North Putnam golfers rising to challenges on the course

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Lady Cougars are back in action on the links and are on the prowl. With five returning players and two new freshmen, they are determined to make their mark this year. Returning as seniors are Valerie Scott, Meagan Schutter, and Courtney Smith. Josie Parent and Ellen are returning as juniors and Olivia Zarate and Jessie Cox are coming in as freshmen.

The Lady Cougars opened their season against Greencastle on Aug. 8 and only lost the meet by seven strokes. Greencastle scored a 216 and North Putnam a 223.

"This was a great meet for the Cougars and they were pleased with their scores since Greencastle had always been a fierce opponent for the Cougars," head coach Linda Patrick said.

The Cougars knew they needed to become more consistent in staying on the fairways and making their putts count on the green. Individually for the meet Josie Parent shot a 51, Ellen Wilborn posted a 54, Valerie Scott shot a 58, Meagan Schutter shot a 60, Courtney Smith shot a 68 and Olivia Zarate and Jessie Cox both shot a 71.

The Lady Cougars traveled to Harrison Hills in Attica on Aug. 10 for a four-way meet with Southmont, Seeger and Rockville. Dried, thick heather and fast greens played havoc with the Cougars all day. The girls played well, but they constantly battled fast greens. All players showed improvement with their drives and short game, but were unable to post a lower score from the meet with Greencastle.

Parent led the Lady Cougars by shooting a 55. Scott shot a 57, Wilborn shot a 58 and Smith shot a 59, giving the Cougars a 229 for the day. Schutter posted a 60, Cox a 67 and Zarate a 68. Seeger won the meet with a 190, while Southmont posted a 209 and Rockville a 230.

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, the Lady Cougars headed to Spencer to play Owen Valley at a very tough course filled with trees and a creek passing through the entire course. The creek gave the Cougars plenty of challenge, having to go over it four different times.

On the backside of the course, tall trees and narrow fairways made it difficult to stay in bounds. The Cougars were hit with plenty of penalty strokes, but were able to nudge out a victory.

Parent shot her personal best so far for the season and was medallist with a 48; Wilborn was right behind Josie posting a 51; Scott shot a 54 and Shutter and Smith both posted 59s; Zarate shot a 67 and Cox shot a 75. The final meet score was North Putnam 212 and Owen Valley 218.

"The girls are continuing to cut strokes off their scores, even with the penalties, and are becoming a little more consistent in their fairway shots," Patrick said. "There is still work to be done on improving putting statistics. This is the earliest win the Cougars have had in their season since golf was re-instated three years ago."

Article contributed by Cougar head coach Linda Patrick