Maloney’s mindset leads to solid appearance in state meet
There are few sports that require the amount of mental toughness needed to succeed than the game of golf. With most of the top golfers in Minnesota at the state meet in Jordan last week, that mental toughness was something that Triton golfer Shelby Maloney was going to need in her first appearance at the event.
While the results weren’t toward the top of the leaderboard, Maloney’s maturity and mindset helped the sophomore learn and enjoy the experience at The Ridges at Sand Creek and after a 56th place finish, it was something that impressed Triton golf coach Joe Hansen.
“I’ve said it before, but Shelby is pretty mature for her age,” Hansen explained. “She’s as mature as any sophomore I’ve had on the girls side. She knows how to take a step back and be realistic about things and have that desire to do well. Sometimes, that’s not an easy thing to do.”
In conditions that included plenty of heat and wind on Tuesday afternoon, Maloney took off from the first tee and had some issues getting onto the green. However, once she got there, she was able to use her putter to save some strokes and finish with a first day score of 96.
The following afternoon, Maloney was much improved hitting the ball, but couldn’t find the same touch with her putter. The result was a better score of 95 and two-day total of 95, which gives her something to learn from over the offseason.
“I thought she played pretty well,” Hansen observed. “She putted well the first day and hit the ball really well the second day. If she could have combined the two, she would have really had a low score, but I think she did really well for her first state tournament.”
With Maloney’s sophomore season in the books, it’s one that she can build on after earning all-conference status earlier in the year and qualifying for the state meet. After failing to advance to thesecond day of sections during her freshman year, that type of progress is one that has Maloney’s future looking extremely bright.
“The positive in competing in a tournament like this is that you’ve been there and you know what you’re capable of,” Hansen said. “You’ve seen the course now and know how it plays and just like anything else in life, the more you’re in the situation, the easier it is to deal with it. She’s been there and done that now and that’s a big thing to get past. I think that Shelby will use this experience in a positive way.”