Fitchburg’s Stone Shows Off Skills

August 3, 2018

By Chad Garner

Special to the Sentinel & Enterprise

FITCHBURG -- Fitchburg’s Abby Stone loves the game of golf.

While she’s only been playing the game for three years, there’s just something about driving the ball off the tee, pitching it to the green and then putting into the cup.

Those skills were on display when the soon-to-be Memorial Middle School eighth-grader participated in the New England Drive, Chip & Putt competition at LeBaron Hills Country Club in Lakeville on July 17.

“I enjoy golf because it’s a lot of fun, it’s challenging and competitive,” said Stone, who competed on her 13th birthday. “Golf is also a sport that you have to practice physically, but also mentally, to get better, just like any sport. The more you practice, the better you can get.”

The Drive, Chip & Putt is a nationwide junior skills competition open to boys and girls ages 7-15 that was created by the Masters Tournament and focuses on the three fundamental skills employed in golf.

This competition provides junior golfers the opportunity to play with peers and qualifiers around the country.

Participants accumulated points in each skill, and the highest number of points determined the overall champion in each age group.

Stone competed in the 12-13 age category, and put on a fantastic display, especially on the putting green.

Each competitor attempted three puts from 6, 15 and 30 feet away, and the distance to the cup was measured to determine point totals.

Stone was locked in with the putter in her hand, finishing in second place in her division for putting. She also earned a second-place ribbon for her exceptional skills on the green.

Stone finished eighth overall in her age group.

“It was a great experience competing in the DCP event at LeBaron Hills,” said Stone, who was told about the competition by Memorial Middle School physical education teacher Sue Tourigny. “It was my very first DCP event and I was very nervous because I didn’t know what I was up against. It was fun to see all of the different age groups competing from around the state.”

Stone, who is a member at Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg, kicked off her 13th birthday in grand fashion. She was dressed for success, thanks to girls’ clothing line Athleta Girl, which provided Stone with attire for the competition.

“Athleta Girl was awesome to dress me for this event,” Stone said. “There really (aren’t) a whole lot of golf outfits around here, so mom decided to reach out to Athleta Girl and ask for them to help. I was able to go to the Natick Mall store in May and shop with the store manager and an associate for about an hour and pick out different outfits. Athleta Girl encourages girls to be kind, confident and strong women.”

Stone, standing 4 feet tall, is the oldest of Gary and Lori Stone’s three children. She is an excellent student, and was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society at Memorial on June 14. She has also participated in school council and Girls On The Run at school.

Stone is extremely active and has been playing sports since she was 3 years old. Those sports include: basketball, soccer, lacrosse and golf.

Her love of golf started after hitting golf balls at the driving range with her father.

In a short time, Stone has gotten hooked on playing, and has developed into a strong player.

Last season, Stone tried out and made the Junior PGA team at Oak Hill Country Club.

She played mixed-match rounds with her team against other clubs throughout the season and went undefeated.

The love of golf keeps getting stronger and Stone plans on continuing to play for years to come.

“I plan to continue to play golf as much as I can, socially and competitively, and as long as the weather allows it,” Stone said. “I would like to play all the way through my school career.”

She hopes to inspire others to also give golf a try.

“Yes, I hope I can inspire other girl (and) boy golfers to play golf,” she said. “It’s a sport that you can play from my age all the way up until my grandparents’ age.”

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