Sophomore golfer Lea Garner off to strong start

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Lea Garner has played courses all over the country, but she sticks to her roots when determining her favorite place to practice golf — the 300 yard field at her uncle’s dairy farm in Idaho. Garner said she enjoys hitting off that grass more than anywhere else.

Garner, a sophomore, has played golf for the majority of her life and admires trailblazing golfer Annika Sorenstam. Garner’s father put a club in her hands at age 5 and because her two older brothers were doing it as well, a love for the game stuck.

“I’ve had so many fond and funny memories while playing golf that the list would go on and on,” she said. “The best memories so far have been with my team here at BYU.”

Lea Garner hits a shot during the Hobble Creek Tournament. Photo by Sarah Hill.
Lea Garner hits a shot during the Hobble Creek Tournament. Photo by Sarah Hill.

Garner started her sophomore season off strong last week by placing first individually at the Hobble Creek Invitational, helping the Cougars to a fifth-place spot at the tournament.

A recreation management major, Garner enjoys getting active and playing sports such as basketball and volleyball.

Garner has had the privilege of playing many great courses in Utah. Her all-time favorite courses include Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. George, Schneiter’s Riverside in Ogden, and Glen Eagle in Syracuse.

Her all-time favorite golf hole is No. 11 at Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Ore., because it borders the ocean.

She is excited for the upcoming season, especially for the locales of tournaments.

“I’m really excited for all of the tournaments but the one I can’t wait for is Hawaii, because, well, it’s Hawaii,” she said.

In winning the Hobble Creek Invitational last week, Garner accomplished her goal of winning an individual championship and also wants to maintain a 74-stroke average. Garner has worked extremely hard this summer to improve her game and it looks as if her hard work is paying off.

“It’s an awesome win for Lea,” coach Carrie Roberts said following Garner’s win at Hobble Creek. “I’m very excited for her. She played solid in this tournament, and it shows that she spent the summer working hard to prepare for the year. She was clutch down the stretch today, which shows what a solid player she is.”

Although Idaho-born, Garner lived in Washington Terrace for most of her life and graduated from Bonneville High School. Her older brother Davis played golf at Bellevue University in Washington and her older brother Connor plays basketball at Utah State, making her the youngest in her family. She looks up to all of them but mostly to her parents.

“My role models are my parents,” she said, “They are so caring and have done so much for me. I hope to be like them when I am older.”

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