Most students at Tyler Junior College have a difficult time balancing school, a job and managing to have a social life. Throw participating in a college sport into the mix and it seems nearly impossible. A few students at TJC accomplish this, and Elizabeth Rosebury is one of them.
Rosebury or “Izzie,” as she is known, is a senior member of the TJC Women’s Golf Team. She is in her fourth semester of playing for TJC.
“I signed her up her freshman year, but her grandfather had a lot to do with getting her interested in golf,” Greg Kirkpatrick, Bullard High School head golf coach, said. “He was an excellent golfer.”
Rosebury credits her grandfather for getting her interested in golf.
“My grandfather got me into golf. He took me into the front yard and showed me how to swing a club properly,” Rosebury said.
She carries a gold tool used for marking balls and fixing divots. On the back of the tool is inscribed “I beat Keith Lain” and a date from 1970. The tool was a gift from her grandfather to a friend that had bested him during a friendly game of golf, and now reminds Rosbury of the man who inspired her.
“He would tell me ‘keep your elbows straight and finish pretty for the cameras'”, Rosebury said. “It was his way of telling me to keep my balance.”
Rosebury began her career as a freshman at Bullard High School where she made the varsity golf team. She played her first 18 holes of golf during her first tournament on the team, ending with a score of 112. By the end of the year, she was shooting in the lower 90s.
“After her freshman year, she was our MVP for the rest of her career with us,” Kirkpatrick said. “There was no formula for her success, she just plain out-practiced everyone else.”
During her sophomore year, she was shooting in the lower 90s, until a regional tournament where she shot an 80 at Peach Tree golf course in Bullard and than an 83 at a course in Canton. During both her junior and senior years, she went to state tournaments.
“I made a fool of myself junior year at state, but senior year I finished 6th,” Rosebury said.
During her senior year Rosebury accomplished what some golfers never can. After four years of playing, she made her first hole-in-one at a NTPGA tournament at Pine Dunes golf course in Frankston where she also accomplished her lowest score to date-a 70.
“That was one of those days you know why you play golf,” Rosebury said.
Rosebury was scouted by TJC golf coach Sandy Terry the end of her senior year. Kirkpatrick invited Terry to watch Rosebury play.
“I wanted to help her find somewhere she would feel comfortable, and if she stayed two years at a junior college and did well, she could go anywhere,” Kirkpatrick said.
“When he came to watch me play, I played terrible, but I think he saw I had a good, coachable swing,” Rosebury said.
Rosebury wants to get her sports team management degree after TJC. She was looking into Texas A&M, but may look into Florida State University or even a university in England.
“I would enjoy being a golf pro or coaching professional golfers, but as far as going pro, I don’t feel I am ready for that,” Rosebury said.