Sophomore chips-in for the boys

The Baltimore Sun

Kaitlyn Rohrback is the only girl on the Archbishop Spalding golf team, which plays in the A Conference of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland. Rohrback is a sophomore playing her second year on the varsity.

The 16-year-old started playing golf when she was 8, at the Crofton Country Club, and still plays there.

She missed making the USGA Junior girls team by a stroke last summer in the Seattle tournament, but hopes to make the team this summer's, which is in West Harford, Conn.

Her personal coach is Ron Philo, the father of pro Laura Diaz. Her high school coach, Pete VanZant, predicts Rohrback "will be a very good Division I golfer."

Academically, Rohrback, who scored in the upper 85th percentile on her PSAT, has a 4.0 grade point average. Rohrback, whose mother died of cancer three years ago, is a member of the school's Cancer Awareness Club.

Did you enjoy watching the Masters on Sunday?

Yes, I did. It was good to see Trevor Immelman win it. He's not a big name and it's good to see a little guy win it. Tiger [Woods] is still a favorite.

What do you take from watching golf on TV?

Well, you get to see how the players handle the pressure and different shots that you can work on. I know that I need to work on longer pitches from left to right.

You get down to Florida occasionally to work with Coach Philo. When was the last time you went down and what has he helped you with?

I was down there around Easter and Laura was practicing. She is really nice. Her dad has helped me with my through-impact and where I should accelerate for a lot more distance.

How much difference is it for you hitting off a men's tee as opposed to the women's?

It's about a 400- to 600-yard advantage (25-30 yards per hole). It is that much for me at Chartwell Country Club, where we practice and play matches.

Your team defeated Mount St. Joseph for the first time recently. What was that like?

It was pretty exiting. We have eight more matches and hope to win the A Conference this year. You have to win two playoff matches to make the championship match. We won only one playoff last year. Calvert Hall and St. Paul's will probably be our toughest competition.

Are you the only girl in the conference

No, John Carroll has one and there are a couple in the B Conference.

Did the boys on the team accept you right away?

Yes. They have been really supportive, and in my first match against Gilman this year, I shot a 34, the best ever by a Spalding player. The guys really liked that. I have no problems with any of the boys.

Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

Had one in the Maryland Women's Amateur in 2006 at Hillendale Country Club with my dad as my caddie.

Is your father a big supporter?

If not for him as a big supporter, I would not be where I am today.

Can you make the USGA junior girls this summer?

Yes, I can. After missing by a stroke, and finishing with a double bogey, I have more confidence now. I know I can do this. I need to finish the deal.

What are your goals?

I want to play in college, probably down South where the weather is better.

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