WHY SHE WAS SELECTED:
Oswego co-op senior Summer Hawkins finished undefeated in conference dual meets and was named MVP of the Southwest Prairie Conference. At the SPC meet, she shot an 81 to lead her team to a Top-5 finish. Hawkins talked to sports editor Joshua Welge about her season and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: You have regionals coming up this week. What have you been working on since the conference meet?
Hawkins: I just had a lesson [on Monday] with my coach, working on some short game stuff and also my 6-iron, which was off at conference, just cleaning a few things up. Working on putting, working on drills. The main goal for me is state. I’m looking forward to sectionals next Monday. The goal this week at regionals is to get through as a team.
Welge: You went unbeaten in conference duals. At one point, did you realize that it was a possibility?
Hawkins: I knew the tougher matches were at the beginning and at the end. I knew the last one we would have to play well as a team, knew I was first in the standings. I knew I had to work hard to achieve that. I think it’s good how it played out with the schedule.
Welge: How are you a better player this year?
Hawkins: I’m playing smarter and avoiding bigger mistakes to avoid the big numbers. My putting is better; I got a different putter this summer. There are birdie opportunities that I can make now. I think I average a birdie per nine holes. Last year, I kind of just parred a lot. I know that if I get a bogey, I’ll be fine, I can get a birdie later in the round.
Welge: When did you start playing golf?
Hawkins: I did the First Tee program since I was 10 years old at Phillips Park. The summer before freshman year, I did some IJGA tournaments, started to get into it a little more. After freshman year, I started to get more serious about it.
Welge: What’s the toughest course you’ve played on?
Hawkins: Broken Arrow in Lockport is the hardest. Freshman year sectionals was there, regionals last year. I’m really happy it’s not there this year.
Welge: What are your aspirations for the rest of the year?
Hawkins: We all have to play well at regionals for us to qualify for sectionals as a team. Our team is pretty young. I’m one of just two seniors. The rest of them are sophomores, but they’re doing good. We have a tough sectional, but I played my best round there last year, so hopefully I can make it to state.
Welge: What’s your college plans?
Hawkins: I don’t think I’m playing. I caddy. I applied for the Chick Evans scholarship, otherwise academic and merit-based scholarships.
I applied to six schools. My top two are Penn State and Colorado-Boulder. I plan to study environmental engineering.