Janesville70.2°

Golf, golf and more golf

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THOMAS J. MILLER
July 11, 2009
— Here’s the gist of Allyssa Ferrell’s “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” paper:

“I played golf in Texas. I played golf in Chicago. I played golf in Massachusetts. I played golf in Nebraska. I played golf in Indianapolis. And I played golf in a bunch of places in Wisconsin. So, mainly, I played golf.”


The 17-year-old Edgerton resident won’t have to turn in such a paper when her senior year at Edgerton High begins next month. But that accurately summarizes what she has done since the snow melted this past spring.


She has had a driver in her hands about as much as spoons and forks.


“No kidding,” she said Thursday night during one of her infrequent days off from her busy tee-to-green schedule. “I want to get my name out there, especially since I haven’t committed (to a college). I want to open up my options and see what I want to do.”


Like most soon-to-be high school seniors, finding a college to attend is a priority. Unlike most of her classmates, however, Ferrell gets her pick of schools that want her to play for them on their golf team.


The process is as nerve-wracking as it is for those students who have to await responses from schools where they applied.


“I’m getting pretty close,” Ferrell said of her decision. “I’ve narrowed it down to three or four schools where I think I would feel comfortable.”


Ferrell, the reigning Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation girls player of the year as named by the Wisconsin PGA Section, plans to major in education. She is keeping tabs on whom her choice schools are recruiting to determine where her best fit will be.


The University of Wisconsin is one of her final schools. The Badgers might be at the top of the list since she would like her parents, Brad and Leslie, to have every opportunity to watch her play.


She credits her parents for enabling her to criss-cross the country to play in all her summer tournaments. They have to pay the expenses to enter and get to the vast majority of tournaments.


“My parents are totally in this with me,” she said.


That means taking her to Fort Worth, Texas, last March to play in the Kathy Whitworth Invitational junior tournament.


In May, Ferrell won the Preseason Junior girls title in the Chicago Southland event. Ferrell finished with a 6-over-par 150 to win the girls division by six strokes at the Green Garden Country Club at Frankfort, Ill.


In early June, Ferrell finished fifth at the Calloway Tournament in Nebraska City, Neb., with an 11-over 155. Jackie Chang of Paradise Valley, Ariz., one of the top national players, won the event.


Two weeks ago, Ferrell was in Devers, Mass., participating in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at the 6,267-yard, par-72 Red Tail Golf Club.


Ferrell shot rounds of 78 and 79, but missed the cut for match-play competition by five strokes. She finished in a tie for 94th place.


“I think for being the first time there, it was just exciting to be there,” Ferrell said. “The competition was unbelievable, amazing. They were fantastic players.


“The course was a lot longer than I’m used to playing, and it was mainly college players.”


That is all part of playing in the summer tournaments.


“I love nationals (tournaments),” she said. “I can see where I fit in with college players. I’m 17, and a lot of the players are 20. I take it as a learning experience.”


Last week, Ferrell finished second in the girls 13-18 division at the Wisconsin Junior PGA event at Yahara Hills Golf Course in Madison. She shot a par 144 with rounds of 73 and 71.


Delafield’s Jaclyn Shepherd won the division with a 2-under 142 total, shooting a 67 in the final round to overtake Ferrell.


Ferrell just returned Thursday from the two-day Minnesota-Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup Matches at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. Wisconsin won the competition, 24½- 11½.


Ferrell shot a 2-under-par 72-70—142 on Friday to win a one-day PGA Junior Tour event at Dretzka Park in Milwaukee. She finished six strokes ahead of Madison’s Alexandra Lake.


On Tuesday, she will be in the 54-hole American Junior Golf Association’s McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends tournament at The Legend at Bergamont in Oregon that will end Thursday.


On July 28, she will be in Mainesville, Ohio, competing in the PGA Junior Championship.


The defending Rock County Championship winner also plans to play in a tournament at Lake Arrowhead just before the WIAA season begins.


Ferrell can’t wait for the high school girls golf schedule.


For the first and only time, she will get to be on the same team with her sister, Brooke, who will be a freshman.


Plus she wants to win the WIAA state title that has eluded her the last two seasons. Ferrell finished third in Division 1 competition at University Ridge as a sophomore, and was fourth in Division 2 last year.


“I need to win it,” she said. “It will be disappointing if I don’t.”


Before that, she will make the biggest decision of her life thus far when she chooses a college.


“I plan to decide by the end of July or beginning of August,” she said. “It’s been a little frustrating and stressful. I’m constantly thinking about it.”


In between drives, wedge shots and putts, that is.



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