Her confidence buoyed by her recent victory at the Massachusetts Women’s Open, contested on a course that she played as a captain of the boys’ team at Shrewsbury High, Brittany Altomare now has her eye on a couple of national prizes.
The 21-year-old Altomare, a three-time All-American at the University of Virginia, will tee it up Monday at the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at Neshamic Valley Country Club in New Jersey, followed by the US Women’s Open July 5-8 at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin.
“The Mass. Open was fun. I saw friends and family I hadn’t been with in a long time and I stayed at home, which is five minutes from the course,’’ said Altomare, who earned a two-stroke victory at Mount Pleasant Country Club in Boylston with a two-round total 70-71-141, seven strokes under par.
She also got a taste of home cooking, watched the Celtics’ playoff run on TV, and visited Boston with friends — a needed break after Virginia’s run to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA championship, and Altomare’s third-place qualifying performance at the US Women's sectional in Rockville, Md.
Altomare, who led the Cavaliers with a 73.61 stroke average, advanced to the quarterfinals of match play at the Publinx last year. She has also played in two previous US Women’s Opens, but did not make the cut.
“I’m definitely more confident after the Mass. Open win, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my game and how to prepare myself for the national tournaments,’’ said Altomare, who played Mount Pleasant as a youngster with her family and is now a member at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston.
Altomare, who will spend more time at home between tournaments and also catch up with her instructor, Mark Costaregni, has changed her putting approach through the increasingly popular AimPoint reading/charting system, which enables players to more accurately judge direction and break.
“I’m making more 10- and 15-foot birdies now, and even when I miss, I’m close,’’ said Altomare, who at age 11 won the women’s club championship at Cyprian Keyes.
University of Virginia women’s head coach Kim Lewellen said Altomare is called the “quiet giant’’ because of her calm exterior and competitive fire.
“She’s been phenomenal for us, and she knows how to turn her game up a notch when she really wants something, which is how she felt about the Mass. Open,’’ said Lewellen.
“She likes to know what’s on the leader board, and that fuels her. She’s one of the best ball strikers I’ve ever seen, her mechanics are so sound, and she has that perfect draw on her shots. But best of all, she has been a credit to the game wherever she plays.’’
Emma Zeiger is cited for PMC role
Emma Zeiger, 14, of Needham, was recognized as a “Childhood Hero’’ June 9 at Fenway Park for raising more than $20,000 for the Pan-Mass Challenge in honor of her father, Jay Zeiger, who died in 2007 at age 44 after battling melanoma.
Emma worked with friends and family to establish the PMC Newton-Needham-Brookline Kids Ride that was held Saturday.
Her father was a six-time PMC cyclist.
PMC founder Billy Starr of Wellesley and 33 cyclists that are cancer survivors were also recognized on PMC Day at Fenway in a pregame ceremony that marked the 10th year the Red Sox had sponsored the event.
The riders included Craig Berkson of Framingham, Andrew Coffin of Concord, Louise Gerhart of Acton, Diane Gibbins of Dover, Barbara Oppenheimer and David Harlow of Newton, and Yukimo Ishizawa of Brookline.
Natick’s Joey Bianco served as the honorary bat boy, and Samantha Burns of Weston the honorary bat girl for the game against the Washington Nationals. Bianco is a cancer survivor and Burns is a patient at the Dana-Farber’ Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic.
The PMC Bike-a-Thon, in its 33d year, is aiming to raise $36 million for adult and pediatric cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber. More than 5,500 cyclists will ride up to 190 miles on several routes statewide Aug. 4-5.
Madden gets bronze
Weston’s Cicely Madden captured a bronze medal at the US Rowing Youth Nationals last Sunday in single scull competition. A sophomore at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, she represented Community Rowing Inc. of Brighton.
The 17-year-old Madden took first place in the quarterfinals and was second in the semifinals among 15 competitors to qualify for the championship race.
“Gold would have been great, but I was really excited to be among the best in the country,’’ said Madden, who has been invited to the US Junior National Team Sculling Selection Camp that starts Saturday in New Milford, Conn.
Madden’s second-place finish at the Northeast Regionals on Lake Quinsigamond qualified her for Youth Nationals.
Here and there
Colby College sophomore Kirsten Karis of Southborough has been named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-American third team. Moved from defense to the midfield, she responded with a team-high 38 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers, helping the Mules advance to quarterfinals of the NCAA Division 3 tournament. . . Lawrence Academy star pitcher Max Tishman of Wellesley made an impressive debut with the Brockton Rox of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League on June 9. The lefty, who will attend Wake Forest University, had seven strikeouts in five innings as Brockton topped visiting Wachusett, 6-2.