The Collegian sat down with junior golfer Madison Talley, who is representing K-State at the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday and Friday for a chance to head to Eugene, Oregon, for the NCAA Championships later this month.
How long have you been golfing and how did you start golfing?
“I’ve been golfing since I was 8 years old, so 12 years now. My family doesn’t really play. My dad just took me out one day, and I hit the ball and he was like, ‘Wow, you’re good. We’re going to try to get you into this.’ And it just kind of happened.”
Being an Arkansas native, what led you to K-State?
“It’s actually funny, whenever you’re looking at colleges as an athlete you look at a bunch of different ones and you figure out what best fits you. I didn’t want to come to K-State before I saw it and on the drive up here I was like, ‘I’m not going to go here.’ But then the I saw it and my coach gave me a tour. I think just the town and the atmosphere really sold it for me.”
Why do you play golf?
“I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it I guess, but I just play and it’s fun. I don’t know, I mean there are those rounds of golf where I’m just like, ‘Why do I do this?’ But then you have a good round you realize that’s why you play golf.”
Do you have a favorite round that you have played?
“My last round at Big 12s a week ago. My first round was better than my last round but I felt like I just floated around the golf course. It felt like I really didn’t do much. But in the last round, I fought for my score and I caught myself actually playing golf and being strategic and I loved it. It was really fun.”
What is your favorite golf course that you’ve played?
“I have a bunch, but I know we went to Seattle, Washington, last semester and that course (Sahalee Country Club) was unbelievable and one of the craziest courses I’ve ever seen. I didn’t play well on it but it was just awesome to play and to see the views and to see something completely out of the element that I’m used to.”
What’s a course that you have not played but you would like to play?
“Definitely St. Andrews (in Scotland). They hold the British Open there, and it’s just so intimidating and I would love to play it one day.”
You have three international students on your team (one from Canada, one from Ireland and the other from Scotland), how has that exposed you to some new perspectives?
“It’s definitely different. Especially on the golf course because they bring in things that I’ve never thought about. Or just in daily life; they think differently than an American does and it’s fun to see me think more like them but also they take on a more American feel of life. It’s just really fun to interact with them.”
Would you like to play professionally once you graduate?
“I want to try. I definitely would like to try. I don’t want to give all of this effort and then not try. I still have one more year so I’ll see where I am at the end of it and just try to get there any way that I can and if not, try to get into coaching.”
What is your goal for regionals this week?
“Last year I went into it and I was more nervous I think. This year, after learning some lessons from last year, I’m just more excited to play my game. I’m more relaxed because it’s more familiar and I feel more confident in my game.”