MURRAY — On Tuesday, Lone Oak Middle School’s Madison Glisson shined on her home course at the Country Club of Paducah, on her way to a second-place finish in the prestigious legacy Florence Paxton Memorial Women’s Championship.
On Friday in the inaugural Murray Invitational at the Murray Country Club, she competed in her first-ever high school golf tournament as a McCracken County Lady Mustang ... and won, firing a 4-over 77 on the modified par-73 course to beat a terrific season-opening field.
It’s been quite a week for the 12-year-old star, who not only starts seventh grade in just a few weeks, but continues to prove that maybe age is just a number.
After a bit of a slow start, Glisson proved she belonged in the high school ranks on holes No. 9 and No. 10, where she chose to go straight at the pins and secure birdies instead of pars.
Even more impressive: this was the first time she’d played Murray Country Club in her short, but already bright, career.
“I just try to play my best,” she said. “I was kind of just going for some of the pins, even though I pulled them a little bit.
“But I just like playing with my friends. It always comes a little easier when you are playing with people you know.”
Indeed, Glisson was pushed by a group that included Murray’s Mary Browder Howell (78), Lyon County’s Cathryn Brown (80) and Bowling Green’s Raegan Richardson (91) — as the quartet spent most of the afternoon chumming it up with side bets, jokes and the occasional afternoon snack.
But Glisson’s game isn’t kidding around, and the logjam of talent behind her also included St. Mary’s Ellie Roof (79), Graves County’s Ellie West (83), Calloway County’s Skylar Waller (84), Ballard Memorial’s Autumn Dowdy (87) and Caldwell County’s Claire Knoth (88).
It was a preview for what the 2020 First Region Championships at Calvert City Country Club could look like in 2½ months. And the only thing missing from Friday’s fight for the top was the Marshall County Lady Marshals, who certainly would’ve been in the mix with Trinity Beth, Savannah Howell and Megan Hertter slashing swings.
Still, Glisson seemed poised and composed, and it’s two traits that first-year McCracken County coach Emma (Robinson) Straub noticed right away in the duo’s first player-coach tournament experience.
“She is dialed in to every single shot,” Straub said. “She knows what she’s going to do, and mentally, she’s never super-up or super-down. She’s just so mellow. She’s got the right temperament to play golf. She doesn’t show emotion, but she had so much fun with those girls today, and they had such a great time. I think that also helps her out, too, and I think that helps everyone in the group. She’s got such a great personality, and she’s 12. She doesn’t really act like it.”
Glisson, Browder Howell, Roof, Brown, Edwards and West — six of the first eight golfers to tee on the afternoon — delivered on their leader group assignments by all staying within a shot of each other throughout a contentious final nine holes.
But perhaps the greatest exclamation of all came from Brown, just as she came off the course.
“Thank God! It didn’t rain!” she said.
The Murray Lady Tigers came away with the team title on their home course behind a 353, powered by Browder Howell and solid finishes from Macy Saylor (88), Claire Whitaker (89) and Emerson Vaughan (98).
The Lady Mustangs took second place with a 356, as Glisson, Edwards, Reagan Farmer (98) and Sophie Hollowell (100) had scores counted.
“I knew we had a chance to win a tournament at least once this season,” Straub added. “We might possibly get a few more chances. Madison just has an incredible personality. She’s got it all. And Adeline is playing really well.”