Los Alamos’ Osden reaches for the highest »Albuquerque Journal

Los Alamos High School junior Jessica Osden completed a putt in the women’s amateur championship in New Mexico-West Texas last weekend. (Glen Rosales / For Journal North)

SANTA ANA PUEBLO – At the age of 15, Jessica Osden already knew what she wanted from life.

“I want to be on the tour (Ladies Professional Golf Association) but first I want to go to DI college and play every four years and compete in the national championships,” Osden said.

This may be a huge challenge for someone who is still in their teens, but Osden – an aspiring junior at Los Alamos High School – has already made her presence felt locally to much older golfers.

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After leading the Hilltoppers to the 4A state championship in the spring, she was able to assert herself at the combined women’s amateur and Albuquerque women’s championships in New Mexico-West Texas last weekend.

The three-day tournament attracted some of the region’s best golfers, including several current college players.

And Osden was right there with them.

She finished fifth in the Albuquerque event and seventh in the NMWT tournament, which is not a bad feat for the youngest person on the field.

“I played really well on the first day,” said Osden of the three-day tournament at the Twin Warriors and Santa Ana golf clubs. “After the first day I was very excited because I was in second place. But I think that might have affected … the second day. The second day was just the opposite. “

But that really showed how much Osden was committed to improvement when she hit the practice tees after her bad lap.

“My swing coach took care of me for the second two days, he helped me,” she said. “After the second day we had a lesson. It hit me badly and he said to me, “You can’t let small things affect you.” I’ve struggled with it for a long time. Now it goes away and I don’t get so nervous anymore and deal with it better than before. “

Osden was introduced to the game by her father and brother, who played regularly.

“I would go to all (my brother’s) tournaments and I remember thinking about how I wanted to be better than him,” she said.

Osden started playing when she was six, and within a few years she was able to beat her father, who is the assistant golf coach for boys.

“If I play with him, which isn’t as often as it used to be because he doesn’t play that often, I beat him,” she said. “And he says he’s okay with that because he hopes I hit him.”

Still, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Osden realized that her dream could become a reality.

“Two years ago, when I finally turned 80 and went into the junior world, I realized, ‘Oh, I can play with people from all over the world who have qualified,'” she said. “I didn’t play well at all. But it was really fun to play. “

And she was able to experience a moment when “One of our 50 is missing”.

“I played with a girl from Taiwan. At first she thought I was from Mexico, ”said Osden. “I had to explain to her that it was New Mexico. But I learned a lot. All of these girls were way better than me, so I realized that if I want to be as good as them, I have to practice more. “

How often does she practice?

“Every day,” said Osden. “I take a week off after the state, then maybe five days all summer. I usually try to play with other players on the high school team once or twice a week. I usually practice putting and chipping because for me they are the most important part of the game. “

Osden said she was already looking at colleges considering about 20 of them.

“My top is Notre Dame because I want to be a business major,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about the state of New Mexico because they’ve been doing very well lately.”

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