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GIANT EAGLE LPGA CLASSIC Cartwright makes her 1st cut a special experience



Published: Sat, July 20, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The teen-age rookie will give her first check to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- Most teen-agers think only of themselves. Catherine Cartwright is not your normal teen-ager.

A 19-year-old rookie playing in her fifth LPGA tournament this season, Cartwright made her first cut Saturday with a 3-under-par 69 in the second round of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic at Squaw Creek Country Club.

Cartwright's play, 1-under 143 through two rounds, also enabled her to fulfill a promise.

So affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Cartwright vowed to give her first check to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

SOWF provides college scholarship grants, based on need, along with financial aid and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.

Motivation

"After Sept. 11, I saw all the people who died, and then we got involved [as a country]," said Cartwright, a resident of Bonita Springs, Fla. "There were special operations guys losing their lives.

"I couldn't imagine losing my mom or dad," she said. "I couldn't support myself."

The amount of Cartwright's contribution will be determined today in the final round of the tournament.

"Hopefully it will be a big check," said Cartwright, who also donates $25 for her every birdie.

The 6-foot-1 Cartwright, who entered the tournament as an alternate, overcame a lot in two days.

Remained under par

Not only did she make two key par saves on her final two holes Saturday to remain under par, she was penalized two strokes for slow play in the first round Friday and finished with 74.

"It was not as bad as it seemed," said Cartwright, who was penalized on the par-5 eighth hole for a double bogey.

"It actually helped," she added. "I took revenge. I got a mad focus going on the back nine."

Then Saturday, with her cut weighing in the balance, Cartwright saved par on the final two holes -- out of the sand at 17 and out of the trees at 18, both par-4s.

"My swing was a little loose today," she said, "but I hung in there."

Strategy with dad

Cartwright knew she was close to the cut.

So when she pushed her drive into the trees on the 18th, she began talking strategy with her dad, Paul Cartwright, who also serves as her caddie.

"We were going to use a 7-wood and cut it around the trees," she said. "But I wanted to keep it short and chip on."

Cartwright, who saw a new instructor Thursday in Memphis, Tenn., used a 4-iron and landed the ball just short of the green. She chipped close and putted for par.

"I feel good about my mental game," Cartwright said. "I've been strong the last two days. Out here you have to be mentally tougher than everyone."

richesson@vindy.com




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