Local girl Cathrea rebounds with 66 at Lake Merced
DALY CITY, Calif. – There are perks to sleeping in your own bed during a national championship, and the ability to stick to a routine is one of them. Even though it meant getting up long before the sun, Casie Cathrea made time for a run before pulling away from her Livermore, Calif., home at 5:15 a.m. to make a 7:20 a.m. tee time in the U.S. Girls' Junior at Lake Merced Golf Club.
It was just a 10- or 15-minute jog, but it got the blood flowing nonetheless. Next thing you know, Cathrea was in the clubhouse with a 6-under 66. That’s not only the course record at Lake Merced, but it assured the 16-year-old would make the cut. After a first-round 82, it was a little bit dire.
Cathrea, who has committed to Oklahoma State for the fall of 2013, said nothing profound happened after she went home Monday. She just did a little bit of thinking.
“I just thought to myself, ‘Hey, if you shoot even par tomorrow, you’ll be fine,’” she said.
It was so much better. Starting at No. 10, Cathrea opened with three birdies before a bogey at No. 14. She had another bogey at No. 1 but holed out at the 120-yard par-3 third hole with a wedge. She followed with three more birdies to get to the magic 66, which is three shots lower than any other competitor so far this week. Only one other player (Maria Jose Fassi, 69) has shot a round in the 60s on a course that averaged 79.4 in Round 2. It averaged 81.3 on Monday.
The hole-in-one is the fourth of Cathrea’s career. Another notable one came in 2009, when Cathrea was playing the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge (she earned a spot in that field through a Monday qualifier). This week is arguably more special because it’s so close to home.
“It’s important to me that I play well this week,” she said.
A stark contrast between stroke-play rounds is nothing new for Cathrea; she has a tendency to rebound well from high scores. Asked if she can tell a difference between herself as a player now and a year ago, Cathrea pauses.
“Not really. I kind of feel the same way that I did,” she said. “I notice I dress flashier. I know I’m wearing bright orange shorts tomorrow.”
Those are the kind of pants a 66 justifies.