Hill School girls' golf team member Jane Hopkinson-Wood '14 recently qualified for the 64th U.S. Girls' Junior Golf Championship, which will be held at scenic Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif. from July 16-21, 2012. The Championship is open to girls under the age of 18 and is considered the premier junior golf event in the country. Jane shot a 77 at the Spring Ford Country Club on Thursday, June 21 in the tournament qualifying round and finished in second place, just two shots behind the winner.
“I felt like I had just won the Masters when I learned that I had qualified,” Jane said. “My caddy told me I was doing well (in the standings) when we were on the final hole, but I had to wait another three hours for the rest of the field to come in before I knew I had actually qualified.”
Jane has been a major contributor to the girls’ golf team for the past two seasons. She immediately became the team's number one player as a third former during the 2011 season and has maintained the top position ever since. She led the team in scoring this past season, averaging a score of 43 in nine-hole competition. At the Red Devil Invitational in April, which was the team's lone 18-hole tournament of the season, Jane carded a six-over 78 to finish in third place out of 92 golfers and helped lead Hill to a second place finish out of 16 teams.
"Jane has been an integral part of our golf team since the day she came to Hill when she quickly assumed the number one position," said Beth Allain, Hill's head girls' golf coach. "However, I believe that we are just beginning to see the fruits of Jane’s hard work over the past two years. Her game has advanced to a new level since working with one of the best golf professionals in Pennsylvania, John Dunigan. I’m very proud of and excited for her.”
Despite consistently posting good scores throughout the 2012 season, Jane was in the process of working on a major swing change, which caused her to endure some frustrating moments. Staying true to her “never give up” personality, she continued to work through her frustration until the new swing became more natural, and her perseverance paid off in time for the qualifying tournament. With qualification out of the way, Jane will continue to hone different aspects of her game in the weeks leading up to the Championship.
“I’m planning on hitting the range and playing as much as possible throughout the next few weeks,” she explained. “I’ll also continue to work with my swing coach, and I especially want to focus on my short game.”
While the opportunity to play in such a prestigious tournament may seem overwhelming, Jane plans on maintaining a "one step at a time" mentality rather than worrying about the big picture.
“My goal for the tournament is to go out and do my best,” she said. “I want to focus only on my next shot, not my overall score or the leaderboard. I’m really excited to play Lake Merced and to play with some of the best junior girls’ golfers in the country.”