Texas golfer Bentley Cotton heads to US Girls’s Beginner Championship

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

With the placing inexperienced beneath her toes, senior Bentley Cotton is aware of the right way to keep composed regardless of subsequent week’s hectic schedule. As she exchanges amusing along with her caddy, Cotton takes a deep breath and approaches the ball, understanding that sinking the following putt will safe her spot within the U.S. Girls’s Beginner Championship — the nation’s main golf match for feminine newbie golfers. 

Cotton competed in three tournaments in simply 5 days, showcasing her dedication and talent on the golf course to land a qualifying rating of 73 that despatched her to the championship.

Cotton completed ninth on the Girls’s North and South Beginner in Pinehurst; two days later, she certified for the U.S. Beginner in Arlington earlier than boarding a aircraft to Chicago for the Girls’s Western Beginner.

Just like the U.S. Beginner, regional newbie tournaments have two days of stroke play earlier than the highest gamers advance to match play. Cotton defined that the competitors’s construction helped put together her for the championship. 

“It gave me slightly little bit of a refresh taking part in in these occasions,” Cotton mentioned. “I acquired to expertise each the stroke play a part of it and the match play, which is a big benefit for the Girls’s (Beginner).”

Within the 18-hole apply rounds earlier than every match, Cotton centered on studying the course — notably the placing greens.

“When you arrive on the course, you wish to analyze the greens and get your really feel down for the velocity of the greens,” Cotton mentioned. “Each course is similar with reference to making an attempt to provide your self as many birdie possibilities as you possibly can.” 

In 2019, Cotton completed the U.S. Beginner tied for seventeenth place however has not performed within the U.S. Girls’s Beginner since 2020. 

Since debuting as a Longhorn, Cotton has introduced her stroke common down from 74.95 to 73.29 and accomplished 10 rounds with a par or higher rating throughout her junior season. Returning to the newbie occasion after three years, Cotton seems to show the steering from her Texas coaches into success. 

“It’s unbelievable what I’ve finished in my years at Texas, and my coaches have positively had loads to do with that,” Cotton mentioned. “(Ryan) Murphy, who’s our head coach, actually dove into my wedges and helped me understand what I wanted to do to turn into the following finest golfer on the planet.”

Cotton has performed golf for Texas for the final three years however has practiced in Austin since she was 7 years outdated. Rising up in Austin, Cotton golfed at her neighborhood nation membership, the Balcones Nation Membership, and now primarily performs on the Austin Nation Membership. 

Along with her household and pals close by, Cotton mentioned she invitations her teammates to her household’s home for crew dinners, one thing she hopes to do to have fun her second U.S. Girls’s Beginner look. 

“I really feel like I’m virtually just like the mother,” Cotton mentioned. “Everyone’s part of my household on the crew, so we attempt to welcome them in and make them really feel as in the event that they’re house.”

Cotton will hit the fairways of Bel-Air Nation Membership in Los Angeles on Aug. 7 for the primary day of matchplay as she hopes to additional develop her skilled profession.