FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Lakareber Abe arrives at Alabama in a little more than a year, but already cries of “Roll, Tide!” can be heard when Abe does something worth cheering for on the golf course. It’s what future teammate and fellow U.S. Girls’ Junior competitor Cheyenne Knight’s T-shirt said Friday morning.
Abe didn’t quite steamroll Kathleen Scavo in the quarterfinals, but she did something close to it. Abe stood on the 15th tee 5 up on Scavo, and when they matched pars, Abe was carted into the clubhouse to recharge for the semifinals. Not, of course, until Knight and a third future Alabama player, Nicole Morales, hopped on the cart with her.
A team environment is a familiar one for Abe, a student at the the Jim McLean Academy in Fort Worth, Texas. Abe has been boarding at the intimate academy for the past year, and instructor Justin Poynter has been on her bag all week at Sycamore Hills.
“We get along really well together,” Abe said. “. . . He knows my game.”
The name of that game is strength – Abe is a powerful player off the tee, which worked to her favor against Scavo. She overpowered both opponents in Thursday’s matches, too.
Abe was 2 under in her third-round match against Lilia Vu, and 4 under at Nos. 15-17, her final three holes. In the morning, she was 3 under in her match against Taylor Tomlinson. Those numbers, of course, take into account the conceded strokes that go along with match play.
Abe now draws Bethany Wu, who defeated Casie Cathrea, 4 and 3, in the match that followed Abe and Scavo. Wu’s path to the semifinals was arguably the toughest of any of the four remaining players. Wu drew Nicole Morales and Samantha Wagner on Wednesday.
On the top of the bracket, Meghan Khang defeated Sabrina Bonanno, 1 up, and Gabriella Then defeated Yueer Cindy Feng, 1 up.