Deerfield golfer Trapani has learned her lesson

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DEERFIELD — It could have been a catalyst for one of the biggest disappointments in Carrie Trapani’s young life.

Playing for Deerfield in a Class 2A girls golf regional last October, Trapani finished her round at Winnetka Golf Course. Her score of 96 was the same as Niles North’s Quynh Ngyuen. A sudden-death playoff for the final berth at sectionals ensued.

On the first hole, Ngyuen drained a nine-foot birdie putt. Trapani played the hole well, finishing with a par. But it was one stroke short. She was denied a repeat trip to sectionals after qualifying as a sophomore.

Almost a year later, Trapani remembers how she felt that day.

“I had my adrenaline pumping. My team was supporting me the whole way,” Trapani said. “I played my best round. It was unfortunate.”

Trapani learned a lesson that day. With this golf season being her last as a Warrior, she wanted to apply that knowledge every day.

“That really taught me how to manage myself under pressure,” Trapani said. “In that moment you have no other option but to go and do the best of your ability. It taught me to buckle down.”

So Trapani set out to work on bettering her strengths and minimizing her weaknesses. Not a long hitter off the tee, she is at her best with an iron in her hands. Trapani can hit a 5-iron almost as long as her driver — 185 yards.

Warriors coach Tim Bleck has been working with Trapani on improving her distance with the driver and fairway woods. Bleck said that like so many golfers, Trapani’s issue is confidence.

“She has a beautiful swing. She can hit it a long way and put herself in position to score,” Bleck said. “What I’m trying to work with her on is what if you can be 110 yards out (from the green) instead of 150? How more comfortable would you be?”

There are signs Trapani is getting better. Playing Mundelein on Aug. 29 at Deerfield Golf Course, she was on the par-5 sixth hole. With two water hazards along a narrow fairway, it is one of the tougher holes on the course.

“It gets me every time. It’s one of those you have to mentally prepare for,” Trapani said.

Her tee shot hit the fairway. She then blasted a 5-iron close to 180 yards. After her fourth shot, she was nestled in the third cut, about 40 feet away from the pin. She used a pitching wedge for her fifth shot. It bounced on the green and rolled in the hole for a par.

It was just one hole in a long season for Trapani. But it represented much more — the application of wisdom gained from her defeat a season ago.

“This whole sport has done so much for me and has developed me into the person I am today,” Trapani said. “When you are under pressure, you have to pick yourself up. That’s how I want to play.”

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