Wollen 54th in NE Championships

KEENE, N.H. - When the New England Interscholastic Golf Championships at Bretwood Golf Course came to a close on Monday, Burr and Burton Academy junior Maddi Wollen tied for 54th place out of a field of 62 competitors.

Wollen shot a 99 on the day - the same score she had shot two weeks ago at the state championship at Proctor-Pittsford Golf Course to place 10th out of a field of 70 golfers and qualify her to advance to the New England Championships.

"I was excited to hear that she broke 100 because she's been shooting right around there. Again she played a course she hadn't seen before," said BBA coach Steve Houghton. "She [shot] 99 both times, in the states and in New Englands and I'm expecting that she'll drop that score next year by anywhere from five to 10 shots. So, we'll be looking at good numbers next year."

According to Houghton, Wollen finished ahead of some of the golfers that had beaten her in the state championships two weeks ago.

Chloe Levins of Rutland High School was the top Vermont golfer, shooting an 84 and finishing in 26th place. She was followed closely by Miranda Milne of Harwood High School who shot an 85 and finished 27th. Lake Region's Olivia King (96) and Woodstock's Lauren Mayer (97) were just a few of strokes better than Wollen and finished in 52nd and 53rd place, respectively.

Colette Schmidt of Lebanon High School in New Hampshire took first place, shooting a 75.

Houghton said that he believed Wollen's performance in the state championships at Proctor-Pittsford gave her confidence going into the New England Championships that allowed her to perform well.

"For her to shoot the score that she shot, I think it's indicative of a positive outlook, mental attitude, going in and I think she was probably relatively pleased," Houghton said. "She'll tell you that there were a few shots she wished she had back. But it's a good start for her here in Vermont and it will only make her better going forward next year."

Next season Houghton said there are a couple of areas in Wollen's game that they will address to improve her score.

"We're going to spend a good deal of time putting. We may solicit some help from some of the local pros because she drops too many shots putting and that's probably the most glaring element of her game that she needs to work on, as we all do. After that it would be her short game because she hits the ball very well off the tee and she hits very long fairway shots as well, but when she gets inside of 100 yards, like many amateurs, those are difficult shots that require finesse and touch," said Houghton. "We do that, she'll get in the 80s for sure."

Two weeks ago, Wollen made history - becoming the first female golfer in BBA history to earn the right to compete at the New England Championships.

Wollen is not only the first female golfer in the program's seven year history to qualify for the New England Championships, she is also the only female golfer to compete in DI at the varsity level, according to Houghton.

Prior to this year, Wollen - who transferred to BBA this year from Bancroft School in Worcester, Mass. - hadn't played golf competitively.

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