PDS Senior Batchelor Is Primed To Excel in National Golf Event
By Bill Alden
Kathryn Batchelor's golf game was as dismal as the rainy weather in the early stages of last month's two-round qualifier for the upcoming National Independent Insurance Agents Junior Classic.
Contending with a downpour, Batchelor, who will be a senior at Princeton Day School this fall, shot a 90 in the morning's first round.
With the weather clearing in the afternoon, Batchelor's game brightened as well as she scorched the Peddie School Golf Course with a scintillating 77 and qualified for the national event.
As Batchelor reflected on making the cut for the competition which takes place at the Olde Yorke Country Club in Chesterfield Township from August 11-15, she said fatigue helped clear her mind as she produced her sparkling second round.
"I played better in the afternoon because I was tired," explained Batchelor, who will be joined at the national event by PDS teammate Chad Bernstein after he shot 145 (74,71) to make the boys' section.
"I just got so focused. It was incredible to qualify, I feel so lucky to be getting the chance to play in this."
Luck, however, has had little to do with Batchelor's stellar play this summer. "I feel my game has improved this summer, I've taken it it to the next tier," said Batchelor. "I prepare myself much better mentally. If I hit a shot into the bunker, I just play my own game. I don't get all worried about the score."
In a typical week, Batchelor plays 5-6 rounds from Monday-Friday and then focuses on specific areas of her game on the weekends.
Batchelor has also tidied her game up around the green and has added a new weapon to her arsenal. "My putting has gotten a lot better, I've been practicing that a lot," she explained. "My coach has finally been letting me use my driver. That's definitely helped my yardage off the tee."
In Batchelor's view, the foundation for her superb summer was laid this spring through her play with PDS which was highlighted by her winning the state Prep girls' championship.
"I really came into my game this spring," said Batchelor, a Lawrenceville resident who also plays tennis and basketball for the Panthers. "This spring had a lot to do with how I'm doing now. I really gained a lot of confidence during the season."
Batchelor is quietly confident as she looks ahead to next week's challenge. "I'm so excited," she asserted. "My approach is to simply try my best. I want to shoot in the mid-70s."
Her approach has already resulted in Batchelor winning one prestigious title this summer as she recently won the Women's Golf Association of Philadelphia junior tournament. "That was definitely cool," recalled Batchelor. "The trophy for winning that was dated 1924. It's great that my name is going to be on it."
With the way Batchelor's game has progressed this summer, her name is likely to be on quite a few more trophies.