Mason links to victory

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2004

Last week, Shanice Mason ended her summer in the same fashion in which she’d started it – by winning golf tournaments.

After kicking off her break from school by winning the Old Dominion tournament in Newport News, the 10-year-old Kilby Shores Elementary student took home her third City Links Junior Championship last week in the Portsmouth City Park.

Though she’s used to practicing with boys almost every day at the Suffolk Golf Course, the Old Dominion tourney was the first time that Shanice had ever come out on top while playing against them. The only girl in the event, she grabbed the 10-and-under championship.


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She played against them again at the Payton Memorial in July in Virginia Beach, taking 10th in the 12-and-under event, and nabbed 13th in 11U competition at the Cypress Pointe event in Virginia Beach last Monday.

Aided by equipment and tournament fees from the Southeastern Junior Golf Academy, which provides help to young golfers across the area, Shanice headed to Portsmouth, hoping that the third time would truly be a charm. She took the 10U tournament title in 2001 and 2002 but missed last year’s event with illness.

Shanice shot for par on the first and third holes of the nine-hole course on opening day, finishing out with a 44.

&uot;I was nervous,&uot; she said. &uot;I felt scared about losing my spot. My dad kept telling me to keep smiling, and it helped me concentrate on hitting.&uot;

Her methods worked; she started off the second day with a pair of pars, and closed out with another even shot.

When the tournament was over, she’d closed with a 40 for a total of 84, easily good enough for the girls title and just a single stroke behind the boys’ winner. Her brother Tray finished fifth in the boys 11U tournament.

Though the youth golf season is about over for the year, Shanice is still a common sight out at the SGC, sometimes putting with the sleeve of Callaway balls that she won as a trophy for the Portsmouth event. In October, she’ll play one more event in Norfolk.

Someday, Shanice hopes to become the next member of her family to play varsity golf at Nansemond River; her brother Calvin and sister Tiffany are currently on the team.

&uot;I don’t really have any other sports that I play,&uot; she said. &uot;Golf is fun, because you can play it with other people.&uot;