As a freshman, Madalyn Davis probably didn’t envision herself as a future co-captain on the golf team. At the time, she didn’t even know if she would be on the team, as she wasn’t recruited in high school and had to earn a walk-on spot when she arrived on campus in the fall of 2012.
“When I first came here as a walk-on, I thought I was going to play a lot when I made the team and I didn’t,” Davis said. “I had to work on a lot of things and I’ve come far so I’m proud of myself.”
Davis has come far, showing improvement every year she’s been a member of the golf team. After not seeing any tournament action her first year, she played in 10 tournaments her sophomore year, posting an 84.23 scoring average and a top 5 finish at the Quinnipiac Classic. Her junior campaign saw even more improvement, where she held a stroke average of 78.58 in 12 tournaments, nearly six strokes better than her average a year before. The highlight of her junior campaign included a tie for first at the Winthrop Intercollegiate.
For coach Heather Brown, Davis’ biggest asset to the team as a player is her confidence, and her mental toughness.
“She’s a great ball striker, and she’s not intimidated by the courses because of that,” Brown said.
Davis’ impact goes beyond her on-course production, her role as co-captain requiring her to be a leader for the team and set an example.
“I like leading the team, I feel like I am a good leader and while certainly there are times that I’m not, I know what is required of me,” Davis said. “I don’t feel like I’m any better than anyone else, and I appreciate the role because my teammates put me in my position.”
As co-captain, Davis functions as the go-between for her teammates and coach Brown as well as the example for her teammates.
“I polled the team on the characteristics we were looking for in our leader, and that’s where we got to where we are,” Brown said.
Junior Emily Stinson knows the value that Davis brings to the team, but believes her teammates will be able to seamlessly transition next season due to the strong leadership qualities that all of the players display.
“She has been a great captain and has led the team really well, but we know how to handle ourselves,” Stinson said. “I don’t think we will lose very much, but we’ve grown a lot as a team and [Madalyn] has helped us get there.”
Stinson, in the midst of her best season as a Mountaineer, believes that she and her teammates will be able to continue their strong work into next season.
But for Davis, next season is the last thing on her mind, and with the conference tournament as the last event of her career, all she wants to do is play well one more time.
“I’m definitely excited for the conference tournament, it’s what we build for every year,” Davis said. “I’ve progressively played better in the spring, and I want to be there [conference tournament] shooting 73,74,75.”
Golf, sport’s ultimate chance for reflection, has allowed Davis the chance to evaluate her career as a Mountaineer in a different lens.
“You can always go back and think of strokes you could have saved here, things you could have done better, but I don’t dwell on that,” Davis said. “My favorite memory isn’t anything on the course but the time spent traveling or in the hotel room, growing closer with my teammates and just having that experience.”