Carol Pyon did not have a good start in this year’s GHSA Class 3A girls golf tournament. The junior from Rutland was at 4 over after the first five holes and ended her front nine at 5 over. At one time on the front nine, she was eight strokes behind the leader.
But showing a maturity that goes beyond her 16 years, Pyon knew she was still in the two-day tournament. She calmly made an eagle on her 10th hole and got one more back on the day to end up with a first-round 74, which left her in a tie for the lead.
There was no such drama on the second day, as Pyon, The Telegraph’s All-Middle Georgia Girls Golfer of the Year for the second straight year, shot an even-par 72 to coast to her second straight state championship.
“I knew that the front nine doesn’t determine the winner of the tournament,” Pyon said. “I just tried to relax and play better golf, and when I got the eagle on my first hole on the back nine, it relaxed me, and I started to get things going a little bit. I tried to take advantage of the holes I thought I could cut strokes on.”
The second day featured Pyon’s first hole-in-one.
“I had just birdied my 16th hole, and my 17th hole was a short par-3 over a creek, and I hit a great shot that went in the hole,” Pyon said. “I was just ecstatic inside but tried to just stay calm and finish strong after that.”
Pyon is dedicated to her sport and enjoys the time on the course with her father and younger sister, Eujin.
“During the school year, I try to start practice right after school, and I usually play golf until it gets dark,” Pyon said. “During the summer I try to get to the golf course as early as possible and usually play five to eight hours every day. My father is our coach, and he is usually out here with us, and I love the sport because hard work always pays off. I just like to win.”
Pyon admits that she wouldn’t mind too much if one person beat her in a tournament.
“Eujin has beaten me in tournaments before, and if anyone was going to beat me, I would want it to be her,” Pyon said of her younger sister, who finished fourth in the state tournament this year. “If she beat me, I wouldn’t be mad at her. I would be mad at myself for not doing what I had to do to win the tournament. But I would be very happy for her.”
Pyon will head into her senior year of high school already knowing where she will play her college golf.
“I chose to play at Mercer because it is a great DI school, and I want to be a part of their program,” Pyon said. “I used to think I wanted to go far away from here to play in college, but the more I thought about it, I realized Mercer is where I want to be.”
All-Middle Georgia schedule
A look at the schedule for All-Middle Georgia teams to be released with the days the results will be posted on Macon.com and in The Telegraph:
June 14/15: Boys golf
June 15/16: Girls tennis
June 16/17: Boys tennis
June 17/18: Scholar-Athlete of the Year
June 18/19: Girls track
June 19/20: Boys track
June 20/21: Girls soccer
June 21/22: Boys soccer
June 22/23: Baseball
June 23/24: Girls Athlete of the Year
June 24/25: Boys Athlete of the Year
All-Middle Georgia girls golf team
Golfer of the Year: Carol Pyon, Rutland
Mailey Buzzell, Veterans, freshman
Buzzell paced Veterans’ second-place finish in Class 5A with a seventh-place individual effort, shooting 163.
Josie Coleman, Stratford, sophomore
Coleman claimed medalist honors in area competition and finished third at the Class 1A private school tournament with an 83.
Alyssa Julien, Veterans, junior
Julien finished 10th at the Class 5A tournament with a two-round score of 167.
Brooke Krieg, Bleckley County, sophomore
Krieg shot an 82 in Class 2A state competition, finishing fourth.
Carol Pyon, Rutland, junior
Pyon repeated as the GHSA Class 3A champion, winning the 36-hole event by eight shots and recording a hole-in-one in the second round on the 17th hole.
Eujin Pyon, Rutland, freshman
The younger Pyon finished fourth in her GHSA tournament debut, shooting back-to-back 81s.