LAFAYETTE -- Will Brueckner said he didn't put any pressure on himself heading into the golf season. He just wanted to hit shots with his buddies and enjoy himself.
The results were a joy to behold.
To close out his senior season at Acalanes, he was a spectacular 16 under over his four final tournaments, with a 4-under 67 in the North Coast Section qualifier, a 4-under 67 in the NCS Tournament of Champions, a 6-under 66 in the NorCal tournament and a 2-under 69 at the state tournament.
Thus, the slim 6-foot-1 Brueckner, who has signed with Gonzaga, has been selected as Bay Area News Group's East Bay Boys Golfer of the Year.
"I went into the season completely stress free," he said. "I didn't want it to be a chore for me."
Brueckner's big highlight came when he was medalist in the NorCal tournament at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville.
"That was a great experience," he said. "It was just me. I had no other teammates down there. I'm really good friends with my golf coach, Tim Scott. He's pretty much like my grandpa, and we went down together. It didn't feel like a tournament -- I was out there just enjoying what I love to do."
After chipping in for a birdie on his 17th hole, the No. 8 hole on the course, Brueckner sealed the deal with another birdie in grand, scrambling style.
"I put it way right off the tee," he recalled of his final hole. "I had to go through a forest of trees and hit a 30-yard hook with a sand wedge. ... When I walked up, my ball was two feet from the hole."
Basically self-taught, Brueckner credits his father, Bob, with introducing him to the game.
"He taught me the basic etiquette and how to hold a golf club," Brueckner said. "But after I was 9 or 10, I kind of learned from watching other people, watching the Golf Channel. Just swinging a golf club comes pretty naturally to me, which is nice."
Brueckner glided through the postseason with a smile on his face.
"I was playing real loose, and that's how my golf game works," he said. "The putts started falling; the drives were in the fairway. My swing felt smooth, and I hit my irons pure. All of that sort of came together by me playing loose with my buddies on the golf course."