Burnet golfer Taylor Carroll signs with Harding University

Burnet High School senior golfer Taylor Carroll (right) has the frosting on her face after younger sister, Rylee, and other friends pushed Taylor’s face into her signing ceremony cake April 14. Carroll will play golf for Harding University. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Burnet High School senior golfer Taylor Carroll (right) has the frosting on her face after younger sister, Rylee, and other friends pushed Taylor’s face into her signing ceremony cake April 14. Carroll will play golf for Harding University. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — Burnet High School senior golfer Taylor Carroll demonstrated the mental toughness the sport requires on the final hole of the Class 4A Region IV tournament April 12.

Carroll’s drive hooked and found the woods.

But because she saved her one bogey shot, she re-teed the ball from the women’s box. This time, she hit the ball in the middle of the fairway in a straight line.

In the end, she hit about a 20-foot putt to end the hole with one bogey on a par-4 hole, finishing the tournament with a 78-81–159 that was good enough for fourth overall to qualify for the Class 4A state tournament April 25-26 at Onion Creek Club, 2510 Onion Creek Parkway in Austin.

It’ll be a return trip to the state tournament for her.

“When I play, I get in the zone, and nothing else matters,” she said. “You hit a bad shot, you have to keep thinking positive the whole time, say positive things over and over again.”

That’s the kind of shot that made Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, offer the Lady Dawg a golf scholarship. She made good on her commitment April 14 when she signed her letter of intent to play for the NCAA Division II program.

“When I went there, the coach (Dustin Howell) seemed like another dad,” Carroll said. “The players took me in, and everyone was so loving and nice. I wanted to go to a Christian school. My family has been involved with (the Church of Christ). It seemed to fit.”

Her personal best is a 74 she shot at the Llano Invitational earlier this year.

Burnet head coach Roy Kiser said Carroll is an individual of great character.

“She represents Burnet with spirit, pride and honor,” he said, referring to the school’s motto. “We’ll definitely miss her but excited she gets to play next year.”

The daughter of Kerry and Michele Carroll will major in graphic design and minor in business.

She picked up a club at 5 and agreed golf can be a frustrating sport. Her key, she said, is remembering the good things.

“It makes me think of everything that’s happened in my life,” she said. “I’m super-optimistic about everything I do. I have to practice and practice to make everything continue and be better. Practice makes perfect.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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