Brightwell completed two-day qualifying with a 1-under 143 total and was the only competitor to post a 36-hole aggregate under par. The first and second rounds of match play are scheduled for Wednesday, July 13, with the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, July 14. The scheduled 18-hole championship final is set for Friday, July 15.
Brightwell led the way, accounting for six birdies against two bogeys on day two in displaying a sound all-around game. She got off to a strong start, birdieing three of the first six holes. Brightwell holed a 25-footer at the par-5 first, made a short birdie putt at the next par 5, No. 4, before completing the early surge by making a birdie-2 at the par-3 sixth hole where she continued to wield a hot putter. There, her subtly breaking putt covered every bit of 40 feet before falling.
Brightwell finished the first nine at two under and added a birdie at the par-3 10th. Despite a bogey at the par-4 13th, she made a closing birdie at the demanding par-4 18th, knocking a 50-degree wedge from 76 yards to 4 inches to finish six strokes clear of the next-nearest qualifier for match play.
"Golf is a crazy game, so you're never really ‘in control' of the game out there," Brightwell said. "But I never got ahead of myself, so that was the key to not blowing up. I've stayed really steady."
A semifinalist in 2009 and a quarterfinalist last year, Brightwell has worked with her college coach, Kim Lewellen, and Charlottesville-area sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella in sharpening her mental game. She's also admittedly gained comfort by having her father, James, caddieing for her this week.
"In the past, I've tended to get afraid out there at times," Brightwell admits. "I'm really working on being fearless and a little tougher.
"[Dr. Rotella] is a smart person. Everything he says seems pretty obvious, but if you can follow him, you're much better off."
So far, the results have been obvious; she credits Lewellen with helping her take a more aggressive approach.
"I'm trying to be a little more go-for-the-jugular on the golf course - but not off it, of course," she said.
Note: Information for this release provided by the Virginia State Golf Association.
'Hoos Look to Rebound From Painful LossMen's Basketball2/14/16No. 7 Virginia, which lost at Duke on a last-second shot Saturday, hosts NC State at 7 p.m. Monday at John Paul Jones'Hoos Look to End Cameron DroughtMen's Basketball2/13/16At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, in a game ESPN will televise, No. 7 Virginia meets ACC foe Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.Post-Signing Day Football NotebookFootball2/12/16The start of spring practice is still more than a month away for UVA football players, whose current focus is the team's winter strength and conditioning program.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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