Georgetown College senior Baylee Salyers had never seen Point University Golf Club in Lanett, Alabama, until last weekend.
However, its tight, 5,817-yard layout quickly brought to her mind Bellefonte Country Club back home.
The former Russell High standout turned it into a feel-good story, breaking two Georgetown records while winning her first collegiate tournament title to open the team’s fall season.
“It was one of my two goals for college golf when I started,” said Salyers, who also set out to be an All-American. “We will have to see about that one.“
On Monday, the Mid-South Conference selected Salyers as its Women’s Golfer of the Week.
Salyers started with a 1-under par 71 — best in the program’s history. Her two-day total of 146 also established a new standard at Georgetown. She finished four shots ahead of runner-up Blakely Arp of Point.
“I think it’s super cool that my name’s going to be in the record books for this school,” Salyers said. “I’m proud of myself for the work I’ve put in to accomplish that.”
As a team, the Tigers claimed third place in the six-team field.
Georgetown wasn’t even scheduled to play in Alabama on Friday and Saturday. But Hurricane Dorian wiped out the original plan of competing in Jekyll Island, Georgia, this Monday and Tuesday. Tigers coach Marlene Schulte was able to shift gears and get her team into the Point Ladies Fall Invitational instead.
Said Salyers: “It was tough out there. We all faced personal challenges in our game. The Alabama heat almost got us, but we came prepared to play good golf and that’s what we did. I’m really proud of how our team played this weekend and so happy to have the freshmen coming in, making a large impact on the team.”
As for navigating her way around an unfamiliar course, Salyers still had a sense of feeling prepared.
“It reminded me a lot of Bellefonte as far as the yardage and being tight with trees, or water, on either side,” she said. “It helped that I hit the ball well off the tee for the most part. The putter was good to me too, especially the first day.”
Coming to the final hole, Salyers could almost feel tears in her eyes.
She closed with a birdie after getting close on an eagle putt.
“I knew I played well,” Salyers said. “My teammates, their families and my parents were all there. It was emotional and very satisfying.”
Her coach called it an “incredible feat” for Salyers as the start to her senior season.
“But it also reflects the attitude Baylee has shown her other three seasons,” Schulte said. “Even with the success she has had, Baylee hasn’t been satisfied and continues to push herself.”
Salyers was The Daily Independent’s 2015 girls All-Area Player of the Year. She established herself as one of Georgetown’s leaders as a freshman, then had to deal with a wrist injury parts of her next two seasons. Nevertheless, she earned an MSC weekly honor as a junior and also landed on the all-conference second team.
Schulte described Salyers as a goal setter who has raised them higher every year.
“There isn’t a better athlete or student to have their mark in the Georgetown College record book than Baylee,” the coach said. “She continually demonstrates high character and I look forward to the rest of her senior campaign.”
(606) 326-2671 |