Cougar golf team ready for Saturday's WCC tournament

Friday, September 13, 2013

With the West Central Conference tournament looming on Saturday for all the girls' golf teams in the county, the athletes will now have a chance to demonstrate the improvements they've made throughout the season.

For the short-handed two-person squad from North Putnam, it's also a chance to compete on an even playing field as individuals.

"The links have given the Lady Cougars some challenges the last few meets but the golfers feel ready and confident going into (Saturday)," NPHS coach Linda Patrick said.

Juniors Olivia Zarate and Jessie Cox have played two meets this season on the front nine at Deer Creek, site of the WCC tournament, and had a practice round on the back nine recently as well.

Having a two-girl team has made for a long season, but the golfers have begun to emerge through the hardships.

Zarate, in particular, has come on strong recently. She has had rounds less than 50 in three of her last four meets and shot a 46 at Southmont on Wednesday.

The 46 was the best for a NPHS golfer in the past five seasons.

Cox has been less consistent but is working toward competing on Saturday.

"One night she has a great long game but a poor short game," Patrick said, "and then the next night just the opposite. ... She is due for a meet with all the game working in her favor."

Coach Patrick has been pleased with determination both golfers have shown throughout the season, encouraging each other and helping to build skills and confidence.

"We spent the last three weeks working on club usage that will improve their game and confidence level," Patrick said. "Knowing that other clubs can be better to get them where they want on the course is extremely critical in major tournaments and they are beginning to realize the importance of wise club choice."

Given their recent improvements in course management and drops in scoring average, Patrick said she is confident they'll compete well this weekend.

"I feel the girls will have a very successful run at not only the conference, but the county tournament as well," she said.

The WCC Tournament begins at Deer Creek at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Putnam County Tournament is Wednesday at Clover Meadows.

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