Bennington wins Rock County Championship
Off to the side, 16-time Women's City Champion Holly LaChance whispered, "she plays without fear."
On the tee, Bennington, a soon-to-be 19-year-old sophomore at William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., confidently cut the corner of the dogleg right, 235-yard, par-4 hole, driving her ball left of the green.
Upon approaching her tee shot, Bennington shook her head.
"Saturday, I drove the green," she said. "I thought I was on it again today, but the ball kicked left."
After a deft chip shot put her close to the hole, Bennington rolled in a birdie putt to tighten her grip on the Rock County Women's Championship here Sunday.
Bennington completed her final round with a bogey on 18, but she finished with a 2-over 73 to go with her first-round 74 for a 36-hole total of 147. The left her eight shots ahead of runner-up C.J. Enriquez, a 17-year-old senior-to-be at Madison Edgewood, who carded a 4-over 75 to go with her first-round 80 for a 155 finish.
LaChance posted an 82 to go with a first-round 76 for a 158 finish.
LaChance, a former University of Wisconsin golfer, knows the feeling of playing without fear—to just rear back and trust her swing.
"Feeling confident in your swing would help if I played a little more," said LaChance, who has not been on the competitive golf scene for awhile. "I'm not upset, by any means.
"You live a balanced life, and golf is a little part of it," LaChance added.
LaChance said playing with the young and the restless was a boost for her, and good for area women's competitive golf. Six of the nine players in the Championship Flight are returning to high school next month.
"It's good to see," said LaChance. I'm glad they are playing (the Rock County Women's Tournament). It's kind of like the next wave, which is good."
Bennington, a former standout at Beloit Memorial and three-time WIAA state qualifier, finished 30th at NAIA National Championship in May. She is the American Midwest Conference Freshman of the Year.
Bennington makes no secret about her aggressive style.
"My dad always taught me to never play tentative," Bennington said. "There are times where you have to pull back, but I just always go for it."
The Rock County tournament at Riverside was right up Bennington's fairway.
"I've always really liked this course," Bennington said. "It just one of my favorites."
With only nine entered in the Championship Flight, there is room for growth. Bennington would like to see it.
"This is my first year finding out about it," Bennington said. "It took me awhile to get a hold of an entry blank.
"There are a lot of younger girls who would probably play in it if they knew about it," Bennington added.
Enriquez said playing with Bennington and LaChance was a pleasure.
"They are really good players," Enriquez said. "I don't want to be the one down. It was great watching them play, and of course I had to just mimic them."
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Rock County Championship
At Riverside (Par 71)
147—Jada Bennington, Beloit, 74-73.
155—C.J. Enriquez, Janesville, 80-75
158—Holly LaChance, Janesville, 76-82
161—Molly Rozeboom, Janesville, 85-76
169—Katie Brossard, Janesville, 84-85
175—Ronda Thomas, Beloit, 86-89
176—Lindsey Beals, Janesville, 88-88
180—Karlee McCue, Janesville, 89-91
190—Jennifer Polglaze, Janesville, 95-95.
First—Donna Bailey, Janesville.
Second—Mary Conway, Janesville.