Thursday, 20 September 2012 13:32

Cronan will take a swing at provincial title

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Rachel Cronan, (fifth from the left) stands with her Comp. teammates at SWAC Championships. Rachel Cronan, (fifth from the left) stands with her Comp. teammates at SWAC Championships.

Swift Current Comp. High School golfer Rachel Cronan is, as they say, on a roll.

Cronan, who won the senior girls’ South West Athletic Conference golf title in Leader Sept. 13, thus allowing her to take a shot at the provincial title this weekend in Prince Albert in the SHSAA Grass Green Provincial Championship.
According to golf coach Russ Siemens, Cronan and all her Comp. teammates will try to do something which hasn’t been done in years. According to him, the last girls’ SHSAA champion was Nancy Moen (Harvey) in 1979. The last boys’ champion was Rod Preston in 1991. The Colts and Ardens teams have won numerous silver and bronze medals over the years, but never a gold.
Cronan is excited about a chance to try the northern course, but admits there are a few butterflies.
“I haven’t played there, but I heard it’s nice,” said Cronan who watched as the both the girls’ and boys’ teams took the team title in Leader as well. “I’m nervous and stuff, but I just want to have fun. There’s lots of pressure.”
Cronan was confident her team could win the team title at SWAC, but was unsure of her own chances.
“I knew our could win, but with me there’s one girl who I’ve had clashes scores with, but she had a rough day.”
The Comp. Grade 12 student said players get a practice round at Prince Albert which will help with the unfamiliar course, but plans on writing down details about each hole so as to remember some of the idiosyncrasies of each hole from the speed of the greens to those dips in the fairway and any possible hazards.
Her effort in SWAC at Leader followed her tie for top spot in the Havre Blue Ponies Invitational Golf Tournament with a golfer from Lewistown Montana. That tourney was held at the Havre Montana Beaver Creek Golf Sept. 8.
Apparently at that tournament, there happened to be scouts from American universities which sounds enticing and ego-boosting, but Cronan was humble to all the attention.
“Not really thinking about it; it’s nice to be asked about and watched that way, but I’d rather stay in Canada,” she explained.
Cronan’s development as a golfer has been relatively fast. She only took up the game in Grade 8 after her parents encouraged her to play. She seemed to pick up the game relatively quickly.
Cronan played and liked it so in grades 9 and 10, her parents encouraged her to enter some tournaments. She enjoyed hitting the ball well and shooting some good rounds. This encouraged her to continue with the sport.
Last year she enjoyed some success with the high-school program and in 2012, her game is really starting to fly. She played a lot of rounds on Swift Current’s courses and said that helped her game out a lot amongst other factors.
“I started golf lessons with John Gaudet and that’s helped,” she said of the Canadian Master Professional at the Chinook Golf Course. “That and I got new golf clubs. My old ones weren’t that great and these ones are really nice.”
Cronan said her strength is her driving and she needs to work on reading greens.
“I can get to the greens no problem, really figuring out the greens — that’s my biggest problem, not to over-putt or under-putt.”
Cronan admitted to being excited and a little nervous about this weekend, but added this won’t be the last tournament she will play in so she wants to keep it in perspective.
Besides, it’s not like golf is her only focus.
She curls in the winter, but also is part of the Comp.’s excellent jazz band and is in the choir. Then there’s homework she needs to get done. It’s busy times for her, but she enjoys it.
Regardless, this weekend the focus is on the links in Prince Albert. The Comp. Senior is hopeful she and her fellow Swift Current golfers can bring back some hardware.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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