“I think I got more frustrated watching them and seeing some little mistakes than I get frustrated at myself when I am playing out on the course,” he said. “It is a totally different perspective of the game. It was fun to be able to watch them and analyze their game. You are so focused on your own game that you really don’t get a chance to pay attention to the other golfers.
“For my game, I think that it will really help to see the game from another point of view. I learned some different strategies that I can use. There were some things I can take from this and work on in my game.”
• CHAMP RETURNS: In 2009, as a freshman at North Clayton High School in Riverdale, Mariah Stackhouse was the medalist at the Georgia High School Association Class 4A girls state tournament at DGCC.
She won that tournament — Northwest Whitfield won the team title — with a par round. She couldn’t duplicate that total her second time around.
Now a sophomore at Stanford University and building quite an amateur reputation with her play, Stackhouse struggled on the greens and finished at 6 over. Stackhouse, who qualified for the 2011 Women’s U.S. Open, said this was a much different DGCC course than she remembered.
“It is a different course from what I remember from winning state,” Stackhouse said. “I was fairly confident coming into the round, but that is one of the biggest difficulties in an 18-hole qualifier. It is one round, and you have to be on top of your game. A couple of bad holes can spring up and you have no one to blame but yourself.”
The course also played a lot longer. GHSA recommendations for postseason girls play puts the distance of courses near 5,500 yards. The course played more than 900 yards longer than that Monday.
But Stackhouse wasn’t blaming her distance, she was blaming her putter. While drives weren’t rolling far on the fairways after seven-straight days of rain, Stackhouse and the rest of the field could fire at pins as greens were sticking.
“I just didn’t make any putts,” she said. “You could fly it to the pin, but when I had birdie putts, I made par, and when I had some par putts, I made bogey.”
During her freshman year at Stanford, Stackhouse lit the golf world atwitter after shooting a 61 to win the Peg Barnard Invitational. She shot a 9-under 26 on the front nine at Stanford Golf Course and finished the round at 10-under.
As an African-American golfer at Stanford who lived up to her first-year expectations, the comparisons to Tiger Woods — a Stanford alum — have been inevitable.
“It is an easy comparison for people to make because we are both African-American,” she said, “but he was a lot better at my age than I am.”
• SPOTS SECURED: Katy Funk of Spartanburg, S.C., and Ally McDonald of Fulton, Miss., both finished at 2-under 70 to share medalist honors and were two of nine automatic qualifiers for the championship, which will be played August 5-11 at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina.
Lauren Stephenson of Lexington, S.C., was alone in third at 71, while Lori Beth Adams of Burlington, N.C., shot a 72. Laura Wearn (Charlotte, N.C.), Jordan Britt (Chattanooga) and McKenzie Talbert (North Augusta, S.C.) all shot 73 and were automatic qualifiers.
England’s Melissa Siviter and Suwanee’s Sloan Shanahan won a four-woman playoff at 74 for the other two automatic spots. Cammie Gray of Northport, Ala., and Sarah Harris of Hermitage, Tenn., lost the playoff and will serve as alternates.