Sydney Ball, freshman biology major, helped the Saint Vincent women’s golf team secure the lead in the PAC championship on Oct. 2-3.
The first round of the fall 2017 championships was played on Oct. 2. Ball tied for first with a Westminster College golfer, with a score of 84. The second round was played Oct. 3, and Ball scored an 89, placing her third overall and first amongst her teammates.
Saint Vincent now leads the PAC championship with a score of 702, with Thomas More trailing at 730. The final round will be played in the spring 2018 semester, and will determine the winning team of the PAC that will move onto the NCAA tournament.
Ball’s success in the championship rounds comes after her successful collegiate debut season. Ball took first place in the team’s first invitational at Grove City College on Sept. 7, as well as in the Westminster College Invitational on Sept. 23.
Ball received PAC Rookie and PAC Golfer of the Week awards for her performance at the Grove City Invitational. The following week she again won PAC Rookie of the Week after tying for 20th place at the Carnegie Mellon Fall Invitational.
Ball said that being able to lead her team to first place in the championships was an incredible feeling.
“I feel great. My team is fantastic and I love every player,” Ball said. “I couldn’t have succeeded without all their encouragement and positivity. I also want to thank my coaches for their support.”
Ball is originally from Pittsford, NY, and is a graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School, where she began playing on the varsity golf team in seventh grade. Ball started playing golf when she was 11 years old. Her dad pushed her toward the sport and she fell in love with it. Ball started golfing in local tournament series and rose her way through the ranks.
Ball says she loves the sport because, “it’s one of the few sports that you can play from age eight to 88.”
Looking ahead to the spring season, Ball anticipates further success for her team.
“I think we’re going to kill it,” said Ball. “We’re ahead by 28 strokes, which is a great lead to have. I have very high expectations that I think are very achievable. There’s no reason we can’t win the PAC and compete in nationals.”
Ball says she plans to achieve her goal by non-stop practice from now until the spring. Ball says practicing in the cold weather is nothing new for her because Pittsford gets a lot of snow in the winter.
Dr. Thomas Cline, head golf coach, noted that Ball has what it takes to continue to be a leader of the team.
“Sydney is an experienced golfer with a mechanically sound swing and a reliable short game. Sydney is mature beyond her years and makes responsible decisions during play,” Cline said.
Ball’s favorite part of being on the team is practice.
“I’ve always loved practices and working towards being the best you can be. I love the team atmosphere. Watching us all grow together creates amazing memories,” said Ball.
Ball is a biology major with a concentration in pre-med. Although Ball doesn’t have any specific medical schools in mind as of yet, she is interested in gastroenterology.
In addition to playing golf, Ball is a member of the American Medical Students Association Club, a Fred Rogers Scholar and a personal assistant to Dr. Michael Rhodes, associate professor of biology.
Photos: SVC Flickr