03 Dec 2021 | 07:01 | Golf
Madison Cecil, who spent her freshman year at Murray State, has joined the Montana women’s golf team and will be a sophomore for the Grizzlies when they open their 2021-22 season next month.
Cecil is a 2020 graduate of Paul Lawrence Dunbar High in Lexington, Ky.
“My family has always traveled out there. We love the outdoors, we love Missoula, we love fly-fishing,” she said.
“The summer going into my junior year, I looked at Montana and really loved the campus, but I wasn’t sure I could go that far away.”
So she went to Murray State but didn’t play in any tournaments for the Racers in 2020-21. The team at Montana, she says, is why she chose to become a Grizzly.
“The team gets along so well. They are all really close and so sweet. They’ve been telling me they can’t wait to meet me. It’s such a tight-knit team,” she said. “That’s what really did it for me.”
Cecil won a region title as a junior and was the top-ranked golfer in the state of Kentucky for parts of the 2019 fall season when she was a senior. She would go on to earn all-state honors.
“She’s got good distance in her game,” said Montana coach Kris Nord. “She was consistently top-five in all her results junior and senior year in high school.
“She’s obviously consistent, and that’s what we need, someone who can go out and consistently post a low score and avoid our one day of high rounds. That’s my hope.”
Her prep highlight was winning the 7th Region championship at Gibson Bay Golf Course in Richmond as a junior with a 2-over 74.
Among the golfers she topped were Laney Frye, now at Kentucky, and Mattie Neeley, who is on the team at Eastern Kentucky.
“That was really special to me. The seniors that were in my group, one of them plays at UK, one of them plays at Tennessee, one of them plays at Eastern and one at Western Kentucky,” she said.
She joins a team that has its top two scorers from 2020-21 returning, Kylie Esh and Jessica Ponce, and hopes to help Montana to a spot it hasn’t been since the spring of 2006.
“I would really love for the team to win another Big Sky championship and get to the NCAA tournament,” she said. “That would be an unforgettable experience.”
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