Athlete of the Week: NMB’s Elliott plays beyond her age

North Myrtle Beach golfer Madison Elliott was disappointed in her play in this week’s Class 3A state tournament. Fortunately for her – and the Lady Chiefs – she has four more years to make it right.

That’s right, the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week and reigning Region 7-3A champion for the Lady Chiefs is only an eighth grader. But her game is already that of a seasoned veteran, as she proved this season.

“I started playing when I was 9 and my family is big on golf,” said Elliott, who resides and practices regularly at Eagles Nest. “I couldn’t have done it without my family and my coaches.”

And a step up in competition, which she received by playing for the high school team since the seventh grade and by playing the Hurricane Tour during the summer, when she often squared off against more experienced golfers.

“Those help so much because there are lots of girls and tons of competition,” Elliott said of the Hurricane Tour. “If I want to continue to improve, that’s who I need to play. They’re a little bit older so I have to work harder.”

Mature beyond her age, Elliott played a leading role for North Myrtle Beach this season. Her biggest accomplishment came in the region tournament at Black Bear, where she shot 79 in difficult conditions to earn medalist honors.

“The weather was terrible all day but I actually finished right before it got real bad,” Elliott recalled. “But the biggest thing was I finished strong, and that’s what you have to do to win a tough tournament like that one.”

After shooting a 76 in the Lower State tournament to help the Lady Chiefs secure a bid to the state, Elliott posted some of her highest scores of the season at the Class 3A championships at Coastal Carolina University’s Hackler Course.

“I was pretty upset because I didn’t play well,” said Elliott, who led the team with a two-day total of 172. “But it helps knowing we have a pretty young team that has come a long way and we’re committed to playing hard next season.”

And for many seasons to come. Although Elliott has four more years to improve her game at the high school and junior levels, she already has a firm grasp on her future goals – a golf scholarship to Clemson and a lifetime of playing her game.

“Clemson is starting their (women’s) golf program next year and I’ve been going to their golf camp every year,” she said. “I met the coach and he told me I have talent. That gave me a lot of confidence.”

Confidence that is already showing, and continually growing.

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