The stream of recruiting letters and college brochures Madison Opfer gets in the coming months might be recycled as fast as they’re read. Opfer, a Durant junior who tied for fourth overall at last fall’s Class 2A state tournament, committed to Tulane in February. On Tuesday, she indicated her commitment remains as firm as an Augusta green. As the 2010 prep season dawns, the Times spoke with Opfer about her current school and future one.
In June, you missed the cut for match play by one stroke at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links (in South Bend, Ind.). What happened?
Actually, it was more like my whole front nine wasn’t good. …I missed quite a few greens and I just couldn’t get up and down and make pars and I believe that is what really hurt me.
Are you still as committed to Tulane as you were six months ago?
Do you think you’ll remain that committed for the next two years?
I believe I will be. It all depends on the coach (John Thomas Horton), too.
So you chose the school primarily for the coach?
For the most part, yes. It was also about feeling comfortable at the school as well. I really like the school and coach and the atmosphere, so it kind of all worked.
Is Durant (third as a team at last year’s 2A tournament) a bona fide state title contender?
It could be, but we don’t get to see all the teams around the state. We just get to see what we’re competing against in this area. …I think that if we can play as competitively as we did last year, we have a chance at getting up there.
You have any superstitions?
Um, not really. One thing, I use the same ball marker all the time. …And I like to wear some type of black and white the last day. I won a USGA tournament a while ago and I played pretty good and wore all black and white. I may wear blue, black and white, but there’s some black and white somewhere there. I just do it because I feel it might be a little bit of a good-luck kind of thing.
Preseason top five
1. Durant: The county’s best team, by a par 5. Four of the top five players return from a team that placed third at the Class 2A state tournament.
2. Plant: Reigning 2A, District 10 champs return three of top five players
3. Wharton: Behind senior Brittany Bradshaw and junior Nina Hwang, the Wildcats should pose the toughest challenge to Durant in 2A, District 11.
4. Academy of the Holy Names: Won Class A, District 14 title behind three eighth-graders last year.
5. Steinbrenner: With no seniors, Warriors earned a Class A region berth last season
Five players to watch
Kelsey Eisch, Jr., Plant: Earned top-10 region finish for ’09 district title team
Julia McQuilken, Jr., Riverview: Year-round player tied for third at 2A, District 11 tourney in ‘09
Alex Milan, Sr., Steinbrenner: 2008 region champ choosing from among UCF, FSU, Wake Forest
Madison Opfer, Jr., Durant: Fourth overall at last season’s 2A state tournament.
Ericka Wardzinski, Sr., Durant: Recently shot 76 from white tees at Orange County National