November 20, 2011

Girls' Golfer of the Year
Despite knee injury, Prescott earns repeat selection

Fort Kent's Ali Prescott was limited by a skiing injury but still won her second straight state title.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Ali Prescott of Fort Kent was dealing with the after-effects of a torn right knee ligament during the high school golf season. Consequently, she had to go slow at first, careful to build up her endurance while recapturing her golf swing.

While she had to bide time before she could play a full round, the end result was the same. Prescott, a sophomore, won the state schoolgirl golf championship for the second straight year. Her 87 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro gave her a four-shot victory and made her the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald girls' golfer of the year for the second straight season.

"I wasn't hoping for anything at the states," said Prescott. "I would have been happy with a top-10 finish. Winning it was an added bonus."

As a freshman, Prescott won the state championship with a 79. But she knew her game wasn't where it was a year ago.

"I didn't have time to improve," she said.

An avid skier, Prescott tore her anterior cruciate ligament while downhill skiing in February. She had surgery in late March and didn't start playing golf until the first week of September.

"It was frustrating not being able to play last summer," said Prescott, who is home-schooled with her younger brother and sister.

"Even when I started playing, I was limited to a few holes. But I figured any golf was good."

Wearing a knee brace, Prescott gradually built up her knee strength and stamina. She eventually was able to play in nine-hole matches for Fort Kent and was surprised by the results.

"I actually played better than last season," she said. "I had to play from the men's tees, which made it harder on my knee. I had to ice my knee after every round."

At the state individual tournament, Prescott got off to a slow start and struggled until the back nine.

"I started with a double bogey and shot 45 on the front nine," she said. "I was tied with two of the girls in my group after nine holes.

"The first two holes of the back nine I bogeyed and they parred. But on the 12th hole, I hit it 4 inches from the cup for a tap- in birdie. That cleared my head and I started to play my game the rest of the way."

That was Prescott's last round of the season. She won't ski this winter.

"I'm trying to keep myself in a bubble until next golf season," said Prescott.

There are plans to head south with her mother in the spring to play golf. Her knee should be back to 100 percent by then.

"I want to make up for lost time," she said. "My goal next year at the states is to shoot close to par."

Prescott plans to study either golf course management or business in college.

"My main goal is to make a living in golf, either as a player or in the management end," she said.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

 

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