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GIRLS GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Lauren Lightfritz, Lambert
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Lambert junior Lauren Lightfritz (right) is the 2015 Forsyth County News Girls Golfer of the Year. - photo by Micah Green

When Lauren Lightfritz was 7 years old, her father took her to the golf course for the first time. Four years later, she was playing in 9-hole tournaments every weekend. At the time, she didn’t quite know what she was getting into.

“In the beginning it was something that I was just told to do,” she said, “but eventually I started to love it and knew this was what I wanted to do for my career.”

For all intents and purposes, Lightfritz has been in the early stages of her career since she was old enough to fit junior sized golf clubs. Everything in her life, since childhood, has revolved around the golf course.

It was the eventual repetition and familiarity with the sport—the second nature, if you will—that gave Lightfritz the confidence to set an unprecedented goal when she arrived at Lambert as a freshman.

“I wanted to win four consecutive state titles. That was our goal and I’m sticking to it,” she said.

Only one more to go.

Lightfritz shot a 75—not her best performance—to lead the Longhorns to their third consecutive state title last week. The entire team, including Kayley Marschke, Christine McDonnell, and Kate Owens will return next season. The likelihood of Lambert completing Lightfritz’s aforementioned sweep is strong.

Though Lightfritz has new goals: She wants to earn an individual title at next year’s state tournament after finishing fourth individually this season.

Question: Overall, how did this past season go?

Lightfritz: “This year I played a lot better than last year. I shot a 69 at region, which was a goal of mine to shoot under par. At state we didn’t play as well as we thought we would, but this year I’ve gotten so much more distance out of my irons and driver, and it’s nice to have shorter yardages in, which is why I think I’ve shot lower this year.”

Question: Considering the depth Lambert has, do you feel less pressure in team tournaments, or do you stay focused on individual scoring?

Lightfritz: “It’s both. I have a lot of confidence in my team so when I go out there it gives me a sense of relief, but I also want to win individually so there are other girls on other teams that can be better than me, so I have something to battle with no matter what.”

Question: You’ve committed to play at Mercer. What made you commit to your college choice so early?

Lightfritz: “I want to be close to home and I really wanted a smaller school. I’m an only child so I kind of wanted the smaller atmosphere. I looked at Georgia, but I didn’t really care that much for the football team, so that’s fine.”

Question: What is your favorite club in the bag?

Lightfritz: “Gap wedge. Anything below 100 yards.”

Question: What is your favorite type of course?

Lightfritz: “I just played a tournament on a links course in Oregon. It was so much fun. It was open, right on the beach too so if you pushed your shot it would go right into the ocean. Bunkers are completely different.”