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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Different courses to the same green

By Raphael Sugarman
Posted
MARISOL DÍAZ/THE RIVERDALE PRESS
Nabila Inak, 14, from the Bronx Science Team won the game 4–1.
MARISOL DÍAZ/THE RIVERDALE PRESS
Kate Gerondianos, 16, golf’s for Bronx Science at Mosholu Golf Course on Sept. 20 against JFK.
MARISOL DÍAZ/THE RIVERDALE PRESS
Coach Keith Mansfield mentors his student Nichole Thomas, 15, from JFK during a golf match against Bronx Science on Sept. 20 at Mosholu Golf Course. Bronx Science wins the game 4–1.
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Naomi Jimenez, a 16-year-old sophomore at John F. Kennedy Campus, remembers the first time she golfed.

It was about a month ago. 

Jimenez’s first drive on Kennedy’s practice field was straight and true, no doubt a product of her prowess on the school’s softball team. After that first stellar swing, however, her shots turned to whiffs, hooks and slices.

Still, Jimenez made the team and has defeated both of her competitors in Kennedy’s first two matches this season. On Sept. 11, she won her match against Mott Haven. 

She was also the only Lady Knight to score a win against rival Bronx Science in an overall 4-1 Science victory on Sept. 20.

“It was pretty exciting,” said Jimenez. “I think if I get a chance to play more, I will get better.” 

As they teed off at the Mosholu Golf Course on a blustery afternoon, heading out in golf’s traditional foursomes, the two teams were in many ways a study in contrast in terms of their golf experience and prowess.

“Think of a high school baseball team playing the Yankees,” said Kennedy coach Keith Mansfield bluntly. “When we play other teams like us that have a lot of beginners, our girls get very excited, their competitive drive gets fired up. But for some of the players, Science is on a completely different level.”

 

Mental mastering

 

With the win over Kennedy, the Wolverines are 2-0 this season, after finishing second in the Bronx-Manhattan division last year, at 8-3. The three losses, including one in the playoffs, were all to rival Stuyvesant. 

One big reason for Science’s success is sophomore Nabila Inak, the team’s number one ranked player. Inak finished second in the city last year, her freshman season. 

The 14-year-old’s pink and black golf bag is already decorated with PGA Jr. Golf Tournament and club tags. 

“The most important things to do is to work on your mental game and to practice,” said Inak, who was introduced to the game by her dad Farhad when she was only 5. “If you want to get better, you have to try and practice your strokes every day.”

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