Mason links up golfing victories

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005

If Shanice Mason has as much success at John Yeates Middle School over the next few months as she did on the golf course this summer, the 11-year-old will grab a permanent spot on the honor roll.

In late June, just after graduating from Northern Shores Elementary, Mason headed to the Deer Run course in Newport News for the Old Dominion junior tournament. Just as she did last year, Mason, whose play is sponsored by the Southeastern Junior Golf Association, came out on top.

&uot;I’d played it before, so I was confident that I could win it again,&uot; she said.

Email newsletter signup

She fell a bit short a week later in Glen Allen at the U.S. Kids State Tournament, finishing second by three strokes against Virginia’s top 11-year-olds.

On July 5, she took part in the Norfolk City Junior tournament at Ocean View. The only girl in the event, Mason got second. Battling boys in the Virginia Beach Junior event at Bow Creek, she came in fourth.

Playing against boys, she said, &uot;is a little bit harder than against girls, but not that much. The boys are a little bit tougher, and they hit the balls harder.&uot;

Mason got back in title form by winning the Peyton Memorial event at the Cavalier Yacht and Country Club, then bolted to Starling for the Virginia State Golf Association Girls tournament. In her third year of playing in the tourney, she got third, her highest finish ever.

Then came a new challenge, Chuck Cohen’s Toledo (Ohio) Minority Golf Association National Invitational. For the first time, Mason played against high school and college players, coming in seventh.

&uot;I got a lot of experience playing with the older girls,&uot; she said. &uot;I’d never played with high school and college players before.&uot;

Then last week, her golfing summer ended the same way it had began; her experience showing, Mason won the Portsmouth City Junior event by over 20 strokes. Her tournament schedule’s on hold until February, when she’ll go south to Jekyll Island in Georgia for the U.S. Kids’ Regionals.

&uot;I’m going to keep practicing at the Suffolk Golf Course,&uot; she said. &uot;I’ve been doing pushups and situps at home to keep me in shape.&uot;