Goodwin wins WAGA junior title

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2002

Sports Editor

To hear 16-year-old Laura Goodwin talk following Wednesday’s final round of the State Junior Girls Golf Tournament, one wouldn’t think she’d just won her first championship.

When asked to say a few words by WAGA President Audrey Songy, Goodwin spoke instead about the friends she had made during the four-day event held at the Troy Country Club.

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Goodwin shot a blistering 68 on Wednesday, six strokes better then Tuesday leader Jessica Lovell, to claim the sliver trophy and white jacket. She finished with a three-round total of 212, two under par.

Lovell, who was the WAGA’s medalist honoree, had held a one stroke lead over Goodwin after two days of competition, 143-144.

"I could never birdie No. 10," said Goodwin, when asked if unfamiliarity with the Troy golf course gave her any trouble. She was sponsored by the Country Club of Birmingham.

"And I really think that’s one of the easiest holes. And the Par three’s were hard for me also. It was hard for me to hit the greens because they’re so small. I’m used to bigger greens. But I think I played pretty well. My putting helped me out a lot."

Goodwin said she has been playing golf since she was eight and started competing one year later. She said she was "excited" to have won, but that the social aspect of playing golf was what entertained her.

"I like meeting the other girls and making friends," she said. "Also, golf is a sport that you’ll be able to play when you get older. It’s not like other sports."

Her father, Ed Goodwin, started her swinging the club when she was six-years-old.

"He’s not very good, but he plays," she said and laughed. "But I got my start by watching him."

Goodwin said his daughter has professed an interest in playing in college.

"She’s probably played in this tournament a half a dozen times," said Goodwin. "I know she’s real pleased to have won it."

Jordan Hardy took third place in the Championship flight with a 231.

Suzanne Staley broke away from both Joy Dubose and Carolyn Cochran to take the First Flight title. Staley finished with a 249. Cochran and Dubose each shot a 254.

In Second Flight, Callie Clolinger was able to maintain the one stroke lead she held on Tuesday and win first place with a 266 compared to Karlin Beck and Blair Thomas’ 267.

Third Flight belonged to Danielle Whitehead, who shot by both Catherine Howell and Kimberly Hughes on Wednesday, finishing with a 310.

Vivian Dudley of Mobile won the 11-12 year-olds championship. Dudley scored a 145, with Betsy Birchall following, shooting a 151 in the nine-hole division.

In ages 9-10, Heron Lakes’ Christina Schlude was the nine-hole short course winner, scoring a 124 in three days. Hannah Collier and Laura Dudley finished second and third, each with a 128.