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Carpenter said the against-bogey scoring takes some of the pressure off, knowing that the score is the same for an eagle or a par.
“Sometimes in regular stroke play tournament[s], you’re thinking, ‘I’m trying to make the lowest score I can,’” Carpenter said. “In this type of game, I’d say that it makes sense to play a little more conservative. I don’t need to make birdies. I don’t need to make eagle. I just need to make par, or sometimes bogey. It’s minimizing errors and just playing smart.”
Groza – an NIU marketing professor and former golfer at the University of Cincinnati – said she has trouble playing conservative at times.
“Playing safe can get you into trouble more times,” Groza said. “Part of being a golfer is just stepping up, seeing a shot and hitting it. Second guessing yourself, thinking, ‘Oh, I should just back off here.’ Then I find myself making more mistakes. It’s a hard balance.”
Carpenter said she’s enjoyed the experience of playing on the team the last two years, which is uncommon for a girl; DeKalb doesn’t have a girls golf program, and she’s played the last four years on the boys team.
“This tournament is so different from all the other ones I play all season,” Carpenter said. “I’m part of a team, and I’ve never been a part of a girls team before. Just last year, I had such a great experience. It was really special being able to play with all these amazing women who have been so kind and great, like mentors to me. It’s been really special, and I’m glad I’ve been able to be a part of it for a second year.”