Sierra Bennion adopted the "practice makes perfect" mantra when on the golf course this summer.
And now, she's feeling ready for her final season at North Dakota State University.
In preparation for her senior season with the Bison Bennion entered two amatuer championship tournaments. Bennion came away with the win at the North Dakota Women's Amateur Championship at Kings Walk Country Club July 14-15 in Grand Forks.
On day one of the tournament Bennion led her flight by seven and extended her lead on day two leading the field by 10 strokes and shooting a gross score of 138. Bennion said there was a lack of competition in Grand Forks but added the win helped her confidence on the course. While she is looking for more competitive matchups during the fall season, Bennion said she gained some experience from the ladies tees with her new clubs.
"It was still really good practice because playing from the red tees you get a lot more practice with shorter clubs and so it's fun playing different yardage rather than playing with the same clubs every time," Bennion said.
Bennion had a chance for a little more practice 10 days later at the Minnesota Golf Association Women's Amateur Championship at Town and Country Club in St. Paul Minnesota July 23-25. After the opening round of the MGA tournament, Bennion tied for the lead carding a 2-over par 75. Unfortunately, Bennion was unable to keep the first place spot over the next two days but she came away with a competitive mindset -- something NDSU golf head coach Matt Johnson would like the entire roster to have before the season starts on August 26.
"Our coach likes us to play in a couple of tournaments over the summer just to keep the competitive mindset so I like to play in a couple of tournaments every summer," Bennion said. "It was just a good change of pace from what I'd been playing all summer."
Bennion faced fierce competition like University of Nebraska's 2017 champion Kate Smith and defending MGA amateur champion Taylor Ledwein. Bennion would end the MGA with a fifth-place finish.
Before Bennion heads to Fargo, she is planning to get some more experience with her irons and will be practicing her strokes, putts and drives at the Jamestown Country Club. Bennion said The NDWAC and the MGA were both confidence boosters for her game and added she is hoping to capitalize on her mental game before the Bison's first tournament on September 9.
"I actually feel pretty good right now," Bennion said. "I've been playing well over the summer, just got new clubs -- and I'm literally so excited to just have the best time senior year and I am so excited for the tournaments. I am pumped (and) ready to go!"