Lauren “Lolo” Padgett played volleyball in middle school and studied ballet for nine and a half years. She doesn’t dance now but thinks the experience helped and is one of the reasons she’s now the Citrus Belt League girls golf champion. Padgett shot an opening-round 84 on Monday, Oct. 18, and a final round 78 two days later for a two-day total of 162 at the Citrus Belt League tournament at Riverside’s Jurupa Hills Golf Club. Her overall score was two strokes better than Redlands’ Brittyn Bockmann (164). “I feel great,” Padgett said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a great way to end my senior (CBL) season.” Padgett and her teammates still had the CIF-Southern Section team tournament scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 27 (too late for publication) at Western Hills in Anaheim. And she will compete in the CIF-SS individual tournament on Nov. 2 at Jurupa Hills. A 45-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole propelled Padgett to victory. “I was just thinking about getting the ball to the hole,” the 17-year-old senior said. “I didn’t want to hit it too short or too long. Then when I made it, I felt great and had the feeling the rest of the round was mine.” Padgett finished second to former Redlands East Valley golfer Taylor Muchmore in last year’s league finals. Padgett didn’t golf until the eighth grade. She did so, she said, because of potential scholarship opportunities and because several family members are golfers, including her father Tim. “I love how mental golf is and how super calming it is too,” said Padgett. “Even when I’m having a hard time away from the course it distracts me. And you never know how the game is going to be; it’s always changing.” The Yucaipa teen gave up ballet because she wants to go to college and have a family and not dance the rest of her life, she said. But she says what she learned in the dance studio is beneficial. “I do think it’s helped,” she said. “I have more flexibility and I think it’s helped my swing and my rhythm and my mental mindset.” A straight-A student in school, Padgett plans to study nursing in college but isn’t sure what school she will attend. She said a few NCAA Division 2 and three schools are interested and that Utah Valley University is also a possibility due to a connection involving her swing coach. Bockmann shot an 81 in the first round and led by three but followed that with an 83 on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Also finishing in the Top 5 were Mallory Miller of Yucaipa (173) and Liz Bearie of Yucaipa, with a 177. Making All-CBL based on their scores but not advancing to the CIF-SS individual tournament were: Redlands’ Callie Dixon (184), Yucaipa’s Tulcan Adee (185), Redlands’ Shahaida Shamohamdy (193) and Citrus Valley’s Mikayla Wilburn (195).
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