Dan Frodigh may be the last of his line, but he’s determined not to be the least.
The entire Frodigh clan has made its mark on Westwood golf. Dan’s eldest brother, Patrick, carried his team to back-to-back Division 3 wins in 2011 and 2012.
After Westwood grew in size, middle brother Will secured a Division 2 victory and the Tri-Valley League MVP title in 2016 with a 2-over-par 74.
This is all very annoying to the youngest brother, who posted a 78.
“Everybody always thought that [Will] was the good one in the family,” said Frodigh. “He is, a little bit, but not by much.”
Catching up to his brothers is as much of a goal for Frodigh as continuing the family tradition of winning Westwood’s title. He says he’s close, on both fronts.
“Dan is locked in as our number one player on our team,” said head coach Peter Hochman.
Frodigh’s style is like a course itself, rolling and contemplative.
“He thinks everything out before he takes his shots,” said Hochman. “He doesn’t get himself in trouble. You’ll never find him in the sand pit.”
But in this cerebral game, Frodigh has tried to mentally putt out of the pit for much of his high school career.
“Sometimes I can get in my own head,” he said. “Whenever you do that, it usually just goes downhill.”
This year, he’s pulled out of that rut. He says now, he won’t think about the game too much, and to the naked eye, it’s worked out well. Frodigh’s maintained a 2.46 over-par average.
With him at the helm, Westwood is heading into its last week of the regular season 14-1.
For all purposes, Frodigh has gotten out of his own way.
“I think he’s figured it out, and really striding at this point,” said Hochman.
Frodigh hopes to stride right into a Division 1 program. Will and Patrick, both at Elon, set the example for him, but Hochman doesn’t think they ever cast a shadow.
“Dan was growing into his own,” he said.
Frodigh proved his growth against defending Division 1 champions Xaverian in September, a match Hochman designed to challenge his team early. The results were exactly as he hoped — Westwood bested its neighborhood rival, 229-232.
On the Xaverian side of the green, David Carey took his team’s loss to Westwood as a positive.
“We stayed at the putting green for two hours after,” he said. “Woke up early the next morning, went to the same course and putted around.”
Like Frodigh, Carey has always itched to beat his older brother, Paul. Though his parents, Elizabeth and Peter, guided their children to golf, the younger Carey had dreamed of going Division 1 for baseball. Though he tried JV golf in the fall of his first high school year, he came to Xaverian as a second baseman, not understanding why his brother liked golf so much.
It wasn’t long before Carey traded in his bat for a club.
“All I could think about was getting on the course after practice or games,” he said. “That’s when I really knew golf was the sport for me.”
A competitive spark flared up between the brothers. During practices, the Careys would try to hit the ball farther than one another, and David would take it hard when his brother would come out on top.
While players like Jack Boulger and Andrew McInerney led the scores, the brothers often swapped places between the third- and fourth-best on the team.
“If I beat him, it was a win for me,” said Carey.
Their competitiveness bled into school matches. When head coach Gerard Lambert arranged his lineup, the brothers would have to be placed as far away from each other as possible.
“Coach didn’t want us playing together because he knew we’d be playing more against each other than the other team,” said Carey.
Battling his brother over the years shaped Carey’s style.
“I don’t like to leave any shots out there. If I see a shot where I can carry the water, I’m going to do it,” he said.
“David tends to want to go for things,’’ said Lambert, “and it’s hard to argue with the results.”
Carey bested his brother by shooting a 76 in last year’s states. This year, he’s helped lead Xaverian to a 13-3 record.
During tryouts for the fall, Carey played with six stitches in.
“I cut my left hand open cutting off my golf grip,” said Carey. “That slowed down my game a bit.”’
But having to start his senior season from the bunker has paid off.
“David, on any given day, can absolutely shoot par or one over-par,” said Lambert.
Now, Carey doesn’t want to only be better than his brother.
“I want to be the individual state champ,” he said.
He knows he’ll have to out-swing Nathan Ingram from BC High, who nabbed the top spot last November, and his own teammate Davis Kelliher, who’s scored slightly lower this fall than Carey.
But Carey knows a bit about taking down rivals.
“Going against Paul has made me a better player than I would ever have been if I didn’t have him,” he said.Katherine Fominykh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @katfominykh.