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Grier begins making postgraduate plans

April 30, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

Time moves forward and it just seems to go so fast these days.

Ashley Grier will attest to that. It's been four years since she graduated from Smithsburg High School and Thursday, she will bid farewell to college when she graduates from the University of Central Florida.

"I can't believe it's here," said Grier. "It's gone by so fast."

Grier spent two years at Jacksonville University before transferring to UCF. Her final season on the college golf links culminated in a seventh-place medal finish in the Conference USA Tournament with a 6-over par 222, which garnered her All-CUSA honors.

Once she returns home late Thursday with parents Dave and Judy, she'll begin formulating her overall plans, beginning with USGA events.

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"I'm coming back home and first I'll play around here," she said. "I want to qualify for the Women's U.S. Open and other USGA tournaments."

The UCF golf team had professional expertise this season as former LPGA touring pro Emilee Klein took over as coach.

Grier did not have an exceptional fall season, but under Klein's tutelage, her game reverted to her expectations.

"(Klein) had a lot of influence and I wish I had another year with her," said Grier. "She got us to focus on attitude and be positive ... don't get down after a bad shot. She always talked about course management and to save shots. She gave us a boost."

Four years gone by, Grier said she takes a "more positive attitude and outlook on life" with her from college.

Finally a 'Tour Boy'

When I first moved to this region in mid-2002, I locked on at Holly Hills Country Club with a part-time morning golf job.

Jody Rokisky has been there throughout my entire tenure, first as an assistant professional and now as a co-head professional.

Rokisky has always tried to fit as much playing time into his schedule, demanding as it is for all club pros and even more so for Rokisky with two toddlers. Around the shop, it's not uncommon to refer to him as "Tour Boy."

Wednesday at the TPC at Avenel, Rokisky earned his ticket to the PGA Tour when he gained one of two qualifying spots for the Booz Allen Classic with a 2-over par 73 covering the 6,900-yard layout.

"Obviously I'm surprised," said Rokisky, who wasn't sure his score would be good enough, especially opening the front nine with a 2-over 38. "This will be the biggest event I've ever played in."

Rokisky, who lives in New Market, Md., thought even par or better would be needed to qualify. He posted a birdie on 15 and then bogeyed the next two holes, but a closing birdie on 18 was the one he needed to make the grade.

"I tried to stay in the present and not get ahead of myself," he said of only the second time he had ever played at Avenel. "I made some putts to save par and keep the round going."

Shooting a 73 isn't close to a personal best for Rokisky, but it is the number he needed for the desired result.

The Booz Allen Classic will be played June 22-25 at Avenel. Defending champion Sergio Garcia will be among the top PGA players in the field.

Locals on the go

Monday is qualifying day at Wakefield Valley Golf Club in Westminster, Md., for those hoping to get into the Maryland Open, slated for July at the Members Club at Four Streams.

Among those slated to tee off at Wakefield are Steve Caron, Dell Ahalt, Brandon Hendrickson and Brandon Sheaffer of Black Rock; Greg Henry of Beaver Creek; Tim Reeves of Yingling's and Randall Finn of Fountain Head.

On Wednesday, Henry and Ken Lampard play in the Maryland Two-Man Championship at Beechtree Golf Club in Aberdeen, Md.

In Pennsylvania, Chambersburg High School senior Clayton Rotz looks to move forward beginning May 8 in the Jay Sigel Match Play Championships. Rotz is seeded 15th in the 32-man finals flight and will meet William Smith of Newville, Pa., in his opening match at Totteridge Golf Club in Greensburg, Pa.




Tim Koelble's Divots column appears on Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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