12/23/07 — News-Argus Women's Golfer of Year: Jasmine Reeves (E. Wayne)

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News-Argus Women's Golfer of Year: Jasmine Reeves (E. Wayne)

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 23, 2007 2:02 AM

Youth and inexperience were Jasmine Reeves' biggest obstacles while playing golf as a freshman. The Eastern Wayne standout struggled to stay focused and couldn't overcome bad shots.

What a difference one year makes.

Reeves returned to the links this season with the same playing style, but more experience. She learned to play consistent and not get too agitated when a tee shot went wrong or a putt rolled short of the cup.

Warriors coach Scott Waller describes Reeves' play as "steady."

Reeves calls it "up and down."

Despite the mixed reviews of her game, Reeves -- indeed -- performed at an outstanding level on the links. She posted a 41.5-stroke average for nine holes and led the Warriors to their first Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season and tournament titles since 2003.

For her efforts, Reeves is the 2007 News-Argus female golfer of the year.

"If she doesn't shoot what she's happy with, she's going to work that much harder to get it back," said Waller. "She has improved all of her game -- her approach, her short game. It's all better.

"It's a work in progress."

No doubt.

Reeves' golfing career started the summer before she entered sixth grade. She accompanied her dad to driving range and eagerly wanted to learn the game. Given the choice between golf and basketball, Reeves chose golf -- especially when her dad bought her a new pair of Ping clubs.

But Reeves still loved basketball.

She made the basketball team in middle school and continued to play golf when the chance arose. But playing two sports for three years made Reeves step back and visualize what she was doing.

Reeves loved golf.

"She just cares about everything," said Waller.

A not-so-successful freshman season, however, frustrated Reeves. She couldn't overcome bad shots, either on the tee or green. Once she lost her confidence, her scores soared higher.

"All I could think about was keeping my head still, keeping a full shoulder turn and I'd still end up duffing my tee shot," laughed Reeves, who receives coaching lessons from Hank Harris. "That's the part of my game, the mental stuff, that I need to work on the most. But I do feel like I was more focused this year."

Reeves struggled with her swing early in the season and managed to stay in the 40s with a good short game. Once her swing returned, she became extremely difficult to beat.

So did the Warriors -- as a team.

Eastern Wayne emerged the low scorer in six ECC meets with Reeves claiming medalist honors on five occasions, including the season-ending tournament. She earned ECC player of the year accolades, her second straight season as an all-conference performer.

The Warriors qualified for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A/2-A/3-A championships. While the individual scores weren't comparable to regular-season play, Reeves enjoyed the two-day event against some of the state's elite golfers.

"I enjoyed having my teammates with me. They definitely made it more fun than it was last year and Coach Waller is a great coach," said Reeves.