She is believed to be the first Hillsboro High School girl to ever qualify for the state golf tournament. And she may only be a sophomore playing against Division I girls mostly older than she is. But don’t expect Kristin Jamieson to back down from anyone when she tees it up in Columbus next weekend.
“My big goal by the time I graduate is to win the state tournament so whenever I go to practice that’s what I keep in my mind, especially on days when I don’t want to practice,” Jamieson, also tied for the top academic ranking in her class, said this week. “I don’t want anyone to be better than me, so that’s what keeps driving me. It would be super duper cool to win the state.”
Jamieson finished third out of 54 girls at the district tournament this week with a three-over-par 75, three strokes off the winning pace in what coach Dave Hilliard called the toughest district in the state. That’s what earned her an individual spot in the state tournament.
She has went undefeated in South Central Ohio League play the last two years and was the league MVP a year ago. But she was not happy when missed qualifying for the state tournament by four strokes a year ago. So she set goals and decided to work harder on her game. One goal was to help her team win an SCOL championship. She did that. Another was to qualify for the state tournament. Check that one off, too. Now she wants to win a state championship in high school, play Division I golf in college, and says she’ll continue to set goals as the years pass.
“She is the hardest working kid. There’s nobody that can practice as hard as she does,” Hilliard emphasized.
Kristin is the daughter of Dr. DJ Jamieson and Jeanine Bagshaw-Rosselott. Her father said the most gratifying part of watching her qualify for the state this week was seeing all her hard work pay off.
“She said a year ago that she wanted to go to the state and she busted her butt for a year to get back to the districts,” DJ said. “I can’t tell you how many practices I went to pick her up from and she wanted to stay and chip and putt. It was almost every practice.”
Hillard said she also practices regularly on a golf simulator inside her father’s home and that she’s trying to get him to install an indoor putting green so she can practice that skill all winter.
And if you think she doesn’t sound busy enough, she also was named Outstanding Poultry Market Exhibitor for the third year in a row last month at the Highland County Fair.
Kristin said she started playing golf regularly as a seventh grader, then in the summer of her eighth grade year began playing in tournaments. Her mother said that for the last two summers she’s played in Southern Ohio PGA and American Junior Golf Association tournaments. Then this past summer she attended a golf camp at Duke University, a school Hilliard said has one of the top five girls golf teams in the country every year.
“She said she figured out that she has a lot of work to do,” Hilliard said.
Kristin says she can’t really explain what it is that attracts her to golf.
“I always played fast-paced sports and golf is slow and deliberate, so that wouldn’t seem to make sense,” Kristin said. “But in the seventh grade my dad told me golf was going to be my sport. So I started playing and fell in love with the game and wanted to learn all I could about it. There’s something about it that keeps me hooked. If I had to guess, it’s probably because you can’t perfect it.”
Hilliard said that learning the game is another goal she can cross of her list. A good golfer himself, Hilliard said that a couple weeks ago he went with Kristin to shoot some practice rounds where she was going to play the district tournament. He said it was a course Kristin had played before, but he wasn’t familiar with.
“She was telling me how to play the holes,” Hilliard said with chuckle. “But like any kid, she needs that reassurance. And if you show her or tell her one time, she knows exactly what she’s doing.”
Hillsboro Athletic Director Dave Dietrick said that as far as he can determine, Kristin is the first Hillsboro girl to qualify for the state golf tournament. Others say she may be the first girl from Highland County to accomplish the feat. Either way, Kristin says it’s an honor.
“I find it shocking because there’s been so many good golfers come out of Hillsboro and Highland County,” she said.
Hilliard said that if Kristin plays at the state like she did in the district tournament, “She has a chance to finish really well.”
So what does Kristin think?
“I mean, go for it all, I guess,” she said. “That’s what my longterm goal is, so why not go for it now?”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.