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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Dennison develops her game

A sophomore this year, Karen Dennison has already logged valuable playing experience on her collegiate resume for the women's golf team. Dennison played in 20 rounds, registering a 78.5 stroke average while garnering three top-25 finishes as a true freshman. Now, with the new season opening this weekend in Champaign, Ill., at the Northern Invitational, Dennison looks to begin another successful season. \n"Karen's a great girl," said senior captain Tiffany Fisher. "Besides being a great player, and she has been playing really well these past couple weeks. I think she's really team oriented. Even though she's an underclassman, I think she brings leadership to the team. She's a hard worker and she's got a really positive attitude too."\nDennison began golfing after growing up around the sport in Madison, Ind. \n"When I was little, both my dad and brother played, and I just rode around in the golf cart," \nDennison said. "I would just take a club out every once and a while and swing."\nDennison's golfing aspirations broadened in middle school. There, Dennison began receiving lessons from a local golf pro, while playing for the boys' golf team. \n"They didn't have a junior high girls' team, so I just played with the guys," Dennison said. "I knew all of them, so it was fun. They got a little mad when I'd beat them, but it was fun." \nFollowing her tenure at Madison High School where Dennison was a four time All-Conference selection and a two-time conference champ, she turned her attention to college. Coach Sam Carmichael recruited Dennison heavily, which led to her decision to come to IU.\n"Coach Carmichael has such a reputation in golf and all over the country and he was real interested in me," Dennison said. "I didn't have that many people recruiting me, not that many big schools, and he was the main one. I just knew a couple people on the team and I just liked the school. It was a pretty easy decision."\nUnder Carmichael's coaching, Dennison said she's changed from a power player to a more finesse oriented golfer.\n"Karen came in as a freshman last year and was a nice player and a hard worker," Carmichael said. "We made a few little changes with her game and she just worked hard. She has a great attitude on the golf course. She's really come around and has been just playing excellent this fall."\nDennison posted two scores of 72 and a 74 in qualifying for the top spot going into the Mary Fossum Invitational. After that tournament's cancellation, Dennison will put her stroke to the test at the Northern Invitational this weekend.\n"Karen had a great qualifying round going into the tournament," said junior Cara Stuckey. "Nothing seems to faze her and every part of her game is really solid now, so we're looking to her to lead us and keep on doing what she's been doing."\nWhen she graduates, Dennison, a sports marketing major, hopes to stay in the field of golf, perhaps working for a major golfing company such as Ping, Callaway or Titleist. But, her focus now is on the season. \n"I'm really chipping and putting a lot better, and that's been the difference in my score. That's what I attribute most of my success to," Dennison said. "I'd like to keep my scoring average in the middle 70s and I'd just like to keep consistency through the whole season to help the team out"

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