Most student-athletes have one or two chances to compete for a region title, if any, but for Barbourville’s Whitney Messer it was an eight-year journey that finally ended in triumph.
Messer started playing on the high school golf team in the fourth-grade and earned a trip to the region tournament in the fifth grade. She played in eight-straight region tournaments and finally won the title during her senior year. She was also awarded a Trispy for Female Golfer of the Year.
“I was 10-years-old playing in the region tournament,” she said. “I could barely see over my golf bag.”
Messer felt like she could have won the region during her sophomore and junior season, but was happy to finally get the monkey off her back.
“The last three years I played well enough to win it,” she said. “I knew this year was my last shot I had and it felt good to finally get it.”
Messer had planned on moving away for college and had the opportunity as several schools offered her a scholarship. She even visited Xavier, Morehead State and Tennessee Tech. But in the end she chose to join her sister (who is also on a golf scholarship) at Union College.
“Union’s coach had been watching me for the last three years,” she said. “ He has won the Kentucky Amateur twice, so I’m looking forward to learning from him. I always thought I wanted to leave home, but my best offer was right here a block away from me.”
Messer has received a lot of support from her parents and grandparents over the years, her father (Tim) was her high school coach for the last two years.
“He got to walk right beside of me for the last two years,” she said. “Not many people get to be coached by a parent. After the state tournament he hugged me and said he was proud of me. I was thinking I better not mess up I’ll have to hear it all the way home.”
Messer is excited about starting her college career and is looking forward to doing a lot of traveling. Her goal is to be one of the best in the conference. She wanted to thank her dad and papaw for always being there.
“I want to thank my dad for always being there,” she added. “My papaw for taking me all over the country to play in golf tournaments. They are the reason I’ve done everything I have.”