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Laxton finds academics are a tough foe

One might expect a major difference between golf at the high school level and that played in college simply because the caliber of competition is stiffer.

But Auburn University sophomore-to-be Tricia Laxton has found that keeping up with academics is tougher than playing the game.

"The only thing I find really different from high school is the amount of school you miss due to tournaments," Laxton said. "In high school you miss a couple of classes since you leave at 2 o'clock and come back the next day.

"But in college you miss four to five days at a shot and all day. You don't hear the lectures because you're not there, and while you get notes from classmates, it's not the same (as being there)."

Laxton graduated from Crystal River High in 1992 and earned a golf scholarship to Auburn. She's an accounting major and begins working in the pro shop Monday at Grand National Golf Club in Auburn, Ala.

It's doubtful if Laxton will play in any tournaments this summer. She said she's going to practice and try to get her game back in shape.

How did Laxton's game get out of shape? A car accident last August on Highway 40 near Ocala resulted in a broken right clavicle. The recovery period forced Laxton to forgo picking up a golf club until January, and she missed the first quarter of golf with the Tigers.

"I played pretty good considering what had happened," Laxton said. "Coming off the injury I just wanted to play one tournament where I could shoot three rounds in the 70s before the season was over, and I did that at (the NCAA) regionals in Baton Rouge last month."

Laxton's rounds were 75, 78 and 78.

Tigers coach Virginia Derby was away from her office this past week and couldn't be contacted for comment on Laxton's progress. But Scott Meseroll, Laxton's high school coach at Crystal River, is happy to hear his former player is doing well.

"Tricia did well as a freshman this year," Meseroll said. "She did better than I thought she would, and she probably surprised herself too.

"Three rounds in the 70s is something I'm real excited about. It more or less is a vote of confidence that she can play golf at that level. She has the ability."

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