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A change of plans, and a new direction, for Bay Area golfer Casie Cathrea

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Like many college students, Casie Cathrea, the girls’ junior golf phenom from Livermore who set off for Oklahoma State University this fall to begin her college golf career, is coming home for the holidays – but unlike most, it appears that she will not be going back to campus after the New Year holiday.

Casie posted a somewhat cryptic message to her Facebook timeline today which gave a hint as to what is going on in her golf career. She wrote:

“Dixie Amateur getting it done. The next stage of my life about to start!”

A source close to Casie’s family has revealed that the hard-working and highly-accomplished teenager from Livermore has been disappointed with the level of support she was getting in the OSU Women’s golf program, which is headed by new coach Courtney Jones, and is opting out and returning home to Livermore.

This is the first head coaching position for Jones, who spent two years as assistant coach for the OSU Cowgirl golfers under Alan Bratton before he left the position to take over as head coach for the highly-ranked men’s golf program at Oklahoma State.

The Livermore teen, who won her first junior golf tournament at age eight, was encouraged by Coach Bratton’s support as she closed out her junior career and prepared to join the OSU program – Bratton was in her gallery for at least two of her rounds at the 2012 USGA Girls’ Junior Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City – after she switched to OSU despite having earlier given verbal intent to pursue college golf as a University of Texas Longhorn.

Prior to heading to Stillwater to become an OSU Cowgirl, Cathrea was very enthusiastic about the prospect of playing college golf for Oklahoma State. Once she signed her letter of intent she was usually to be seen wearing the school’s orange & black colors at tournaments, and she housed her clubs in an orange and black OSU golf bag. This new development may well mean a change in her color scheme, and a new golf bag.

Though her eventual goal is to play professional golf, an immediate transition to professional status is not in the cards for Cathrea – her next step is the Curtis Cup, a biennial competition for women amateurs pitting a team from the United States against a team from Great Britain & Ireland. Cathrea has been shortlisted for the 2014 United States Curtis Cup Team, and is one of fourteen players who will head to Champions Golf Club in Houston at the end of January for the first practice sessions.

The fourteen players invited to the practice session in Texas next month are not the only players under consideration for the squad, but the practice sessions are part of the downselect process which will identify the eight players who will square off against the GB&I team June 6–8 at St Louis Country Club.

Cathrea is no stranger to high-level amateur competition and playing for the red, white, and blue – she represented the United States in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup and 2013 Junior Solheim Cup competitions. Earlier this year Cathrea took top honors at the first women’s competition for the prestigious Porter Cup, and was low amateur at the 2013 USGA Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island.

As she prepares for another opportunity to represent her country, this time in the Curtis Cup, Cathrea will be splitting her time between her home in Livermore, and Texas, where she will train with well-known golf instructor Justin Poynter at the Jim McLean Texas Golf Center in Fort Worth. True to her competitive nature, she is keeping her game honed – and as indicated by her Facebook post, this week she will be competing in the 2013 Dixie Amateur. The Dixie is a prestigious amateur tournament with a history going back to 1924; the women’s tournament is being contested December 17–20 at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Florida.

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