Rough day for two locals

Coe and Shimel are well off the pace at juniors event.

Posted: July 19, 2007

Joanna Coe and Christine Shimel, close friends and competitors in the American Junior Golf Association, admire professional players who have worked their way up.

Coe and Shimel, playing this week in the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, dream of one day being the next Paula Creamer or Brittany Lincicome.

Coe, of Mays Landing, N.J., is competing in her final AJGA event. Yesterday, on the second day of the prestigious 54-hole invitational, the 17-year-old shot a 9-over-par 80. Her two-day total is 156.

"My irons weren't very good today," said Coe, who hits between 260 and 270 yards off the tee. "I was missing greens with my irons."

Shimel, 16, lives in Kennett Square, about a 40-minute drive from White Manor. Hurt by three double-bogeys, she shot an 11-over 82 yesterday. She enters today's final round with a score of 158.

"It was a rough day out there," Shimel said. "My front nine was mediocre, and I didn't put very well. But I'm happy with the way I [ground] it out. I kept calm, finished strong."

Vicky Hurst, of Melbourne, Fla., leads with a 5-under-par 137. With six birdies, she fired a blistering 67 yesterday and moved 2 strokes ahead of first-day leader Diane Kwon (69 yesterday, 139 total), of Fremont, Calif.

Coe, a graduate of Oakcrest High, is headed to Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. "I definitely wanted to go south, to be able to play in the winter months," she said. "Academically, Rollins has a great reputation."

Coe's home course is Blue Heron Pines Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. Since age 11, she has trained with Bruce Chelucci, the lead instructor at Twisted Dune Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township. Her father, Michael, played golf in high school and college.

"Playing on the AJGA tour has been a great experience," Coe said. "You see a lot of the same faces at the tournaments. I'm going to miss it."

A junior-to-be at Kennett High, Shimel is a member of DuPont Country Club in Wilmington. She trains at Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale under John Dunigan.

Last fall, Shimel played at the No. 2 position for Kennett's co-ed golf team. In the PIAA girls' individual tournament, she shot a par 72 to win the East Regional championship. She placed 10th at states.

"I'm a long hitter," said Shimel, whose drives travel 250-plus yards. "What I need to work on is consistency. I need to dial in the iron shots."

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or

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