FLANDERS Sammie Dolce's golf game is controlled and efficient.
Dolce, a Morris Tech junior, keeps nearly everything in check, including her emotions, no matter what the circumstance, one of the traits of an elite golfer.
There was one detail of her round at the Morris County Girls Golf Tournament, however, that elevated her spirits and put excitement in her voice.
"I bombed my driver on the seventh hole," said Dolce proudly and with emphasis, reflecting back on the 265-yard tee shot that led to a birdie and helped her repeat as MCT champion. "It was a nice shot. I think the wind helped it a little bit."
Dolce didn't need much assistance from Mother Nature on the par-36 Blue Course at Flanders Valley on Thursday, April 28. Her steady play and top-notch abilities were enough to get her through as she carded three birdies in pursuit of a second consecutive title.
"I kept telling myself 'I've got this,'" she said after shooting a tournament-record 35. "I stayed focused. I had fun with the girls in my group. We talked a lot."
The weather conditions - 49 degrees with 16 mph winds - were hardly ideal for golf yet the 48-player field turned in some strong efforts. Morristown's Caroline Fixter came in second with a 42 followed by Morris Catholic's Mary Korab with a 44. The order of finish was identical to last year. Juliette Hyde of Mendham fired a 45 for fourth place.
In addition to the seventh hole, which was highlighted by the mammoth drive, No. 4 featured another birdie. Dolce chipped in from 20 yards on the 361-yard, par-4 hole.
"Everything was working," Dolce said. "My drives were straight. I hit my irons well. I got close to the pin and gave myself birdie chances."
She simply accepted the wind and dealt with it the best she could.
"At the start, it was very windy. It was still pretty gusty by the last hole," Dolce noted. "I stayed focused and played into the wind. I adjusted my clubs and didn't let my mind wander."
Dolce, whose lowest nine-hole score is a 32, had quite a sophomore year. In addition to the MCT crown, she was runner-up to Katherine Lu of West Windsor-Plainsboro at the NJSIAA Girls Tournament of Champions at the North Jersey Country Club and garnered top honors at the NJAC competition.
She has verbally committed to Bowling Green. She said she "loved it the minute I stepped on the campus."
"I was in contact with the coach and went for a visit," Dolce said. "Right away, I knew it was where I wanted to spend my college career. I love the atmosphere and the team."
On a day when she wasn't hitting well off the tee, Korab, a junior, relied on her short game, especially chipping.
"Chipping is typically my strength. My short game helped me out," Korab said. "It was fun to play today. I enjoyed it. The wind made it tough and I pushed a few shots because of it."
Korab parred three holes and was very pleased with her performance on the third hole, a par 3, where she chipped to five feet and sank the putt.
Before devoting herself to golf, Korab played basketball and soccer. At the age of 5, she attended golf camp at Neshanic Valley with her older brother, Jim, now a member of the golf team at County College of Morris.