Tampico Athlete of the Week: Kate Roberts (Phoenixville golf)

Contributed Photo

Athlete: Kate Roberts

School: Phoenixville

Sport: Golf

The week that was: Kate, a sophomore and the No. 1 player for the upstart Phantoms, emerged from a three-way battle with two former champions to capture the PAC Girls Individual Championship at Gilbertsville GC last Tuesday.

The Phoenixville standout overcame a one-hour rain delay and stiff challenges from Spring-Ford junior Nicole Yun and Owen J. Roberts junior Stefania Fedun to capture the title with a 3-over total of 74, one shot better than 2019 PAC champion Yun (75, 4-over) and two shots clear of 2020 league titleist Fedun (76, 5-over) at Gilbertsville’s White Course.

“Going into PACs, I felt Kate had a strong chance of finishing in the top three,” said Sandy Waltz, the Phoenixville head coach. “When I saw her in the lead group with those top players, I knew Kate would rise to the occasion and bring it her all. Even with the rain delay, Kate was confident and eager to finish the round. The best part about PACs are the girls. Kate had such a good time playing with Nicole and Stefania, both winners from previous years.”

Roberts continued her torrid play at the District 1-3A girls championship Monday and Tuesday of this week, placing sixth overall at 70-74-144 (1-over-par) to lock up a berth in the upcoming PIAA championships Oct. 18-19 at Heritage Hills Resort in York. Kate had narrowly missed qualifying for the state tournament in 2020 after advancing to the second day.

In the 2021 district tournament, Kate shot 2-over 74 at her home course of Turtle Creek GC in Tuesday’s final round after posting a 1-under 70 at Raven’s Claw GC in the opening round Monday. Her 144 total was 6 shots behind champion Sydney Yermish of Lower Merion, who followed up a 70 at Raven’s Claw with a 4-under 68 at Turtle Creek. 

“Kate thrives on competition,” said Waltz. “Where others shy away from it, Kate fully embraces the challenges presented in front of her. I’ve never encountered a player or person, for that matter, like Kate. To have that drive to be better is just inspiring.”

According to Waltz, Kate is a fixture at the golf course winter, spring, summer and fall, practicing with purpose and looking to expand her game whenever afforded the opportunity.

“She practically has a standing tee time at Turtle Creek Golf Course, or she can be found at Waltz Golf Farm working on her short game at the par-3,” said Waltz. “Off season, she plays almost weekly in the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour as well as American Junior Golf Association, and last month she had the distinct honor of being the runner up at the Drive, Chip and Putt regionals held in Rochester, NY. The finalists go to Augusta during the Masters.”

Waltz can see beyond the honors that Roberts seems to amass with regularity, realizing the other benefits that come with having a player as accomplished as Kate spearheading your program.

“Phoenixville Girls Golf is a gritty team,” Waltz said. “We don’t have the luxury of local courses and country clubs feeding us players so we (assistant coaches Jen Foresta and Kenny Roberts) make it happen. And I think Kate’s success will help us grow the program to make it a formidable contender in and out of the PAC.”