Adeena Shears has taken the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour by storm.
The tour features 100 events beginning in January and ending on the first day of September. On occasion, multiple tournaments are scheduled during the course of one weekend. Tournament sites range from the southern United States and along the eastern seaboard as far north as New York. Ohio and Pennsylvania also factor into the tour.
Shears, a 16-year-old golfer who is completing her sophomore year at Parkersburg South High School, stayed close to home in her first encounter on the tour when she competed at the College Prep Series earlier this month in Lexington, Ky.
In the 36-hole event, she led wire-to-wire after turning in rounds of 84 and 75 for a 159 two-day total and a seven-stoke margin of victory for the girls 15-18 age division.
"The first day, there was a ton of wind and I hit the ball really high so the wind took it everywhere," Shears said. "The second day, it was not windy at all and I putted the ball better."
Last week, Shears was on her game once again. At the Orange Lake Junior Open in Kissimmee, Fla, she trailed the leaders by two strokes after shooting a 75 on Day 1. Less than 24 hours later, Shears caught fire and carded a 1-under par 70 to win by five strokes with her 145 total.
"Sunday on the back nine, I felt really confident in my putting stroke," Shears said. "I made three pretty long downhill putts of 15 feet or more. Normally on those type of putts, I get the ball close but they don't go in."
Based on just her two showings on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Shears ranks sixth in the points standings out of a possible 263 golfers. Of the five girls ahead of her on the list, four have competed in more than two events.
Anita Uwadia from Hilton Head Island, S.C., tops the leaderboard with 4,500 points after winning four events in as many attempts. Shears has 2,500 points to her credit.
"The competition depends on the tournament you go to," Shears said. "This tournament in Florida had more competition than Kentucky."
Shears also is gaining valuable experience on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour. Her best effort occurred in late March at the Boar's Head Inn Classic at the Birdwood Golf Course - home to the University of Kentucky men's and women's golf teams.
In the Bell Division, Shears won a scorecard playoff for second place after turning in scores of 77 and 80 for a two-day total of 157. Ritchie County High School senior Sydney Snodgrass, who will be playing for the women's program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall and Parkersburg High School junior Lauryn Davidson also participate on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour.
"I feel my short game has gotten so much better," Shears said. "I'm putting with more confidence."
She explained that she has benefitted from a putting carpet at her home.
"Last high school season, I played really well, but I didn't feel like I was playing my best," Shears said. "I felt there was better golf out there for myself. All this competition has helped me want to play better."
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org