Senior spotlight: Kelley Louth
April 22, 2009
Rafiq el Arculli, Texas Media Relations
Even when Kelley Louth couldn’t play golf because she was sidelined with an injury, she managed to keep learning.
“The whole process taught me patience,” Louth said.
And patience -- coupled with persistence – is paying off for the senior Women’s Golfer now. Louth heads into this weekend’s Big 12 Championships on a roll.
Louth has been the Longhorns’ individual leader in their last four events, and she’s coming off a career-best performance at the Indiana Invitational two weeks ago. Louth finished the three-day event in a second-place tie with a 13-over par total.
Louth’s recent outburst has been years in the making. As a freshman, Louth was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, and her 75.9 scoring average was the third-best freshman mark at UT since 1988.
And as a junior in 2006-07, Louth led the team in scoring average. But injuries have riddled Louth’s career, and hampered her consistency.
Louth was originally diagnosed with a torn ligament in her right wrist during the summer of 2007, but decided to keep competing with the help of frequent therapy. However, a trip to the doctor in January 2008 revealed that surgery would be needed to remove a cyst that had formed due to the ligament damage.
“So, from October 2007 to July 2008, I was completely out of the game,” Louth said.
The timeline wasn’t always that clear-cut, though.
“The doctors told me it’s not guaranteed that I would be able to come back and play like I did in the past,” Louth said. “They explained to me that there was a 60 percent chance that my cyst could grow back. I also had heard of other athletes who have had wrist surgeries come back and still be in a lot of pain. So overall, it was a gloomy situation.”
Louth chose to take the gloom out of her situation by focusing on the things she could control, and that mindset allowed her to persevere.
“When the little things -- like being able to practice every day -- get taken away, you really realize how much of a gift it really is,” Louth said. “It makes you appreciative of the opportunity that you have been given.”
And the patience Louth learned through that process is actually paying dividends on the golf course now, as evidenced by her string of success.
“The patience I have built up and come to learn from the rehab process has definitely advanced my game this season,” Louth said. “It’s such a great feeling to be playing healthy again, I can’t describe it. Being with my teammates everyday, who are also my best friends, is everything that I can ask for.
“We all know that we only have a certain amount of time left in our careers to play the best we can. I’m putting all that I have into golf and doing everything I can to have a strong finish.”