Junior Golf

Local youth golfers comeup short for second title

2013-06-17T22:12:00Z Local youth golfers comeup short for second titleJohn Burbridge john.burbridge@nwi.com, (219) 933-3371 nwitimes.com

Golf can test one's patience.

For the tandem of Kara Blair and Alexis Miestowski, their patience was tested on the 13th hole of the Indiana Golf Foundation Girls Team Championships, held June 4 at Stony Creek Golf Club in Noblesville.

"One thing you've got to realize that they are both 13 years old, and they were the youngest golfers out there," said Kara's father, Mat Blair, who is Valparaiso University's women's golf coach and is the head pro at Briar Leaf in LaPorte.

Kara, of Rolling Prairie, and Alexis, of Schererville, won the 12-and-under title at the Girls Team Championships last year. That division played nine holes within a format where each golfer plays her own ball before recording the lowest score of the two for each hole.

Now moved up to the 13-14 division which, with the 15-16 and 17-19 divisions play 18 holes, Kara and Alexis were leading all divisions after carding a 35 through the first nine.

"They were doing real well," Mat Blair said, "but then they had to wait for 45 minutes during a delay on 13.

"My daughter likes to play a quick game ... likes to keep things moving along, but sometimes you have to deal with slow play."

A couple of short-game miscues after the delay resulted in a 41 on the latter nine, which landed the team in second place in their division and fourth overall.

Kara and Alexis are both members of the Junior PGA Golf League and play on the Mountain Dew Tour. They also take lessons from Kara's father.

"You do a lot of indoor driving in the winter, but the summer is a good time to work on the short game ... chipping, putting and strategy out on the course," Mat Blair said. "They both hit it straight and don't make mistakes on the fairway. It's their short game we're trying to improve."

Blair has been training Alexis for four years.

"I work more with Alex than I do with my own daughter," Blair said. "A lot of times that's the way it is when your father is a golf pro whose job is to work with other golfers.

"She does sit in on my group lessons, and she picks up a lot from there. But when you're a parent and you're always telling your kid to 'clean your room', 'do your homework' and 'take out the garbage', they're not always quick to respond to 'go work on your swing.' "

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