Mia Hornberger left, and her mother Prudence is a force on the golf course. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
TURNER — Prudence Hornberger and her 13-year-old daughter Mia play a lot of golf together.
This month is a reflection of that. The two competed at the New England Women’s Amateur that was held at the Woodlands in Falmouth from July 9-11, and starting Monday they will compete in the Maine Women’s Amateur at Rockland Country Club.
Sandwiched in between the two biggest events on the women’s golf calendar was the Maine State Golf Association’s Parent/Child Championship that was held at the Arrowhead Course at Natanis Golf Club last Sunday.
It was the first time the two were able to compete into the tournament.
They knew they were going to be teaming up playing in the event, but they didn’t expect to be sharing the same ball — the format was alternate shot. Despite it being Mia’s first time playing in the format, the Hornbergers finished in third place by firing a 3-over-par 75 on the 5,039-yard layout from the women’s tees.
Chris and Peter Deroche won the event, shooting a 71 and Richard and Jason Campbell finished one shot ahead of the Hornbergers.
“I didn’t know what we were getting into when we first went (to the tournament),” Prudence said. “So when we found out we don’t get to hit two drives — the parents had to hit (the tee shot) from the even (numbered holes) and the kids had to hit on the (odd numbered holes) — it was interesting.”
The Hornbergers opened the tournament with a birdie on the par-5 first hole, and added another birdie on the par-5 fourth hole. They followed that up with a double bogey on the par-3 fifth, and finished the opening nine with an even par-36. They then made three bogeys and six pars on the back nine.
They said the key to their success was that they didn’t blame each other for a bad shot, they just moved onto the next shot.
The format didn’t allow Mia to use one of the best aspects of her game, chipping.
“A lot of times my mom would hit the chips,” Mia said. “So I really didn’t use my strength.”
The Hornbegers were one of the few lucky duos because they got their round in before thunderstorms hit the area and suspended play for a bit.
Despite the success as a team, Mia likes competing against her mother.
“It’s definitely different because I am always (wanting) to beat my mom,” Mia said. “So playing with my mom it was a little different. Obviously, I wanted to play well with her, but I want to do better than her.”
Prudence is fine with Mia’s competitive approach.
“It’s not that bad, she already beat me,” Prudence said. “She did better than me at the New England Championships, and I am OK with that. It’s nice to see her playing (really) good golf. That’s what we hope. We have been training her and working with her so she can get better. The better she gets, even if she beats me, that’s OK. I am happy for her.”
Mia has worked with Fox Ridge golf pro Bob Darling in the past, but recently has been working with Abby Spector, the Director of Instruction at Riverside Golf Course in Portland. Mia hopes to follow in Abby’s footsteps and earn a scholarship to play golf at the University of North Carolina.
Both look to improve on the results they had at the New England Amateur, where Prudence finished 68th with a three-round total of 289, while Mia finished 43rd with a 271. Mia finished eighth among the 10 junior players in the field.
Mia hopes to shoot in the low-80s this week at Rockland, which is set up as a 5,573-yard par-73 layout for the championship. Prudence finished for a tied 11th at last year’s Women’s Amateur, held at Martindale.
While Mia likes to golf and has joined her mother for the summer playing the weekly MSGA women’s events across the state, she’s still a teenager at heart.
“It has been a lot of fun playing in all these tournaments. I get a lot of experience,” Mia said. “Especially (for) when I am older, when I will have to play in tournaments everyday almost. So (doing) this now, it will get easier, but it’s also really stressful for me because you have to wake up early everyday. I just got out of school, I just want to sleep in. It’s fun but it’s also stressful.”
Mia Hornberger, left, Prudence Hornberger, right, after their third place finish at the MSGA’s Parent/Child Championship last Sunday at Natanis’ Golf Course