Cathrea overpowers Junior PGA field
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The goal was to play conservatively, to avoid making any costly mistakes that would drop her out of contention. Imagine Casie Cathrea’s surprise, then, when her second shot of the 35th Junior PGA Championship was a chip-out.
“Started pretty bad with that bogey,” she said, “but I was able to back it up with a few birdies.”
Length, after all, does have its advantages – especially at soggy Sycamore Hills.
Routinely blowing the ball some 50 yards past her playing partners, Cathrea overcame that jarring start to shoot 1-under 71 and trail only Mariah Stackhouse and Kyle Roig after the opening round.
Cathrea, 14, stands only 5-foot-1. So, where does that power come from?
Said Cathrea, who averages about 255 yards off the tee: “I’m just stronger than most girls.”
Indeed, her daily workout regimen sounds exhausting.
She runs 2 miles a day at BodyMAX near her home in Livermore, Calif. She works out for about an hour and a half. She does lunges and pushups and free weights.
“It’s a little bit of an advantage,” she said, grinning.
While she’s not quite ready to load up the barbell with 45-pound weights – “My coaches don’t want me lifting too much right now,” she said – Cathrea is beginning to see the difference on the course.
She made her second LPGA start at the Bell Micro Classic in May, missing the cut. She also Monday-qualified for the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge last fall.
“That was amazing,” she said, “but this is a little harder than that. I was playing against the pros and I didn’t really stand a chance.”
If she keeps booming it off the tee, and pumping iron in the gym, she’ll have a chance just about everywhere.