JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Six weeks ago, Faith Academy of Marble Falls golfer Taylor Denton hadn’t heard of the University of Texas at Tyler.
But after she met the school’s head golf coach, Grant Spencer, and toured the campus, she decided the East Texas university was the place for her and signed her letter of intent to play for the Patriots on April 22.
“He had one more spot he needed to fill,” she said. “He told me it was mine, if I wanted it.”
Denton said she had been looking at other programs, but the cost of attending a private school was a factor in her decision.
She has played the sport her entire life but got serious about it when she got a job at Delaware Springs Municipal Golf Course in Burnet last year. After suffering an injury while playing basketball, she realized golf wasn’t quite as taxing on her body.
Her personal best for 18 holes is a 70. Most Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools tournaments are usually a round of 18 holes. She’ll play four rounds per tournament in college.
“I think I can do it,” she said. “Obviously, we’ll work out more. I think it’ll be good for me to expand a little more.”
And Denton will play for a Patriots squad that was fourth nationally at the NCAA Division III championships in 2014, a year after finishing as the runners-up.
The daughter of Randy and Shelly Denton will major in kinesiology with plans to become a physical therapist.
Faith golf coach Rick Blackington said Denton’s hard work and focus has led her to college golf.
“She has been a diamond that has been polished year after year,” he said. “She’s continued to evolve this year. I don’t think she’s close to her ceiling.”