Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Little Bit of Luck, Berles Stops Gomric Superstitions Work for Kentucky Golfer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Little Bit of Luck, Berles Stops Gomric Superstitions Work for Kentucky Golfer

Article excerpt

There were some very superstitious things about Lauri Berles' bubble-bursting victory over local favorite Jill Gomric in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship Saturday at Spencer T. Olin Community Golf Course in Alton.

And Berles readily admits it. "I have a few superstitions that I do," she said. "I've tried getting away from it lately, but this week I've been doing a few things."

Berles, 21, is wearing two lucky hats and two lucky shoes, which she has interchanged all week. She has eaten the same breakfast each day at the Comfort Inn, same cereal, same muffin, same doughnut. She has slept with her retainer in each night. She takes it out if she didn't play well that day.

And each day she gets to the course, before she does anything else, she kisses a furry replica of the movie-star pig "Babe." She explained: "It's a little weird, but. . . ."

But it's working. Although Gomric played well, shooting 1 under par, and had a gallery of more than 100 people following her around, it wasn't enough to offset pig power. Berles, a senior-to-be at the University of Kentucky, reeled off five birdies, won 3 and 2 and stopped Gomric's bid to win a national title in her own back yard.

Gomric, a Belleville resident who will be back in action at the Women's Western Golf Association Amateur Championship at Fox Run next week, was realistic about the loss.

"I'm very pleased with what I was able to do this week," said Gomric, who will be a freshman at the University of Arizona. "I was pretty relaxed. I hit the ball well, but I just didn't put the irons as close as I had been the last couple of days."

When asked about the gallery, Gomric smiled widely. "I had a lot of support," she said. "I've never played in front of that many people. Even though I lost the match, it was a lot of fun. It was a great experience. …

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