Sabb shaving strokes in preparation of district match
BERRYVILLE -- Lauren Saab has been chipping away at her score, a stroke here and there as the district golf match nears at Valley View Golf Course in Farmington on Sept. 24.
Saab carded a 50 on Thursday at Carroll County Country Club. It wasn't her best outing of the year. But it was low enough to earn co-medalist honors with Eureka Springs' Mollie Montez. It is also the number Saab feels like she needs to maintain to compete well at the district match and advance to the state tournament.
"I need to be below 100," Saab said after Thursday's round. "I would like to be in the mid-90's. I shot 102 last time (at Valley View) because I self-destructed on the last couple of holes. I know how the greens are. They are really slick. But I like playing that course."
Saab started the season in early August averaging rounds in the mid- to upper-50's and has consistently shaved strokes off her game. She said getting off the tee was a problem earlier in the year.
"I didn't hit my drives really solid at the beginning of the year," she said. "I have started hitting it better off the tee now. It has helped my game a whole lot, especially mentally."
Now that the driver is working, Saab says cleaning up her short game was next on her list.
"I was on the green in two on No. 9 and it took me four putts to get it in the hole," Saab said. "It should have been an easy par if not a birdie. That's the one I blame for keeping me out of the 40's today. I am going to work on putting and chipping. Hopefully that will get me in better shape. If I could two-putt I would probably par a lot more."
The top two teams and top four individuals receive invitations to the state tournament. Berryville golf coach Brent Compton said Saab was in position to receive a bid.
"If she can curve that and get under 100 for 18 holes she will have a chance to make the state tournament," he said. "If she can be at 95 or 96 I think she has a great chance. She's right there. It's just a matter of putting a score together on district day at Valley View."
Compton said Saab has improved since shooting 102 in the season opener on Aug. 5.
"That was the first match of the year," he said. "She's gotten a lot better since then. Plus, we play a match over there Monday and the following Monday we have a practice round there. So she will see that course a couple of more times before the district match, which should help."
Huntsville and Bruno-Pyatt tied for first place in the boy's event with a team score of 136, Berryville was third at 150 and Green Forest was fourth at 161.
Chandler Mann led the Bobcats with a 43, Hunter Rivett carded a 48, Dylan Coley added a 59 and Neal Hagler chipped in with a 61.
Green Forest was led by Austin Smalley with a 49, Brandon Hogan with 53, David Nelson with 59 and Gavin Nelson with 60.