GIRLS GOLF: Driving force: Rochester’s Haque turning slice into fine career, spot at Oakland |
BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — When Jazmin Haque began her freshman year of high school, golf was not in her blood. She was just trying to get a grip on the sport.
Four years later, the Rochester High senior has emerged as one of the area’s best.
Already an OAA Red Division and All-Region golfer, Haque will play in her first state finals with clubs in her hands. As a sophomore, she was an alternate at the Division 1 state finals, but never saw action.
“I know my dad took me to the driving range a couple of times when I was a kid,” said Haque. “I never played much golf until I got into high school. But I have always been the type of girl that does not want to be bad at something. I want to work hard to get better.”
“I have never had a player work as hard on her game as Jazmin has in her career,” admitted Rochester coach Jeff Haney. “I look at the great players we’ve had at Rochester, including (All-State Dream Team players) Amy and Christine Meier, and she’s worked as hard as anybody, if not the hardest. She’s come so far in her career and the leap from her freshman to senior year is amazing. Even her leap from her junior to senior year is amazing.”
Haque has had a banner year so far this season. She is averaging 81.4 over 10 tournaments, shooting between 77 and 86 in each of those tournaments. She shot a 77 at the Traverse City Bob Lober Tournament and has broken 80 on three occasions. She was also third at the first OAA Red Division Tournament, fourth at the Oakland County Division I Tournament and fifth at the Twin Lakes regional, among others. Haque has eight top-10 tournament finishes to her credit this season. She is also averaging 40.8 over six dual matches.
Haque began the first three weeks of her freshman year at Birmingham Marian, but switched back to Rochester for the remainder of that season. She was on the roster at Rochester in 2009 but did not play in any tournaments. She wasn’t eligible.
Hague struggled to break 120 as a freshman during practice rounds and wasn’t even in the picture of being one of her school’s best. Rochester has a long legacy of standout players and has reached the state finals in 16 of the past 22 seasons with three state championships and two state runner-up showings.
Haque was not in the Falcons’ top five as a sophomore and was inconsistent as a junior, shooting a low of 85 last season. She has equaled or bettered that mark nine times this season.
Now, she will sing a letter of intent next month to play at nearby Division I school, Oakland University. Haque is also trying to help Rochester finish in the top 10 at the state finals. Last year, Rochester’s run of 13straight top-10 finishes at the state finals came to an end. The Falcons finished fourth at the regional in 2011 and missed the cut by three strokes.
“Every time we practiced or play a match, we talked about that,” recalled Haque. “We all knew we could have played better. Now this year we redeemed ourselves. It’s so exciting to be back at the state (finals). We have such a great tradition with so many amazing players. We want to keep that tradition alive. Last year not making the state finals really bothered us. Now we’re back.”
(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)