Sophomore Hartigan leads women’s golf
For some incoming athletes, there may be a learning curve at the collegiate level. Not for women’s golfer sophomore Kelly Hartigan.
Hartigan has been a bright spot on the Grand Valley State University women’s golf team since her freshman year.
In her first year at GVSU, Hartigan was named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year and was also named to the GLIAC All-Conference first team. She recorded 10 top-25 finishes, including six in the top-10. Hartigan was the top GVSU finisher at the NCAA Division II East Regional, shooting a 223 (7), which was good for third place.
“She’s been a phenomenal addition to our team,” said head coach Rebecca Mailloux. “She’s a tremendous athlete. She loves to compete and excels under pressure, obviously something every coach would love to have on their team.”
This fall, Hartigan recorded her first win of her career at the Concordia Invite. She shot a two-round score of 149 (5), to win by one stroke.
“My first tournament win felt great,” Hartigan said. “Winning the first one was a good motivation factor to keep me practicing and keep getting better and better. I practice almost any time that I have downtime and getting a reward out of it is obviously really good.”
Coach Mailloux has been impressed with Hartigan’s ability to make an immediate impact and maintain her composure. Hartigan is currently ranked No. 72 individual golfer in Division II by Golf Stat.
“It’s a true testament to the positions that she’s put herself in, prior to coming to college,” she said. “She has been in those pressure situations before and excelled under them. It’s a true testament to her ability to perform under pressure and nothing really shakes or rattles her.”
One thing that sets Hartigan apart is her competitive nature. Her competitiveness and work ethic has helped her towards the success she’s had.
“A lot of that comes from her dad,” Mailloux said. “Her dad has been her main instructor basically all her life, and he was a good amateur golfer and she’s learned a lot from him. Back home she plays with the guys a lot and I think that’s where her competitive nature comes from.”
When Hartigan is on the golf course, she is locked in. Her focus and attention to detail is vital to her golf game. “When I’m on the course I don’t really like to talk that much,” Hartigan said. “I like to focus just on golf and golf only. If I get off focused, then I lose focus on the golf course like by talking to other people.”
The last two tournaments of the fall season for Hartigan and the rest of the GVSU women’s golf team is the Gilda’s Club Laker Fall Invite and the Bing-Beall Classic. For Hartigan, she is looking to score well and carry the momentum into the spring season.
“I hope to put up a couple good numbers for these end of the fall tournaments and hopefully start off well in the spring and qualify for nationals again and win another tournament,” she said. “My goal is to win at least two tournaments this year.”