QND's Clark overcomes pressure, puts herself in LPGC contention

Quincy Notre Dame senior Lucy Clark intently watches her shot during play Tuesday in the opening round of the girls 16-17 division of the Pepsi Titan Little Peoplešs Golf Championships at Westview Golf Course. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Jun. 18, 2013 11:21 pm Updated: Jul. 3, 2013 5:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

Lucy Clark felt the pressure.

Playing the course she regularly plays for Quincy Notre Dame, Clark expected to play well at the Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championships Tuesday at Westview Golf Course. Clark responded, carding an 8-over 79 in the girls 16-17 division, putting her four strokes behind first-round leader Caroline Lake of Madison, Wis.

"People expect me to do well," Clark said. "I expect myself to play well. I play here all the time. I broke 80, and that's all I wanted."SClBHer round started with a birdie on No. 12, her third hole on the day. She placed the ball within a foot of the hole from 140 yards out.

She hung around even par until hole No. 6, where she double-bogeyed. Clark followed with a par before recording consecutive birdies to end her round.

Clark, who tied for fourth in last year's LPGC, said she couldn't complain about her first round. But she knows she needs to improve to win.

"My putting was OK, but I could have done better," Clark said. "I missed a lot of putts that shouldn't have been missed."

Sydney Bormann, of Parkston, S.D., had an identical score as Clark. Unlike Clark, Bormann was disappointed with her first round.

"I had a good front nine," she said. "There's a couple tricky holes on the back nine and instead of playing it safe I went for it too much."

The No. 12 hole troubled Bormann. She tried to place the ball in front of the pin sitting in the front of the green. Instead, she hit the ball into the water in front of the green.

MacKenzie Matthews of Prosper, Texas, had a career-best round in the 14-15 age group, shooting a 1-over 72 in the first round. Her score gave her a seven-shot lead.SClBMatthews, whose previous career-best was a 73, is playing in her ninth LPGC and knew she was close to a career-best score.

"I knew that's what I was shooting," she said. "I just knew I had to keep going and not get nervous."

But the familiarity of the course and tournament didn't necessarily help Matthews.

"It's not really an advantage," Matthews said. "As long as you keep it in the fairway, you're fine."SClBIt's what Clark will have to do to climb the leaderboard

"My goal was to break 80," Clark said after her round. "But I'm going to come back and play better tomorrow. I know it."


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