Local golfer Lindsey Weaver in U.S. Women’s Open

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                </div>  If you’re a fan of professional golf, there’s a name you might want to file away for the not-too-distant future. Lindsey Weaver has a year left in her college […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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If you’re a fan of professional golf, there’s a name you might want to file away for the not-too-distant future.

Lindsey Weaver has a year left in her college career, but already she’s playing with the pros.  The junior at University of Arizona is among professional and amateur golfers that are competing this weekend in the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.

The 5’3″ dynamo topped the entire field at the Open qualifier at Superstition Golf and Country Club in Phoenix to earn her spot in the four-day national event, finishing four strokes ahead of the rest of the competition by shooting a sizzling 68, 69 for a five-under par total.

Weaver is a local athlete who used an impressive golf career at Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek as a springboard to the collegiate game, where she has been equally successful.

Her talent blossomed early at Cactus Shadows when she won regional and state championships as a freshman. At one point, she was the No. 3 recruit in the nation on the Junior Golf Scoreboard and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open as a senior.

That same year Weaver was ranked as the top female golfer in the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) for the most wins in a year, with seven, and also recognized for the most years with at least one AJGA win, dating back to 2006.

She played for Notre Dame during her first year out of high school, but returned home to begin her sophomore year in Tucson.

It was obvious from that first year in South Bend that she was having no trouble transitioning to the college game. The one year she played for the Irish she shared co-medalist honors at the Big East Championships.  Her six-under round was the lowest recorded in the 11-year history of the tournament.

She wrapped up her season at Notre Dame with the program’s best-ever stroke average, a 72.71 through 10 tournaments and ended her short run with the Irish as the No. 32-ranked college player in the country.

Weaver continued to live up to her reputation at Arizona, where she competed in all 12 events during each of her sophomore and junior years. Both years she led the team in average strokes per round, low tournament score, most rounds at or under par, and most top-10 finishes.  In her first year with the Wildcats she tied for the lowest round on the team with a 67, and then came back this year to card another 67 to hold that team-best honor by herself.

She finished runner-up each year at the Pac-12 Championships and finished third at the NCAA Regional Championships this year.

And now she finds herself competing on the national stage, playing with top professional golfers and many of the best amateurs in the country.

Her score of 76 yesterday in the first round puts her at 1-over par, with just a dozen or so amateur golfers ahead of her in a record field of 1,873, a U.S. Golf Association record for participation.  To put that in some perspective, Michelle Wie, who won the Open in 2014, is sitting just four strokes ahead of her going into the second round.

She is getting a taste of what it’s like to play with the professionals this weekend, an incredible experience regardless of where she finishes.  But then it will be time to focus back on her final year of college competition.

And one more opportunity to win that Pac-12 crown for herself, a Pac-12 title for the team, and lead an Arizona women’s golf team back to the No. 5 national ranking it earned in 2015.

A stiff challenge… but who would be willing to bet against her at this point?

(Photo: Arizona Athletics)