Thursday , August 07, 2014 - 10:10 PM
OGDEN – Calm. Steady. Consistent.
Those three words are often used around the golf course, usually by players fighting nervousness, shakiness and inconsistency; that’s what happens when you’re ahead of the pack.
But not with former Bonneville High School standout Lea Garner. Nope, she not only said it, she succeeded at it and won stroke play medalist honors Thursday at the 2014 Utah Women’s State Amateur.
The Washington Terrace resident and BYU junior dominated the first two rounds at the Ogden Golf and Country Club, following up Wednesday’s 67 with – drum roll, please – another 67.
Her two-day total of 134 was nine strokes better than second-place finisher Sirene Blair, who shot a four-under 68 on Thursday.
Garner and Blair were the only two participants in red letters after two days of action.
The tournament will continue today and Saturday at the OGCC, where the match-play is set to begin.
Defending champ Kelsey Chugg had a two-day stroke play total of 158 but automatically receives the top seed in match play.
Garner, whose broad smile lit up the 18th green at the end of her round Thursday, will face fellow BYU Cougar Brooklyn Anderson to open match play.
“I’m excited, it’ll be fun,” Garner said. “I like match play a lot. It’ll be good to get out there. I’m feeling pretty confident.”
Well, who could blame her? She was the only player to finish the opening round under par and she followed it up with another low number, which included four straight birdies during a stretch of the front nine.
All totaled, Garner recorded five birdies on the front and two more on the back. Her two-day total of 134 included 10 birdies, an eagle and just two bogeys.
Confident? Of course.
But cocky? Nope.
Garner’s approach going into the second round was just to keep calm, stay stead and be consistent by hitting fairways, finding greens and rolling in putts.
But they all say that, right? Saying it and doing it are two different things, especially after hitting an extremely good or extremely bad shot.
Garner was ready and she stayed steady, even after ripping up the front nine with a 32.
“I’ve been swinging pretty good so I knew if I just stuck to my game plan and just hit pars and roll in some birdies I could have a good score,” she said.
Garner said there certainly is a temptation to throw the plan in the nearest pond when things go bad … or good.
“There is, yes,” she said. “With golf especially. (Depending on) how the course is playing that day and how you’re swinging that certain day you just kind of have to adjust.”
Taking that 32 into the back nine made the situation much easier, that’s for sure.
“I (was) trying to stay in the present and not think too much,” she said.
In other words, she was all about staying calm, steady and consistent.
Contact reporter Jim Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.
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