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Carroll Golf Alumna Finishes Second at Amateur Championship

Aug 14, 2015 03:45PM ● Published by Kevin

Gallery: Maddy Rayner's 2014-15 Season at University of Houston [6 Images] Click any image to expand.

University of Houston Women’s Golf sophomore Maddy Rayner fell just short in the WTGA State Amateur Championship title match on Aug. 7, according to YourHoustonNews.com. The former Dragon dropped a 3 and 2 decision to Annika Clark at the competition held at Waco's Ridgewood Country Club.

"I played really solid golf," Rayner said. "I’m not mad with how I played at all. All I could have done was had more of a steady short game while I was out there. I’ve been working really hard on my wedges and my putting to get myself improved. Hopefully next year when this rolls around again I can find myself in the championship again."

The score was even through two holes before Clark picked up the win on three straight holes, and Rayner couldn't catch up. Overall, Rayner had a good experience.

"The WTGA runs really good events; really good tournaments," she said. "They take care of the players really well, which is a big thing for me. I heard about it through teammates. My set going through stroke play to match play was difficult to transition. I had to keep myself centered for sure." 

Rayner won four straight matches during the previous three days to capture a spot in the championship match. She was seeded fifth before the tournament began.

"I noticed in that first match I let myself get down a little bit," she recalled. "I was 3 down on 15 and I had to win 4 holes in a row to get the win on that match. After I did that I remember thinking, 'I have this, I can do this. I can play match play.' [It] made the next three matches easier to go into. It gave me more of a, 'I know what to do. I’ve got this.' I got to the championship match and the girl just played fantastic."

Rayner's golf career started her freshman year of high school when she grew tired of other sports she played. She recalled sitting on the range with her father, watching him drive balls out into the distance. Picking up the game was quick for her, and she spent about 35 hours a week each summer to perfect her game. She ended up ranked No. 63 by Golfweek as a high school senior and eventually chose the University of Houston.

In her first year of collegiate play, Rayner competed in five tournaments with three rounds of par or better. The overall lifestyle transition was a bit tough for her, she said.

"That first semester was really stressful making the switch from high school to college with schedule changes and how everything’s done," said Rayner. "I love the team. I love both coaches. They’re all about golf. That’s what I was looking for in college. I’ve met my match and I'm where I’m supposed to be. I love that place."

Rayner said she's a typical golf student, hoping to stay close to golf the rest of her life; either playing professionally or doing something with marketing and/or communications. She's grateful to the folks back at home for all of the support over the years.

"I don’t think I would’ve gotten as far as I did without the people I’ve met in my life," she said. :Through all the good and bad that’s happened to me, everything that’s happened here has molded me into who I am. I want to give thanks to everybody and say I love them all for what they’ve done for me."

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