Riverside's Katey Campbell shocked even herself when she qualified for the individual State Golf Championships held last week at Turkey Mountain Golf Course in Horseshoe Bend.
The junior multi-sport athlete had never played a round of golf until the District Tournament held at Walnut Ridge. Campbell was playing in order for the Lady Rebels to have enough players to participate in tournament action as a team. Kailey Holt and Morgan Emery made up the other two thirds of the Lady Rebel trio, who advanced to the regional tournament in Melbourne, when Campbell, playing only her third round of golf ever, surprised everyone, including herself, by qualifying for the state championships.
"I was totally shocked," said Campbell. "I did this so that Riverside could play as a team in the regionals. My dad (Buster Campbell) gave me a set of clubs to play with. He asked if I needed some girl's clubs but I said these would be okay. The clubs had never had the plastic taken off of them before the tournament. I was really nervous at the regional tournament, because I got separated from Kailey and Morgan. At the state tournament, after I started I did okay. I didn't have much trouble getting the ball off the ground, but I struggled a little with my putting."
Campbell finished 48th out of 71 golfers in the state tournament, a surprisingly good showing for someone with such little experience. "I didn't use any irons. I played with just my driver, my 5-wood, 7-wood, pitching wedge and putter. I really had a good time playing and I plan on playing again next year for the fun of it," added Campbell.
Campbell, who has already lettered in five other sports, including basketball, softball, tennis, track and cheerleading, will make it seven if she adds bowling in addition to golf.
"I think it would be neat to letter in seven sports," concluded Campbell.