In the golfing world, perfection is an elusive term.
Even for the best players, there's always that score that could have been lower, a swing that could have been better or another putt that could have gone in. Perfect is what everyone chases, but never obtains.
Yet, as Wilde Lake's Tyler Silberberg can attest, one can come awfully close.
As a junior this fall, Silberberg put together one of the greatest seasons ever by a county golfer.
He came within one putt of the county record for best regular-season scoring average, finishing at exactly 28 points per match (1-under par for nine holes). He won the county title by two shots, finished fifth at the District V tournament and then put an exclamation point on his season by winning the state title by three strokes.
"When you look at what my goals were coming into the year, it was about as close to perfect as you can get," Silberberg said. "Sure, I would have loved that scoring record and I could have played a lot better at Districts, but I played a lot of really good golf.
"And winning states, that's as good as it gets."
With his back-to-back rounds of 71 at the University of Maryland golf course, Silberberg became the first county golfer since Atholton's Joe Vennari in 1980 to win an individual state championship.
He had been trailing by two shots entering the final round and had fallen behind by four after double-bogeying his first hole on day two. But his ability to bounce back from a bad hole, which ultimately led him to the title, is what Silberberg's coach Diane Caporaletti says was the most improved part of his game this season.
"He's matured and learned how to make something good come from adversity," Caporaletti said. "He took frustration, something in the past that would have gotten to him, and let it make him better."
Silberberg entered the season with high expectations after earning Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, yet he exceed them nearly every step of the way.
He bettered his county-leading scoring average from last year (25.8) by more than two shots (28.0). He never shot worse than 26 points (1-over) in a match all season and set a new high school personal-best with a 30-point day (1-under) against Marriotts Ridge.
"That round against Marriotts Ridge was really fun," Silberberg said. "Not only was it my best high school round, but it was great match that we pulled out as a team."
Coming into his final regular season match, Silberberg needed a round of 28 points to tie Oakland Mills' Donnie Shin (28.1 in 2005) for the all-time scoring mark. His putt on No. 9 just missed, however, and he settled for a 27-point day.
At the county championship tournament, where he had finished third the year before, Silberberg prevailed down the stretch to beat teammate David Yancich by two shots with a round of 54 points (1-under).
Silberberg's title also helped Wilde Lake capture the county championship tournament team trophy, building on a runner-up team finish during the regular season.
The following week at districts was the low-point of the season, as a round of 75 and a fifth-place finish ruined any chances of a postseason sweep. Still, Silberberg was undeterred and more than made up for it a couple weeks later at the state championships.
With the bar now set at an all-time high, the question now becomes what can Silberberg do for an encore?
"It's hard to top this season, that's for sure," Caporaletti said. "But Tyler's committed to getting better every day and challenging himself as a player. That's what makes him so good.
"He knows there's always something he can improve."