Abe in New Territory at Girls’ Junior


U.S. Girls' Junior semifinalist Lakareber Abe has advanced further than she ever has before in a USGA championship. (USGA/Fred Vuich)
By Stuart Hall
July 26, 2013

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Lakareber Abe believes now is her time.

At 17, Abe, of Angleton, Texas, is playing in her seventh USGA championship, though prior to this week's U.S. Girls' Junior at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, the furthest she had advanced was the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.

On Friday morning, Abe went one step past that milestone by advancing to the afternoon's semifinals with a 4-and-3 victory over Kathleen Scavo, of Benicia, Calif. And Abe has no intention of stopping.

"Last year's public links taught me a lot about match play and how to play golf,” Abe said. “I've also been going to the Jim McLean Junior Golf Academy for three years now, and this year they brought in former LPGA player Stephanie Louden and that's really helped me."

Justin Poynter, director of instruction at the Academy, says Abe is on a confident and comfortable run right now.

"She's gotten better every day," said Poynter, who has caddied for Abe this week. "She wasn't too sharp the first couple rounds, got a little bit sharper yesterday and then played really well today."

Against Scavo, whom Abe had played against before, the game plan was quite simple, if not boring.

"[Scavo] hits a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, so I knew she was going to be steady," Abe said. "And as you go along in match play, players tend to get better and you know it’s going to be a tougher match. So I told myself at the beginning, 'If anything, make her birdie a hole to beat you. And just make pars, pars, pars.'"

Abe made 10 in her morning match, five of which won her holes. But it was an 89-yard sand wedge approach for eagle on the 349-yard, par-4 ninth that gave her a 4-up lead heading to the inward nine and added to her comfort level.

Scavo could never get closer than 3 down as Abe continued to make pars and few mistakes. Poynter says Abe's mental toughness and driving distance are making the difference this week.

None of Abe's four matches has reached the 18th hole and, given the usual match-play concessions, she has played 64 holes in 5 under par. Poynter says Abe has benefitted from the daily matches with her peers and instructors at the Academy, which had eight of its students in the field this week.

Abe, who has committed to the University of Alabama for 2014, danced for eight years before taking up golf. While she continues to dance, she was drawn to the changing competitive nature of golf.

"Every round is different," she said. "With dance it's the same movements every time, over and over. Maybe you change it every now and then."

As long as she keeps winning, Abe has no intention of changing anything this week.

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work frequently appears on USGA championship websites. 

 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
 
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image