Keller senior one of several golfers from district hoping to succeed in Fort Worth tournament

Posted Monday, Jul. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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For many of the young golfers in the Fort Worth area, the Fort Worth Junior Girls Golf Tournament is a chance to see where they stack up against the best North Texas has to offer.

For Keller senior Claire Carlin, the 2013 edition, taking place July 15-17, is all about redemption.

“I played in the tournament last year, but I didn’t do so well, but that’s why I’m excited to go out and play again because I feel like I can kind of redeem myself from the last tournament,” she said.

With another year of high school golf separating her last appearance in the city’s tournament, she believes she has one of the most challenging aspects of the game on her side this year – her putting game.

While many golfers spend what seems like decades squatting behind the ball, reading every sprout of grass over which the ball must traverse to find its way into the hole, it’s not as complicated for Carlin. She keeps it simple, focusing just on proper speed, which will, at the worst, leave the ball close to the hole.

However, what that simplistic approach to putting represents is the real key to putting and the real key to golf.

It’s all about your swagger.

“More than anything in golf, confidence is all you need, because if you don’t think you can do it, of course you’re not going to do it – because mentally, that’s what controls how well you play golf,” Carlin said. “If you have confidence and make the putt usually you come close or make it.”

In this month’s big tournament, her confidence is strengthened by the friendly faces which surround her at the tournament so close to home. Fellow Keller teammate Maddison Hopper will also join her on the course, as well as friends and acquaintances from neighboring schools, easing some nerves.

“It helps a lot knowing the people out there because we’re all friends,” Carlin said. “We don’t go to the same schools or live in the same place, we all play golf and we’re all really friendly toward each other.”

Marissa Delgado from Keller Central, as well as Olivia Gibbs and Alexis Tallant of Keller Timber Creek, round out Keller’s representation in the girls 18-hole division.

Following the advice of their head coach, Russell Fuqua, the Timber Creek duo enter the tournament hoping to gain big-tournament experience against high-quality talent and hopefully catch they eye of college scouts and coaches.

“I think it’s great exposure because of the competition level,” Fuqua said. “There’s girls and guys from this area that end up going to Division 1 schools and it’s hard to have that competition all the time and to see that level in this area gives any golfer the chance to see where they stack up against that competition.

The same holds true for Carlin, who said the thought of a future in college golf is on her mind daily as she trains for her senior season. She believes her chances to reach that goal lie with her performances this summer, including the city-wide tournament, which will cap off her summer off-season.

“It’s one of my later tournaments this summer, so I hope to end on a good note and have positive thoughts heading into the school year and go out there and have fun,” she said.

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