For the two-time defending Vermont Amateur champion, it makes the memorable, lights-out final round of his 2010 come-from-behind victory at Manchester seem ever distant. Last year's birdie binge at Neshobe? That's 36 holes of fearless golf that he can't bank on.
Considering what is at stake this week, "it" -- a back injury that has hampered Komline's golf game for close to six months -- isn't a happy topic of conversation.
Still, should he finish atop the leaderboard on Thursday, Komline will become just the sixth golfer in state history to capture three consecutive men's amateur championships.
"If I was less competitive, I'd have no chance. With how competitive I am my mentality is what's won me the last two Ams," Komline said. "That's what's going to keep me in it."
But, under the circumstances, the driven 22-year-old, who has won the last two titles by six and eight shots, respectively, has his toughest fight yet.
"My back holds up for about 14 holes. I start feeling it through about eight holes and play with it, and by 14 it starts becoming a problem," Komline said. "How I'm going to hold up for 36 [holes on Thursday], I don't know."
And Komline, who said he picked up the injury playing a shot off a tree root in late January, isn't skirting the issue. When he says he doesn't know how a 36-hole day would go in his current condition -- he doesn't know.
At 100 percent, the recent
However, since playing in the Troy (N.Y.) Invitational two weeks ago, Komline said he's played five times. Practice sessions don't last much longer than 40 minutes.
"It's just been really frustrating, that's all it is," the lefty said.
"Mentally, I'm there. I'm 100 percent ready to go [mentally]," he said. "I've been more accepting of bad shots because I know it's going to happen. But it's the frustration more than the anger that I missed the shot. Frustration because I know I have the shot and it's just not there."
Talking about the nagging injury is a lose-lose, too.
"I don't want it to be the kind of thing where I'm feeling sorry for myself. But I don't want to lie and say I'm going in playing great," Komline said.
After transferring to Augusta from East Tennessee State last summer, Komline saw action in three tournaments during the fall season. He competed only once after the injury, ending the year with a 75.33 stroke average.
"When it happened, I was like, 'This is not going to be good,'" he said. "It destroyed my last semester, I didn't get a chance to play at all."
While the focus for the next three days is on securing a third crown, Komline, who plans to turn pro in October, is wary of over-doing it in his final Vermont championship.
In Troy last month, he experimented with a right-to-left cut shot off the tee as a less-painful approach to keeping the ball in play.
Though an effective Band-Aid -- he went 71-72 on the weekend after a messy opening-round 78 -- it's a method he'd like to avoid.
"I started realizing that it works, but I'm kind of destroying my swing. I'm staying off my back foot and it's giving me bad habits," Komline said. "I'd rather be hitting hybrids off the tee than be producing poor swings for the future."
Currently, it's that driver that is the toughest club to tame.
"I have rounds where it's OK, but [also] rounds where I can't physically get myself into position, I can't get through the ball and it gets ugly fast," Komline said.
Juggling the present and future tense, and more than 140 challengers, the bid for Vermont Amateur No. 3 could become the most satisfying of the lot.
"I'm taking the underdog mentality and kind of saying, hey, I'm injured, but I'm still going to show them that I'm there," Komline said.