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Roseville’s Sorensen wins NCGA Junior Championship

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Clare Sorensen was talking about chipping in and holing out over dinner Monday night between rounds in the NCGA Junior Championship at Spyglass Hill.

The Roseville resident and Christian Brothers High School senior noted each feat is a “great way to finish a hole” and provides “good momentum.”

But Sorensen hadn’t done either — until the next day.

She holed out from about 65 yards for an eagle to start the second round, chipped in for birdie on the next hole and shot an even-par 72 to win the tournament. Sorensen’s 7-over 151 total beat Marissa Hinchman of Lodi by one stroke.

It was Sorensen’s first victory in a two-day tournament. The NCGA Junior is big. Golfers have to qualify for the event.

“A tournament of that caliber, for any player to win that is just huge, especially on that course,” she said. “That course is amazing. Just to be able to play it is a treat, but then to do so well on it was really great. I was so excited.”

Sorensen started on the 10th hole in each round. To start the second round, she hit a high sand wedge from 65 yards that felt “really good,” landed soft and rolled into the cup.

“It just disappeared,” Sorensen said. “Everyone was cheering.”

She said her chip-in for birdie on No. 11 was more planned.

“It was one of those days where I’d stand over a putt and I’d go, ‘I’m going to make this.’ I was hitting the ball really well. When you’re playing well, you can be aggressive. You’re feeling good about how you’re swinging. I was placing my drives a lot better the second day, so I felt confident about coming into different shots. I stayed aggressive even though I was nervous.”

Sorensen totaled four birdies and the eagle in the second round. She said she just missed other birdie opportunities.

Michael Grenz of Sloughhouse shot a 4-under 68 in the final round and won the boys title with a 1-under 215 total. Eric Ash of Loomis finished ninth at 8-over 224, and Austin Smotherman of Loomis tied for 10th at 9-over 225.