Batavia’s Lauren Anderson ascended to the top spot for the rebuilding Bulldogs’ girls golf team this fall as a sophomore – quite an honor, but also a major challenge, as she experienced again first-hand Thursday playing in the same group as returning state qualifiers Ariana Furrie of St. Charles North and Paige Jordan of St. Charles East. In this week’s Weekend Chit-chat with Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab, Anderson breaks down her sophomore season, starting with Thursday’s round at Pottawatomie. The following is an edited transcript:
What was it like playing with players of that caliber?
It’s competitive, that’s for sure. It’s not like going out and having your regular conversations. It’s very focused on each shot. It’s just very zoned in, and that’s pretty much it. You’re focusing on your shot, that’s it. It’s very competitive.
Playing at that No. 1 spot and seeing a lot of really good golfers this year, do you try to take certain things from their games in terms of observing?
Yeah, like I played with Bing (Singhsumalee) from Waubonsie Valley a couple weeks ago, and the first thing I took away was how she was very intellectual on each shot. Going up to the tee, she would try to be the last person to go to boost her confidence or something like that. So over the weeks I’ve been taking in more and more of that and trying to incorporate that in my game. I’m starting to see those things are starting to help me improve, too.
What’s been your best round so far this year?
I shot an 86 at Deerfield. That was probably my best round so far this year.
Were you expecting to be in the 1 spot this year? Was it any kind of surprise for you?
Well, I played No. 3 varsity as a freshman and our No. 1 and No. 2 were Tara Cullerton and Marissa Muehlbauer, and so when they left, I kind of assumed I’d be bumped up to No. 1, and so all summer I was kind of preparing and getting ready.
What course do you tend to play the best at around here?
That’s a good question. I guess I’d have to say Bliss Creek in Sugar Grove because we’ve played it so often. I just know it like the back of my hand. I can practically play it with my eyes closed.
Do you have a favorite hole on that course?
I like the first hole because it’s just challenging. Every girl looks at it like ‘Oh my goodness.’ It always drives me to try to get the best score. It’s just fun. It’s a fun hole.
So now we’re coming up to the conference meet (on Monday), regionals, all that fun stuff. How excited are you for those opportunities?
I’m very excited. I always love the big tournaments. The pressure, just seeing what this year is [building] up to, it’s really what I’m looking forward to.