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Prep golf: The look of a focused girl

Hart High senior Jamie Corr is intense, competitive and determined

Posted: November 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 8, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Hart High senior golfer Jamie Corr plays in today's CIF/WSCGA Regional State Qualifier, which is the third round of four in the state playoffs.

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There’s this hard shell.

A steely look.

A rare smile.

Hidden deep inside that head of hers is a focus and a competitiveness that is beyond most athletes in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Jamie Corr doesn’t mean to have this appearance.

In fact, it’s really not her she says.

“The people who actually know me, they say I’m really funny,” Corr says. “When you first meet me you might get a different impression than when you know me because I act serious. My teammates know that I’m not that serious.”

But she understands how her appearance can come off that way.

Especially when she is so focused with her studies.

Corr is the Foothill League’s best golfer.

Taking it a step beyond that, she’s one of the best girls golfers this area has seen.

This season she won the Foothill League Most Valuable Player for the second time in her career. She previously won it as a sophomore competing against three senior teammates from Hart — her sister Amanda Corr, Brenna Carlson and Nikki Prichard — who all are playing golf at the NCAA Division I level today.

Corr competes today in the CIF/WSCGA Regional State Qualifier at the Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta, the third of four rounds of the state playoffs.

Before this year, she had never surpassed the first round of the postseason.

But a relaxed approach, a pinpoint determination and a competitive drive have taken her to a level that very few girls golfers have seen in this area.

“For Jamie, it’s a self-competitiveness,” says Hart head coach Renee Onori. “It’s how good can she be versus the course. There’s the person that wants to beat everybody else. For Jamie it’s how well she can play the game and how she can be prepared to be the best she can.”

Corr is different in a lot of ways from her sister Amanda, who played at Hart from 2007-2010.

Amanda was a little more gregarious as a freshman golfer and a little more polished on the course.

Jamie was a little more shy at the same age and, while her game was stellar for a freshman, it had room for growth.

That growth happened quickly, as in a year’s time she was beating everyone in the Foothill League as a sophomore.

Onori explains that Corr’s a girl who does her homework.

“She takes in everything. She’ll check the wind. Then she’ll watch when every one takes a shot. She’s not so self focused that she’ll miss things that happen around her,” Onori says. “I would say she’s definitely cerebral. She definitely plans out everything before she goes to play in a tournament. Even if she hasn’t played a golf course, she knows every course. She also anticipates every shot.”

After the sixth Foothill League match of the year, Hart assistant golf coach Dave Montgomery was marvelling about Corr’s work ethic. He noted how she wanted to close out the regular season with the Foothill League Most Valuable Player honor so badly that she golfed the TPC Valencia course both weekend days before the final two matches of the season at the course.

It wasn’t like she was unfamiliar with the course — as she has played it countless times in her life. But nothing would stand in her way of winning the league’s top prize.

Corr played practice rounds before the Oct. 25 CIF-Southern Section Northern Individual Regional (she shot a 3-over 75) and Nov. 1 Southern Section Individual Final (another 3-over 75).

This past Sunday was her 17th birthday.

She didn’t plan on celebrating it. Instead she was slated to golf the Murrieta course.

But she had a cold and couldn’t.

“I could celebrate my birthday next weekend,” says Corr of at first choosing to practice rather than celebrate. “This is really the only time I could practice golf. It’s the most important thing for me to do.”

It’s fitting to call Corr a student of the game.

It’s even more fitting to call her a student.

She loves math and science, is taking three advanced placement classes and an honors class, and says one of the things she wanted to take advantage of during her senior year was taking a computer science class.

She wants to study software engineering in college.

But the student is also the teacher.

Her sister Katie, a 14-year-old freshman and club soccer player, has taken to the sport of golf.

Their father John first passed the sport onto his daughters and has been a supporter of their efforts, but the sisters’ bond has also helped drive them.

Katie, after playing on the Indians golf team — and finishing as the No. 6 golfer in the Foothill League, now considers herself more of a golfer.

“She has influenced me a lot, especially in my first year,” Katie says of Jamie. “She showed me that goals are able to be achieved. I look up to her for all she’s done. She’s my role model. I want to be as successful as she is.”

Success is usually hard to read on Corr’s face.

She’s a stoic golfer — a representation of her focus.

But at the end of today’s 18 holes, she could end with a true expression of her emotions — a smile or a tear.

Either way you’ll know she gave it all she had.

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