SportsChance’s Champs


Chance’s Champs: Living Under Par

Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 15:43:14-04

There aren’t many sports where having the lowest score is actually desired, the most common exception is golf. For Arroyo Grande High School senior Owen Avrit, living under par has just become a way of life.

It’s a love that began when his clubs stood taller than he did.

“I probably started playing in tournaments when I was five and just started, kind of, kicking butt then,” Avrit joked.

Owen qualified for the U.S. Kids Junior World Championships and the Callaway Junior World Championships all before the ripe age of seven.

“That’s probably the time that I really knew I had a really special gift,” Avrit said.

It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Arroyo Grande head boys golf coach Jeff Byars has been with the Eagles’ program for 28 years, and he’s never seen a golfer quite like Owen.

“He’s the best one that has gone through so far,” Byars said. “In terms of what he’s accomplished, the scores he’s shot, and his consistency, he’s just been amazing.”

Owen has been lights out. He’s shot over par just twice this spring.

“It’s all about consistency,” Avrit insisted. “You have to approach everything consistently, whether that’s your attitude or your pre-shot routine.”

“He’s very good off the tee, his short-game is great, and he’s very accurate with the irons,” Byars added. “When the putter gets going, that’s when he shoots the low numbers.”

Owen’s brother Jack, who’s a golfer at Santa Clara University, set the AG school record with a 67 in his senior season. Jack set the bar high, but his score wouldn’t be low enough.

“Before the season, I wrote down my goals and one of my goals was to break the school record,” Avrit said. “It was super cool to get off to a hot start and do that.”

Owen shot a 65 at the Paso Robles Invitational early in the season, but that low score didn’t last long. Owen toppled his own mark with the current school record, 64, at the Central Coast Invitational a few rounds later.

“It’s really funny, he [Jack] actually texted me first before I could even say a word to him. He congratulated me,” Avrit added. “It’s just really cool knowing that I’ve shot the lowest score out of anyone that’s been to AG.”

And aside from his individual accolades, the Eagles have never lost a league dual in Owen’s four years on varsity, and they just wrapped up their seventh straight league title.

“It’s really helped me become who I am today, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the program for all that it’s done for me,” Avrit said.

Owen signed his National Letter of Intent to Long Beach State in November, and he’s excited for his college and potential professional future.  He knows his family will continue to cheer him on for every drive, chip, and putt the rest of his career.

“My parents have been so awesome,” Avrit said. “It’s an honor to have them out here watching me and supporting me. I hope to be doing that the rest of my life.”