Junior Megan Lazear is a member of the Ankeny Centennial girls’ golf team, while senior Lexi Russell plays for Ankeny’s squad.
Lazear shot a 108 in the Tony Dickey Hawkette Invitational on Thursday at Otter Creek. She helped the Jaguars edge Ankeny by one stroke for fourth place in the nine-team field.
Russell finished with a 129 for the Hawkettes, who will face Centennial again on Wednesday in a dual meet at Briarwood Golf Club.
Here is some inside info on the duo:
How is the season going thus far?
Lazear: This year is so much different than what I’ve had for the past two years, but I’m loving the change. We are out on the course so much more, and I’m very grateful for that. Both of the coaches have been incredible in all areas between practices and the meets we’ve had so far, and I REALLY appreciate them and love them already. We’ve also had so many new girls join this year and it’s so fun having a “big team”. Of course, 23 girls isn’t big but when you thought you were going to have nine, it makes a difference.
Russell: My season is going great!
What has been the highlight for you?
Lazear: Just being able to play with my some of my best friends this year because we’ve all made varsity so we have a really good time together. But on a more personal note, I’ve been hitting my irons really well and being pretty consistent with them so that’s fun, too.
Russell: Honestly, I think it would be meeting new people and just having fun with my team. We are like a little family, and it’s great.
Lexi, your home tournament was renamed the Toni DIckey Hawkette Invitational this year after your former coach. What was it like to play for coach Dickey?
Russell: Playing for coach Dickey was great. She was a very good coach and always helped me out. I was new at golf–I had never even picked up a club when I tried out, and she helped me with that. I am very proud to say I had her as a coach.
Were you happy with how you played in the tournament?
Lazear: I have not been happy with my game at all this season considering the work I have put in over the winter. The Ankeny tournament has been my worst score so far, and I was in a very bad mental state most of the whole round. Golf is so much more of a mental game than anyone ever expects, and it really can get to you when you don’t play well but nevertheless my team always makes me smile. Nobody on my team played as well as they wanted to, but coach Pete (being the awesome coach he is) bought us a pizza after the round and my team just made my day. I couldn’t ask for better people to play with, and they always manage to make me smile and pick me up after a bad round (which hasn’t been every round so far). They are the biggest support system in the world, and I love every one of them and appreciate them more than they know.
Russell: I’m happy with how I played. Even though it wasn’t my best score, I still kept a positive attitude and didn’t let it bring me down.
Megan, you’ve mentioned your coach, John Petersen, who took over the program this season. Has it been a smooth transition?
Lazear: I can imagine taking a head coaching position to something you’ve never done before (freshman boys golf is A LOT different than girls golf) can be difficult, but coach Pete has been awesome this whole time. Things are running smoothly, and I can’t think of a better transition from the past coaches to the present ones.
What is the strength of your game?
Lazear: Definitely my irons. I hit those well pretty much all the time. I would also say my short game is pretty good. I can chip pretty well, and I have really worked on two-putting to improve my strokes on the green as well.
Russell: I think having a positive attitude would also be a strength in my game. I think when keeping a good attitude and not getting down when you have a bad hit or bad hole can bring your game up.
What is your biggest weakness?
Lazear: My driver is my biggest physical weakness. I have yet to hit it the way I want this season so I’m ignoring it for now and just using a 4 Hybrid on the tee box. My mental game is also very hard for me. I get pretty down on myself when I don’t play the way I want and that obviously affects the rest of my game.
Goals for the season?
Lazear: Numbers-wise, I really want to be under 45 and maybe break 40 for nine holes and then break 85 for 18, but I also have a goal for my mental game. I really am working hard this season to play one stroke at a time and just worry about the shot ahead of me. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it sounds.
Russell: My goals would probably be just to have a good time and maybe just once get less than a 100 in an 18-hole meet.
What is your favorite course to play?
Lazear: I don’t really have a favorite course, but I do have a least favorite. I do not like Elmwood Country Club (in Marshalltown). That is by far the hardest course I have ever had to play. It is physically and mentally draining, and you have to be strong in both areas to accomplish that course. But if I think about it, I do like Jester Park–that’s always fun to play. Especially the par-3 course!
Russell: My favorite course would be our home course at Otter Creek. Although other people say it’s a hard course, I don’t think it’s too bad.
Plans for next year?
Russell: My plans are to go to DMACC and get my degree in criminal justice, then make my way to the police academy to become an officer.
Megan, would you like to play golf in college?
Lazear: I just plan on improving my game and keeping college in mind because I am thinking about playing in college. Of course, that’s a whole process but something to think about.
Did you watch the Masters? Were you rooting for Tiger Woods to win?
Lazear: I didn’t have time to watch the Masters even though I wish I did, but even though I didn’t watch I was still rooting for Tiger. I love him! It’s hard not to in my opinion.
Russell: I did not watch the Masters. Unfortunately, I did not have time. But yes, I was rooting for Tiger!