Wheeler carded an outstanding 29 on the back nine at the recent Suburban East Conference tournament. He placed second overall but his finish made people notice.
Q: What is your golf résumé?
A: I was on JV as a freshman. I’ve played pretty much my whole life. My dad was a good golfer and I pretty much grew up at North Oaks Golf Club.
Q: Did playing the conference tournament on that course give you confidence?
A: North Oaks is probably my favorite course. But I try to have low expectations every time I play golf.
Q: Six birdies and three pars. Take me through that amazing back nine.
A: I started with three birdies in a row. And I had some good shots at different times. On No. 11, I used my 8-iron and stuck the first shot within three feet of the hole and made birdie. That got me pumped. And then on No. 15, which is a long par 3, I hit my 3-iron within 25 feet and I made the putt for birdie. And on No. 16, I had a tough nine-foot putt and I ended up dropping it in.
Q: What sort of reaction were you getting as this is going on?
A: My coach came out on No. 16 and I told him I was four-under on the side. Word started getting around and a bunch of coaches started coming out and watching me. ... I kind of felt like a pro.
Q: Was this sort of like the golf movie Tin Cup where you don’t win but you’re what everyone talks about?
A: [laughs] I love that movie. It was kind of like that. When I walked up from my last hole, all my teammates came up and hugged me.
David La Vaque