Lakareber Abe coming into her ownBy Elliott Propes | 10/09/2015 12:12pm
Lakareber Abe and the Alabama team were named Golfweek’s Player and Team of the Week. UA Athletics
“It was definitely really exciting,” Abe said. “It was unexpected, but it was fun. At the same time, the team won. I think just the whole weekend overall we had a lot of fun.”
Abe won the Mason Rudolph Championship by one stroke over Virginia’s Lauren Coughlin, and it was a battle the entire way. Abe pushed through and won the title and also helped capture the team title over Northwestern by just one stroke as well.
“We won by one shot, and after the tournament, we kind of looked at each other and said there were so many shots; they were like, ‘Oh man if I didn’t make that putt...’ ” junior Cammie Gray said. “But that’s how it is. We have to remember practicing that it can come down to one shot. So each shot we hit is really important.”
Both Abe and the Alabama team were named Golfweek’s Player and Team of the Week. Coach Mic Potter said he believed Abe could carry the momentum throughout the season.
“She has high expectations,” Potter said. “As long as she doesn’t let that get in the way of her execution on the golf course, she will actually have a great three years.”
Abe is actually from Angleton, Texas, and was a highly-touted recruit, ranked No. 3 in her class by Golfweek. She grew up watching her sister, Tezira Abe, play at The University of Texas Austin. Potter said he thought it would be way harder to get Abe to commit to Alabama because of the great programs in Texas and her sister playing at one of them. It worked out for her, though.
“I didn’t really want to stay in Texas at all,” Abe said. “I came on my first visit here- I think it was my first college visit- and I just fell in love with the campus and the coaches, and I met the team a couple of months later and knew it was going to be a hard place to beat.”
Abe, as a freshman, completed many feats. She was named to the Southeastern Conference’s All-Freshman team and is just the seventh player in program history to be on that list. Abe also finished second on the team last year with a 75.03 scoring average.
“You kind of have expectations in one way when freshmen come in, but at the same time, there is no telling how they are going to pan out,” Gray said. “She’s played well and been a great asset to our team since day one. She’s evolved a lot, and I guess in a way she’s been challenged, too, and she has just taken that in stride.”
Abe and Alabama will be traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational. The team has a lot of practice there, playing in the same tournament last year and warming up for regionals there in the spring.
“It’s a beautiful course, and if you hit the ball well, it’s a very scoreable golf course,” Potter said. “We’ve shot 29 or 28 under there. If you hit the ball well and you putt the ball well, it’s there.”
Potter was referring to 2010 when Alabama had a historic Tar Heel Invitational. The team finished with a 28-under 836 and shot 274 for the second round. The 836 is the best 54-hole total in program history, and the 274 is the best round for a team in program history.
Abe said she believes the first tournament gave the team a lot of positives to build on. The outlook on the season, she said, is brighter, and the team looks to carry that momentum to Chapel Hill.
“It was fun to get a win in our first event, and it showed how good we could be,” she said. “And we are obviously still working very hard, and we all want to get better at different things. I know that for the girls they haven’t won since 2013, so that was a huge positive as well.”