Wyatt Chapman excelling in golf, academics at Casteel - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Wyatt Chapman excelling in golf, academics at Casteel

November 5th, 2020 SanTan Sun News
Wyatt Chapman excelling in golf, academics at Casteel
Sports and Recreation

By Miles Aronson
Contributing Writer

Whether it’s great performances on the golf course or outstanding academic achievements, Casteel sophomore Wyatt Chapman does it all.

Within his sophomore class, Chapman is ranked fourth in state and 75th globally, according to the Junior Golf Association. Chapman also has an impressive 4.83 weighted GPA which puts him near the top of his class. Still, he remains humble and grounded.

“Sometimes I undersell myself,” said Chapman. “Then I remember I am fourth in Arizona and it’s taken a lot of work to get there, so I got to give myself some credit.”

“For me it’s all about mental toughness. Some people don’t have it, but I can go out on the course every day and find something new to work on for hours on end, I don’t get bored of it.”

In the classroom, Chapman has put in a lot of time and effort to get the grades he has now. He is enrolled in all honors courses, including math, English, Spanish and chemistry.

“One of my unusual hobbies is math,” Chapman said. “I feel like a lot of kids don’t like math but I’m not one of them, I really enjoy it.”

“I also consider myself to be a good test taker. It’s an important aspect, when I’m taking a test, I feel calm.”

For Chapman, inspiration comes from several sources, ranging from pro players such as Ricky Fowler and Matthew Wolff to his own granddad Leon Chapman who played on the PGA tour for five years.

“My grandpa was the one who really got me into golf,” Chapman said. “He always gives me a lot of great advice and it helps improve my game.”

That includes helping him improve his backswing.

He showed Chapman how to add more power to his shots by changing his footing on his swing. He also tried to mirror Ricky Fowler’s putting stance, but as he got older, he changed to what works best for him.

“Ricky is putting on greens that are really quick, and I’m putting on slower greens because they’re not PGA Tour quality,” Chapman said. “But I have adopted my own stance that works for me.”

Wherever Chapman is, he’s making an impact.

Whether it be around the community coaching young golfers or at the courses helping clean up, he’s always trying to make a difference. One of his friend’s dad, Ben Brooke, moved to Arizona with his family from Colorado and mentioned the impact Chapman had on him and his kid after their first interaction.

“Within the first week I was in Arizona I met Wyatt on a driving range.” Brooke said. “After our conversation, I went home and told my wife I had just met a kid that went to the public school here. I told her if the other kids are like him, that’s where I want my son to go to school.”

The next week, Brooke moved his kid to the public school. The move came after talking to Chapman for the first time.

“He made such a good impression on us, it was hard to ignore,” Brooke said. “At the time, he was in sixth grade, but it was like talking to a kid that is just way more mature. He looks you straight in the eye and you get to have a really cool conversation with him.”

Brooke he truly understood the type of person Chapman was after him and his son, Preston, went out for a round of golf. Chapman pulled out his phone to text Brooke while he and Preston were still on the course.

The text, Brooke said, included words of encouragement and praise from Chapman. He said he believed Preston had the ability to do something great on the course.

During the round, Chapman had a feeling something special was going to happen. He pulled out his phone and filmed the last hole as Preston stepped up to the tee box. He ended up shooting an impressive 68 overall on the course. 

Chapman then went as far as posting it on his Instagram page to show off Preston’s achievements.

“Wyatt makes this whole big thing about it to everybody,” Brooke said. “Funny thing is, though, Wyatt shot a 65. Here’s a kid that is shooting really well, yet he makes a big deal out of my kid.

“It’s a very selfless act. This kid is just awesome.”

While offering praise for others, Chapman also has a fierce competitive side to him that is easily visible to his teammates at Casteel.

Chapman entered the 2020 Division I state golf tournament as the third-ranked golfer overall. He and senior teammate Rio Newcombe – who is ranked fifth – helped catapult the Colts to the No. 3 seed in the tournament, which took place Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 at Omni National Golf Course in Tucson. Chapman placed fourth overall and the team placed sixth.

“He wants to beat every single person out on the course,” Newcombe said. “He will tell you to your face that he will beat you, then he’ll go out and try his absolute best to do that.”

“It’s awesome to watch how competitive he is but at the same time he is very supportive of everyone.”

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