CHEYENNE – Ethan Cates is excited about the golf opportunity he has this coming week.

The Cheyenne Central senior-to-be is doing his best to not be overwhelmed by teeing it up in the IMG Junior World Championships.

“I know I’m going to be playing against the best players from every state and great players from all over the world,” Cates said. “I’m really excited about it, but I’m trying not to get too wrapped up in it.

“I just need to go out there and play golf one shot at a time. If I can put some runs together, I’ll be OK. It’s just me against the golf course, and not me against the people I’m playing against.”

The four-round IMG Junior World Championships start Tuesday at Torrey Pines Golf Course’s North Course in La Jolla, California.

Cates qualified for the tournament by shooting a 2-over-par 146 at a two-round tournament at Cottonwood Country Club in Torrington. Cates posted three birdies and five bogeys during the tournament, which ended June 9. He bested Cheyenne East graduate Blake Danni by four strokes.

“(Cates) just wasn’t making any mistakes,” Danni said. “At worst, he had a bogey. He’d be right back at it and have a good look at birdie on the very next hole.”

Cates has been playing golf nearly every day this summer. He did mix in a few days to attend a team camp with the Central basketball team.

Cates split third at the Wyoming State Amateur Championship on June 30 at the Cheyenne Country Club. He fired a three-round total of 4-under to tie University of Wyoming sophomore-to-be Kirby Coe-Kirkham.

“I have been playing in a lot of tournaments, and I feel like I am playing pretty good,” Cates said.

While Cates isn’t too wrapped up in the level of competition, he is slightly concerned about playing at sea level. The ball doesn’t travel as far there as it does at the altitude Cates is accustomed to playing. He got some experience playing at sea level during a recent family trip to Puerto Rico.

“It’s quite a bit different,” he said. “You hit the ball something like 10% shorter than you hit it here. I just have to hit one club up from what you usually would.”

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.

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