Brendan Valdes may just be a freshman, but he already is making his name as a rookie sensation for the Dr. Phillips boys golf team. Valdes shot a 66 at the Metro Conference West Championship Oct. 2 at West Orange Country Club, winning the event as an individual.
What was it like to win the Metro Conference West Championship as a freshman?
It feels good, especially as a freshman. … It feels nice beating all my friends — I know a lot of the people out there.
As someone who is only 14 years old, what is it like competing in the varsity ranks against opponents who might be 17 or 18 years old?
It’s been fun. They hit it a lot past me, because I’m not that far of a hitter, but the short game is all that matters.
Which of the neighboring schools do you most enjoy facing off against?
Olympia — definitely Olympia.
So far as the junior tours, which performance of yours has been the most memorable so far?
It was my first win in the Florida Junior Tour. I played against a kid who was really, really good at the time. I shot a three-under in the last round and was the only person to play a round under-par in that tournament. It felt pretty good. It was September of last year.
Which course in Central Florida is your favorite?
Orange Tree. It’s tight and it plays my game. I like the greens — the greens here are good.
If you could play a round at any course in the world, where would you play?
Probably St. Andrews (in Scotland), because it’s where golf started, and I’ve never played a links course.
Is there a golfer you admire or enjoy watching play?
Phil Mickelson — I like his short game. He likes to always hit that high shot. I like his game.
What are you thinking you would like to study and pursue for a career?
Probably dermatology. I had eczema when I was a kid, and I want to help people if I can that have eczema.
If it is a rainy Saturday afternoon and you have nothing to do, what is a movie or television show you could put on and watch all day?
Probably one of the superhero movies (or shows), I like those. “The Flash.”
If you could have the keys to any car and an open road to drive it on, which car are you picking?
Bugatti Chiron. I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just say “chi-ron.”