by Dean Holzwarth
Enid Gage has spent this summer at her favorite vacation hot spot--the golf course.
The soon to be Wyoming Park High School senior is passionate about her golf game and whether rain or shine, still finds the time to hit the links and hone her game.
"Even if it's a terrible day outside, windy or rainy, I'm still out here on the golf course," Gage said. "I love the challenge of the game. You can come out here one day and shoot a 70 and the next day shoot a 89. It's just a great feeling to be on the course."
Wyoming Park girl's golf coach Dick Locke has seen first hand the dedication she has towards becoming a better golfer.
"Enid is a girl who loves the game of golf," Locke said. "She spends a lot of time playing."
Her commitment to the game has shown in her recent tear through summer tournaments. During the past month, the 17-year-old Gage has been virtually unstoppable on the links. Her complete game has come together and her confidence is running at a feverish pitch.
"Ever since before the state finals, I've just been playing the best golf that I've ever played," Gage said. "It's been unbelievable. "I feel like when I 'm out there, I'm going to win every time. My confidence is at an all-time high. Even when I hit a bad shot I feel like I can come back and hit a good shot."
On June 16, she won the GAM Michigan Girls Junior Championship, which was played at Clearwater Country Club. She shot a 72-77 to win the 16-17 year-old division as well as becoming the overall winner.
She defeated Erin Borowiec of South Lyon by an astounding eight shots en route to the victory.
"It was a real good feeling to win the GAM," Gage said. "I was surprised by how much I won by because Erin (Borowiec) is a good player. Her and her sister Jenny are my competition"
Enid also won the Michigan Junior Maxfli Tournament and advanced to the Maxfli Junior Nationals.
Her victory at GAM was retribution for a second-day collapse at last year's event. Gage led by one stroke heading into the final day, but fell apart midway through her round.
"I was thinking about it, but I just tried to stay focused and not let what happened last year get to me," Gage said. "It was definitely a motivational factor for me."
Besides winning the GAM, Gage also won The USGA Junior Girls Golf Tournament. With the sectional win, she advances to Maryland for junior nationals on Aug. 2-7.
After struggling as a junior through the high school season, Gage peaked just before the start of the state tournament, which was held at Forest Akers West Golf Course at Michigan State University. She regrouped to shoot a 72-73-145 and claim the Division 3 runner-up spot.
"My game was kind of all over the place during the season. I played a lot of bad rounds and it just wasn't there," Gage said. "But it came together at the right time at state.
I was very happy with the way I played at state. I was thrilled because last year I tied for fourth and I knew this year that a lot seniors were my competition and I felt I could do really well and I did."
With her senior year approaching, Gage wants to put forth her best effort yet in an attempt to earn an athletic scholarship. She hopes to help lead her Wyoming Park team back to the state finals, as well as achieve individual success.
"I'm looking for a better high school season and it would be nice to win at state," said Gage, who has been named All-State and All-Conference since she was a freshman. "I'm talking to colleges right now and hopefully I get to play in college somewhere."
Gage has received a tremendous amount of support from her parents throughout her high school career.
"Both my parents have helped me a lot--They've been great," Gage said. "My mom comes out and practices with me and my dad is real supportive. If I play bad, he says don't worry about. He basically taught me about the game and has encouraged me ever since."
On the course, Enid is a fierce competitor who understands the game. She has incredible distance off the tee and is working on controlling her emotions.
"I think my biggest strength is not hitting very many bad shots," Gage said. "But I can't get too angry over bad rounds because you're going to have a lot of them. Temperament on the golf course is important for me. I get rattled out there when I hit bad shots, but I just try and focus on making a good second shot."
While playing a tough summer tournament schedule, Gage hopes the experience will benefit her in the future.
"They're definitely going to get me prepared to play in bigger tournaments and hopefully the more tournaments I play, the more recognition I'm going to get for colleges," Gage said.
WHAT'S IN ENID GAGE'S BAG
Callaway Great Big Driver
Callaway Fairway Woods 3-5
Irons: Mizuno T-Zoid
Sand wedge: Titleist
Putter: Ping Isopur
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