While most other golfers during the Region II tournament at Lake Monticello golf course were discussing how they performed on the last hole or what they hoped to do on the next, Dominion junior Sara Hurwitch and Coach Sean Welsh were weighing their options on where they would go for dinner that night.
Welsh said he remembers watching Hurwitch, who shot 1-under 71 to win the individual title, on the second hole Monday when a light-hearted conversation lasting the rest of the round began about how hungry they were.
"We were just cracking up about how hungry we were and where should we go to dinner the whole match," said Welsh. "Sara is refreshing because you think of a prodigy like her as being very serious, but she is able to joke and keep things light."
Keeping things light worked very well on Monday for Hurwitch, who finished two strokes ahead of her closest pursuers in a field of 72 golfers. She also rebounded from a disappointing performance last season in the region tournament when she missed a state tournament bid by one stroke.
Hurwitch enters her first Virginia AA tournament this week at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal on quite a roll.
She has not shot worse than 75 this season, and has played to par or below in eight of her 12 rounds this season.
According to Welsh, the consistency always has been there, but she owes her impressive statistics to lengthening her drives by 25 yards from last season and an increasingly accurate short game.
"I went through some major swing changes this summer, and that definitely helped my game," said Hurwitch. "I'm definitely satisfied that I made it to states, but now I'm trying to go for first."
For Hurwitch, who is being recruited by some of the East Coast's top college programs, the state match will offer some familiar competition in Loudoun Valley's Nick Kelley and Monticello's Whitney Neuhauser, both of whom finished two strokes behind her in the region meet.
Hurwitch "is not focused on who's out there or what her score is. She is focused on the moment, and she plays for the moment," said Welsh. "It's never, 'I'm going to make four on this hole.' It's always, 'I'm going to hit the best possible shot right now.' I've been playing golf a long time, and I've seen a lot of people who have never mastered that."