Little to play first women’s amateur next week

Christopher Cameron
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WESTVILLE – It’s time to make the jump.

Bernadette Little takes a practice putt at Abercrombie Country Club before her round last week. Little will participating in the NSGA women’s amateur at Eden Golf and Country Club from July 3 to 5. 

Westville’s Bernadette Little will play the NSGA women’s amateur for the first time next week after leaving her mark at the junior level where she won the last three provincial championships.

This year’s amateur is being held July 3-5 at Eden Golf and Country Club in Bridgetown.

“It’s going to be different, the competition will be different and it will be a different atmosphere,” said Little. “I still need to go out and play my own game like I’ve done in the past. I need to play the course, not my competitors.”

Having focused solely on the junior circuit in recent years she has no idea what to expect next week when it comes to the field of 17. She did have the opportunity to play a practice round and expects that will help her somewhat on opening day.

“It will be a good test,” she said. “There are some tough holes for sure. The course has some long, tight holes, but there are also some opportunities to make birdies as well.”

To make Team Nova Scotia, which will travel to the Canadian women’s amateur in Woodstock, Ont., July 22-25, Little will need to finish in the top three. That’s her goal, but in her first summer playing the amateur, possibly her only one for awhile, she isn’t sure how the event will play out.

“You just need to treat every round of the tournament the same,” she said. “The score will look after itself if you take it round-by-round and don’t look too far ahead.”

A member of the Lee University golf team in Cleveland, Tenn., during the school year, Little said there are fewer opportunities to play amateur tournaments in Nova Scotia during the summer than in junior. It’s for that reason she will be travelling to Florida in early August for a tournament and hopes to stay in Tennessee for future summers.

“There just aren’t the same number of events or opportunities now that I’m out of junior,” she said. “My plan is to stay down there and play golf next summer because I will get more of an opportunity to play.”

This year as a sophomore she had a strong fall season with a lower average score and a better start than last year. Little won the Smokey Mountain Invitational in September with a two-round total of 142 (73-69), a two-stroke victory over West Florida’s Camila Sevillano. The team finished second at the event.

To end the fall season, both the men’s and women’s teams won banners at the NCCAA national championship. Little was named to that all-tournament team after shooting a three-round total of 218 (75-72-71), good enough for second place overall behind her teammate Courtney Shelton.

“We all played well as a team, but Courtney led us by winning the tournament as an individual,” said Little. “It was good to see her win as a senior after seeing all the time and effort she put into it. We’ll really miss her next year.”

Throughout the season she said the biggest improvement to her game was the mental aspect. Her patience and focus on the course were the main part of that improvement, which she attributes to her play being more consistent.

“I’ve seemed to eliminate the double and triples (bogie) for the most part,” she said. “That’s come from looking at my game per hole and per round.”

She hopes her second season with the university program and the improvements she’s made will pay off this summer – especially next week.

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: Eden Golf and Country Club, Lee University, Smokey Mountain Invitational

Geographic location: Bridgetown, Woodstock, Cleveland, Tenn. Nova Scotia Tennessee

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