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Positive vibes only from Troup golfer

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Taylor Kennedy’s value to the Troup High golf team went beyond what showed up on the scorecard.

Kennedy, a senior, was an overwhelmingly positive force on a team that finished seventh in the Class AAAA state tournament.

“Taylor’s been playing for us since the eighth grade,” said Troup coach Michelle Ashmore. “That has been her personality since the get-go. (Her teammates) even joked afterward that one of us will have to take over as the team cheerleader. She brings this shining awesome light to our group that makes it fun.”

Kennedy shot a 105 in both rounds at the state tournament at the University of Georgia golf course in Athens.

It was a challenging course with plenty of high scores, but Kennedy kept a smile on her face, and she was always willing to support her teammates, and anyone she came into contact with.

“If I was playing against another school, even if it was a tournament or a big match, if they hit a good shot, I’m always saying great shot, and saying positive things to them,” Kennedy said. “If they hit a bad shot, I’ll tell them it’s just one bad shot, you’ve got this.”

All sports require athletes to be able to shrug off adversity, and golf is no exception. There are so many things that can go wrong on a golf course, and maintaining a positive outlook and not dwelling on failure is critical.

“Golf is all mental,” Kennedy said. “If you get down on yourself, you’re going to have a terrible game. If you have a bad hole, you have to take a breath, and say to yourself, this next hole is not going to be like the last one. The last one doesn’t even exist. I’m going to shoot the best I can on this next hole.”

Kennedy had a fantastic time being a member of the Troup High golfing family.

She was a junior-varsity golfer as an eighth-grader, and for the past four seasons she’s been a member of the varsity lineup.

Over the years the number of golfers on the team has grown, and Kennedy has done her part to recruit new teammates.

Her pitch has always been to just come on out and have a good time.

“We’ve got great people, it’s fun,” Kennedy said. “You don’t have to stress about being the best player. Even if you’ve never played, just come out there, and we’ll have fun.”

It was a terrific season for the Lady Tigers, who finished second in the area tournament before earning a seventh-place finish at state.

Joining Kennedy in the varsity lineup was Sarah Blanks, Cici Kividt and Skyler Yates, and Gianna Pacelli and Avery Pearson were the alternates.

“We were hoping to get top four, top five (at state), but just going out there, we weren’t going to stress that much about it, because we made it to state,” Kennedy said.