doing, and by then it’s the end of that round basically.

What’s something unique about yourself?

I appreciate doing things for people, ‘cause I always love to see smiles on their faces and good reactions.

What’s your dream vacation spot?

Hawaii. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Hawaii, but I’ve never been there. It’s always been a place on my bucket list to go to.

What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?

I would wanna learn how to play the guitar. Either that or the piano. I’m not really a musician, but listening to these certain people who play these instruments, they’re super talented at it and I just think it would be a really cool skill to comprehend and learn.

What’s your favorite kind of music?

I like the old stuff, I like ’70s and ’80s rock, like Bon Jovi and Van Halen and Journey and stuff like that.

What superhero would you like to be?

I always have to tie this into universes: So there’s the Marvel Universe and there’s the DC Universe. Marvel Universe I would wanna be Spider-Man, but DC I would obviously have to be Batman.

What do you appreciate in life the most?

The people around me and supporting me every day and knowing that I have a dream that I wanna pursue.

What would your ultimate dream be?

I see myself being a professional golfer.

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