The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Golf: Going For More Gold

  • Goodley looking to back up Optimist title with International championship at PGA National
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  • In terms of the stage, none will be bigger than when Ashton Goodley tees it up Thursday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
    When it comes to size and length, Goodley likes her chances of trying to tame the famed home of the Professional Golfers' Association of America.
    After wrapping up a top finish at the Illinois Optimist Junior Golf Championships at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur with a 83-78-161, Goodley now sets on sights on the Optimist International Championships.
    One of the big reasons for Goodley's top finish in Decatur was due to her distance off the tee.
    This summer, the Eldorado High School junior to be has found a new love with her driver and has her irons dialed in as well.
    PGA National is expected to play 5900 yards in length when Goodley goes for the championship of the Optimist International Tournament.
    In comparison, Red Tail Run played 6100 yards, where the Eagle linkster had to overcome unfavorable weather conditions.
    "The course played long, but with the wind, it played even longer." Goodley said after she won at Red Tail Run.
    Goodley is booming her drives some 270 to 265 yards off the tee box this summer with no only length, but with accuracy.
    She knows that will be the X-factor come Thursday.
    "I have a goal of shooting 70," she said. "I know in order to do that, I have to put the ball in the fairway and keep it in play. I can't come away with anything more than a two-putt on any green, but obviously, I got to mix in some birdies."
    Goodley is hoping that logic puts her in position to contend on the weekend after the first cut is made Friday.
    Along the way, Goodley plans to make the most of the experience.
    "I'm excited and really looking forward to it. I'm excited about the new competitors and meeting some international players."
    Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.
    Twitter: @spydieshooter
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