Witucki rewrites MC record book in freshman campaign

Witucki rewrites MC record book in freshman campaign

Maryville College's Katelyn Witucki stormed onto the scene during the 2017-18 season, as the freshman standout nearly rewrote the MC Golf record books.

Witucki – a Seymour, Tenn. native – broke six of the nine season records during her first campaign with the Scots, as she ranked top four and top 10 in two of the other three.

"Katelyn, in general, just had a really nice freshman year," Maryville College Director of Golf Ron Waters said. "I think her best golf is still in front of her. She's very talented, and she has a lot of ability. I think this is just a start. I expect her to be even better next year."

An improvement would only extend Witucki's grasp on the record book.

The freshman standout shattered the season birdie record, tallying 14. She broke the record by four, as she is only the second female Maryville College golfer to record double-digit birdies in a season.

"Coming into college golf, I had my doubts about where I would stand," Witucki said. "So, breaking this birdie record as a freshman is very rewarding, and it allows me to see that anything can be accomplished with hard work and effort."

Even more impressive is the freshman's ranking within the career birdie record. Witucki has 14 in her one-year career, as she's only three birdies away from breaking the MC career record.

Sarah Grace Holland had 15 birdies between 2014 and 2017, as Sarah Edmiston had 17 in 2010-13.

"Knowing that I am only three birdies away from the career record with three years of college left is very exciting," Witucki said. "It makes me want to only push myself harder next year to go above and beyond these goals."

However, her coach doesn't expect the record that has previously stood for five years to last much longer, as Witucki averaged 0.934 birdies per round during her freshman campaign.

"That's not going to last very long, obviously, but her scoring average is the biggest thing," Waters said. "She shot the lowest scoring average for a season in our school history. Again, I think she has a chance to be five or six shots better in another year. Before she leaves here, I wouldn't be surprised to see her consistently scoring in the 70s."

Witucki broke the MC season scoring average with an 87.47 average through her 15 rounds – more than a stroke lower than any other Maryville College Women's Golfer in program history. That score helped her to break the season player ranking, as well, as the freshman standout ranked 299th nationally.

She became the first-ever MC women's golfer to have a sub-300 ranking.

"When I am playing a tournament, I personally keep scores low by playing to the best of my abilities and reminding myself that I am thankful to have God-given abilities that allow me to compete," Witucki said. "It is also a comfort knowing that I have a strong support system coming from my coach, my family and my boyfriend."

Witucki played in the fourth-most rounds in school history during 2017-18, breaking the finish percentage record, as well. Witucki had a 42.8 finish percentage against 486 opponents, as her 11 (100 percent) counting scores rank seventh among the MC record books.

She also owns both the Par 3 and Par 5 scoring records for a season.

However, it wasn't only season records that Witucki put her name on.

The Seymour High School product also tabbed tournament records, as well, as she currently holds five of the top 10 lowest single-round scores in school history. She shot a trio of 82s during her freshman campaign, as well as a pair of 83s.

"On the days when I shot 82s, everything about my game seemed to fall into place at the right time," she said. "I had confident fairway shots, I stayed out of hazards, and I continually made crucial putts throughout the round."

Witucki has three of the top 10 18-hole rounds versus par, as she broke the MC record for the lowest 36-hole total. A pair of Wituck's 82s came during the Birmingham-Southern College Shootout for a 164. Her 24-over ties the versus-par score for a 36-hole tournament.

"Again, I think a little bit more work, and that's going to be the high end that we see from her," Waters said. "Her low end now, in another year or so, will probably be her high end. She's got lots of ability and a great attitude. As long as she keeps that and continues to work and want to get better, I believe she's going to."

Witucki either broke or tied eight different Maryville College records during her first season.

She said those records only add to her experience within the Orange and Garnet family.

"I loved Maryville College the second I had my first tour on campus, and now, at the end of my freshman year, I find reasons to love it even more," Witucki said. "One of those reasons include the girls I have been fortunate to grow close with. We always do our best to encourage one another and have fun on and off the course. This is because we are not only a team, but a family."