KISSIMMEE — Abbey Carlson learned a valuable lesson.
Carlson, a sophomore at Circle Christian, put on a charge in Monday's final round of the ANNIKA Invitational, an American Junior Golf Association tournament hosted by World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam at Reunion Resort.
"I am really happy with how I played today overall," said Carlson, who finished with a 2-under-par 70 for a 54-hole total of 221 and a tie for 14th. "I think I learned a lot about myself during this tournament like, 'If you mess up in the first round, do not give up. You can always come back.'"
Her struggles began Saturday on the tournament's first nine holes. She had three double bogeys and two bogeys, giving her an 8-over 44 to start the tournament. Carlson quickly began her rebound on the back side with four birdies.
Carlson had climbed as high as 10th in the final round before struggling one last time on No. 18.
"I had been playing well, but I messed up my second shot and took a double bogey," she said. "I had a bad swing on it, and it left me with a tough shot."
Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., became the first two-time winner of the 6-year-old tournament, shooting a 207 and taking an eight-shot victory over three golfers who tied for second.
Carlson and Lake Mary Prep student Nicole Morales were among a five-way tie for 14thand were the top finishing golfers from the Sentinel's readership area. Finishing one shot behind, in 19th, was another Lake Mary Prep student, Sierra Brooks.
Morales, who moved to Lake Mary at the end of August and didn't play on the Griffins' golf team, is ranked No. 1 by the AJGA.
Morales, a senior, has signed to play for Alabama. She was playing in the ANNIKA for the third and final time.
"I am going to miss this tournament," said Morales, a native of South Salem, N.Y. "Annika has been such a role model for me, but I am looking forward to coming back here in September and playing again. Annika is starting an intercollegiate tournament here, and Alabama has committed to play in it."
Morales played par golf in the final round after shooting 74 and 75 in the two opening rounds.
Carlson had one of the biggest climbs on the leaderboard on the final day, jumping from a tie for 30th. Only four other golfers made bigger jumps, led by Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Ga. She entered Monday tied for 30th before tying for sixth.
"I knew I had to play better after my first nine holes," Carlson said. "My goal was just wanting to get back into playing tournaments again. This is my first tournament since November. I took time off to get caught up on my schoolwork and get some rest."
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at Reunion Resort, Kissimmee
Monday's final results
1. Bethany Wu, Diamond Bar, Calif., 68-68-71—207; 2. (t) Ziyi Wang, Beijing, 70-73-72—215; Yuting Shi, Beijing, China, 72-69-74—215; Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass., 74-71-70—215; 5. Sophia Schubert, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 72-73-72¿217; 6. (t) Mathilda Cappeliez, Publier, France, 73-73-72—218; Virginia Elena Carta, Udine, Italy, 74-73-71—218; Bailey Tardy, Norcross, Ga., 75-76-77—218; 9. Lakareber Abe, Angleton, Texas, 75-73-71—219; 10. (t) Amy Lee, Brea, Calif., 74-74-72—220; Mariel Galdiano, Pearl City, Hawaii, 76-71-73—220; Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif., 77-69-74—220; Elizabeth Wang, San Marino, Calif., 74-76-70—220. Area finishers: 14. (t) Abbey Carlson, Lake Mary, 76-75-70—221; Nicole Morales, Lake Mary, 74-75-72—221; 19. Sierra Brooks, Sorrento, 75-74-73—222; 27. (t) Ruixin Liu, Orlando, 77-74-75—226; 39. (t) Dylan Kim, Winter Garden, 75-79-74—228; 44. (t) Samantha Wagner, Windermere, 79-72-78—229; 51. (t) Mai Dechathipat, Howey-in-the-Hills, 82-79-70—231; 56. (t) Emma Albrecht, Ormond Beach, 77-77-79—233; 58. (t) Ailin Li, Windermere, 81-76-77—234; 65. Gabriella Coello, Winter Garden, 83-78-78—239