Former Creekview girls golfer prospers
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
May 30, 2014 04:00 AM | 1295 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Whitney Stevenson
Whitney Stevenson
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Whitney Stevenson knew playing golf in college would be different from playing at the high school level, but she had no idea just how different and great the experience would be.

The former Creekview High School standout recently completed her freshman year at Daytona State College, where she and her team won the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship. The Falcons, playing at the nearby LPGA International Golf Club in Daytona Beach, Fla., led from start to finish and posted a 20-stroke victory over Seminole State College.

Stevenson placed fifth as an individual and was one of four members of the Lady Falcons’ roster to earn first-team All-American honors. She shot 225 in the championship, with rounds of 73, 78 and 74.

“That was definitely the biggest deal out of anything I ever played in in my life,” Stevenson said. “The national championship was just amazing.”

Stevenson was often the fourth or fifth player on the team — a big change from when she played No. 1 at Creekview. But with some practice this summer, she expects to move up next season.

“I was actually shocked that my score counted a good bit of the year,” Stevenson said. “I’m hoping to practice a lot over the summer, and with that experience, go in with a little less nerves and finish off rounds to post good scores next year. I think we are going to have an awesome team. I’m really excited.”

Stevenson pointed out several differences between playing in college and in high school. Aside from the format of having five golfers play, and four scores count toward the team total, she listed the close bond she formed with her teammates, and playing the sport in both the fall and spring as the primary differences.

“It’s a lot different, but I still love it,” Stevenson said. “I’m used to having a busy schedule and multitasking. It’s all about prioritizing. It was difficult missing several days of school for a tournament, and then coming back to make up the work, but Daytona State was great and the teachers were understanding and great about letting me make up work.”

This was the second straight season, and fourth time in five years, that Daytona State won the NJCAA national title. Stevenson is hoping to help the Lady Falcons three-peat next season.

“I’m hoping we’ll go back next year,” Stevenson said. “I’d like to help with another national title before I’m done.”

Beyond that, Stevenson is beginning to look for a four-year college to transfer to when her time at the junior college is complete. She is taking a trip to Virginia Tech this summer and believes she will be able to land with a Division I program.

“I hoping I’ll transfer as a junior and go to a Division I school to play golf,” Stevenson said. “I’m putting in a lot of practice and playing some events this summer.”

Stevenson recently completed in a U.S. Women’s Open qualifier. Among her upcoming tournaments are the Georgia State Golf Association Top 60 Women’s Classic, a U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier and a couple of collegiate events through the Hurricane Golf Tour. She will return to Daytona State near the end of August.
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