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Mind games

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Sophia Suarez put in all the necessary work over the summer to work on her golf game, playing at least three rounds a week to sharpen her short and long game and all points in between. She also took the time to sharpen her mind game.

She found the mental part of the game to be just as important as her strokes and putts.

“I like the competitiveness. You’re not in a contact sport, but you can still get into someone’s head,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to explain. You got to play your game, but still get into their heads at the same time.”

She admits other golfers have got into her head on occasion.

The Princeton junior put everything together, both physically and mentally, to become the 2013 BCR Female Golfer of the Year. She led all area lady linksters with a 48.4 average per nine holes. She was the PHS team leader seven times out and carried medalist honors four times.

“Sophia was a team leader this year and turned her game up a big notch,” second-year PHS coach Will Gross said. “She was the anchor of our sectional qualifying team and played solid all year, always looking for ways to improve and better herself both with ball striking and her short game. She achieved a lot in the postseason and earned very well-deserved awards in the final tournaments to go along with her four meet medalist.”

Serving as team leader was a role Suarez took to heart, being the one to be in charge of times when the team got together to work out on their own during the offseason.

“I like being the leader of the team,” she said.

The Tigresses are an unique team with a total five golfers who have played together for two years. They have qualified for sectionals both years.

“We’ve come a long ways for just having young golfers,” said Suarez, one of three juniors on the team, who are joined by two sophomores.

On the course, the biggest area Suarez was striving to improve on over the offseason was “definitely putting.” She said, “My short game came together a lot more and helped me this year. I put a lot of time in this summer, and it all started to come together at the beginning of the season.”

Suarez has already laid out goals for her senior season, aiming to get down to the low 40s.

“Definitely (I want to) get out of sectionals, and I want to get better in conference,” said Suarez, who as the Three Rivers runner-up will be the top returning golfer in the conference next year.

Suarez picked up golf as a freshman with the encouragement of her parents, who are both golfers. She said she can now out-play both of them along with her siblings.

“I don’t think they want to admit to it, but they know I can,” she said.

And she’ll try to get into their heads whenever she can.

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