Published: 05:53 PM, Sun Aug 19, 2012
Girls' golf preview: Cape Fear's Brianna Newton back from injury
Brianna Newton had enough down time last summer to get really good at baking. She could crank out the cookies. Muffins, too.
She also was able to knock the rust off her piano skills and get caught up on guilty pleasure television shows like the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
But for Newton, a rising junior golf standout at Cape Fear, it was almost unbearable. Instead of killing time, she'd have much rather have been splitting fairways.
Months earlier, a knee injury - later discovered to be a torn plica - limited how much time she could spend on the course. After suffering through the spring and early summer hoping to treat it with rehab and injections, she finally needed surgery in August.
That meant no golf.
For a girl who lives within sight of the 10th hole at Baywood Golf Club and who got her first set of real clubs at age five - only after she'd worn out the toy clubs she was given at 11 months - that was not a small thing.
"I was probably more frustrated than she was," Cape Fear coach Todd Edge said. "I saw her potential. . It was very frustrating as a coach to see that talent, but you couldn't work that talent."
That hasn't been an issue this summer. With a healthy knee, Newton is poised to be a big factor in the Mid-South Conference and has the Colts very much in the title picture.
"Where I am right now, I would have liked to have been last year," Newton said.
Newton's injury issues began toward the end of her freshman season. She continued to play on her bad right knee in early 2011, but shut it down late in the spring.
"I couldn't shift my weight back and forth because I would shift back to my right knee and it would completely lock down and I was just chunking it," said Newton, who has won several Cumberland County Junior Championship events. "I couldn't really play any holes because the walking was too much. Yeah, it was pretty painful."
She finally had surgery in early August and was sidelined for another three weeks.
"It was hard because I knew that if I was sitting there, I wasn't getting any better," Newton said. "I wanted to be a lot better than I was the year before. I wanted to drop my average significantly. But not being able to play for four months, I knew that really wasn't going to happen."
She was back on the course by the start of conference play and began to regain her form by October. She took medalist honors in the final two Mid-South Conference matches, helping power Cape Fear to a second-place finish in the league.
Entering this season, Newton has been a fixture during the team's summer activities. She also took part in a pair of Tar Heel Youth Golf Association events.
The baking and television have again taken a back seat.
5 players to watch
Carley Brookshire, Jack Britt, Junior
Cayley Fisher, Cape Fear, Junior
Maggie Fleishman, Terry Sanford, Senior
Megan Miller, Terry Sanford, Junior
Stephanie Thomas, Jack Britt, Junior
Staff writer Stephen Schramm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 486-3536.