Golfer of the Year: Williams’ will to succeed guides Walton’s season
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
June 13, 2013 12:28 AM | 1915 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Abbey Williams
<Br>Staff file photo by Laura Moon
Abbey Williams
Staff file photo by Laura Moon
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It was deja vu all over again for Abbey Williams, who was in her usual surroundings when she was informed that she would be the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Golfer of the Year for the second straight season.

“I was playing golf,” she said. “That’s how I found out last year. I called (Walton) coach (Rick) Myrick to find out if he had any information about who made all-county and who was golfer of the year.

“He said it’s funny I should ask because he was just about to text me, and then he told me. It’s pretty awesome to get this again. I wasn’t sure who would get it, so it’s a huge accomplishment to get it two years in a row.”

Williams had one of her most productive seasons as a member of the Walton program. The junior averaged 38.75 strokes over nine holes and shot a county-low 78.7-stroke average over seven 18-hole tournaments.

Williams was named to her third first-team all-state team in as many seasons and remains the only Lady Raider to have ever received first-team all-state accolades.

“This was probably my best year yet,” she said. “No one at Walton had been first-team all-state before me, so to get it three straight years now is amazing. I worked on my short game a lot during the seasons and the offseason, and I think that helped me.

“Plus, playing with someone like (teammate) Autumn (Gabe), who likes to practice as much as I do and was always encouraging, was a big help. She’s a very good golfer and is an awesome person to have on the team.”

The highlight of Williams’ season was shooting a 73 at the Georgia Peach tournament in Rutledge, becoming the first Lady Raider to take home medalist honors at the event.

“Winning the Georgia Peach was awesome,” Williams said. “It was raining and my tee time was at 8 a.m., so I had to wait for hours before I could even start. It took a lot of my focus to stay on that course and do well. It was a huge accomplishment to win that in those conditions.”

Williams was also second at the Dacula and Falcon invitationals and tied for medalist honors at the Class AAAAAA sectional in Roswell. She was a top-10 finisher at the Parkview Invitational and Region 5AAAAAA tournament, and she shot 81 to tie for 17th at the Class AAAAAA state championship.

According to Myrick, Williams is such a good golfer because “she works so hard.”

“She loves to compete,” he said. “That’s why she gets so much better every year. She gets out there and practices every day.”

Williams says she practices for herself and her teammates because she wants them to experience success. Walton lost various starters to injury throughout the season, putting more pressure on the junior to do well.

“It was a very different season for us with all of the injuries,” Williams said. “I wasn’t sure how far we’d go, but we ended up with the best finish we’ve had at state since I’ve been a member of the team.”

Myrick credited that to the way Williams approached her game.

“Abbey wanted us to go to state really bad,” Myrick said. “She knew she had to play well, and she felt the pressure, but she didn’t let it get to her.”

Williams shot 82 to lead Walton to a third-place finish at the Region 5AAAAAA tournament, and tied for medalist honors with a 78 at the Class AAAAAA sectional to help advance Walton to the state tournament in Moultrie. Her 81 contributed to the Lady Raiders’ tying for fifth in the state.

“I knew I had to play better, but the team played better, too, and came through,” Williams said. “It was a very good season. We accomplished a lot through the adversity we faced, and we had girls step up when they needed to. It all worked out, and we did well at state.”
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