By Greg Ford
Maddie McCrary is a perfect example of what talent combined with hard work can accomplish.
Since picking up a golf club around age 5, McCrary, now a freshman at Oklahoma State University, has become one of the top young golfers in the southwest, if not the nation. This past season, McCrary, a Wylie resident, was a key component on a Cowgirl team that earned a spot at the NCAA regionals this week in South Bend, Indiana.
On a personal level, McCrary participated last weekend, as an amateur, in the LPGA North Texas Shootout in Las Colinas, where she competed with some of the top golfers around. It’s all part of a progression that will hopefully result in McCrary turning pro one day.
For now, though, she’s part of an OSU program that she joined after a successful career as a high school golfer, first at Wylie East as a freshman and sophomore, and as an individual in many tournaments during her junior and senior years; the former as a home-school student and the latter at Wylie High School.
“My game has improved so much. College (play) has really helped me,” McCrary said. “The players are better and there is a lot more competition.”
The 19-year-old freshman has demonstrated she’s more than a match for her opposition and teammates, many of whom are older than she. This past fall, McCrary averaged a 72.58 per round, placing her third on the Cowgirl team. That dropped to 73.93 in the spring, but it still was the highest per-round average on the team.
Her best finish in the fall was a tie for fifth at the Annika Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla., while this spring she took third at the SMU/DAC Invitational.
Those kind of performances, as well as the excellent play of her teammates, earned OSU (No. 11 nationally) a spot at the May 7-9 regionals in South Bend, where they will be part of an 18-team field.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” McCrary said. “Our team has done reasonably well this spring.”
Now, with three years remaining as a collegian, McCrary is looking to improve her game and win as a many tournaments as possible, with all that eventually leading to performing on the LPGA.
“That has always been a goal, to turn pro,” she said. “I don’t know when I am going to turn pro, but it will definitely happen.”