June 4, 2009

Cottingham scores in top half at state golf tournament

By Brenda L. Shelkey

The weather couldn’t have been better for competitors in the State Class B Girls Golf Tournament held at Cross Roads Golf Course at Carrington May 26 and 27. Samantha Cottingham, Central McLean’s only state qualifier, managed to finish in the top half, tied for 51st out of 128 qualifiers. Knowing she finished in the top half was a pretty good feeling for more than one reason. Cottingham went into the state golf tournament as an eighth grader. She said, "Everyday that I was there, I was the youngest one in my group." As far as Cottingham knew, she was the only eighth grader who qualified for state individually, although she thought that other eighth graders qualified for state as part of a team. "It was good experience to go and know that you are playing with the better golfers in the state, and be able to keep up with them and even shoot better than some of them." Cottingham thought it was nerve-wracking going up against juniors and seniors. But she realized a few important things about playing golf. She said, "It was good experience to get out there knowing that my age doesn’t really have anything to do with it, skill was more important." The first day of tournament play was based on qualifying scores and Cottingham drew the back nine holes of the Cross Roads Golf Course. She explained that they are considered the more challenging holes to play because of the water.

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