By Michael Haag | Sports Writer
Sophomore Rosie Belsham represented Baylor women’s golf overseas this summer, as she won the European Team Championship and the English Home International while playing for England. Belsham was playing with and against some of the best golfers in Europe. The tournaments allowed her to travel back to her home, see her family and play the sport that she loves.
The journey was not easy for Belsham, as she was joining a team that had been seeing each other and practicing for weeks. They were an established group in terms of play-style and having a connection off the course. However, Belsham said it did not take long for her to gather chemistry with her team.
“When I first met up with them at the airport on the way to [the] European Team Championship, I felt like the outsider massively,” Belsham said. “But then as soon as we got on that plane, it was like I had known them forever.”
Belsham had to deal with a similar situation at Baylor. Coming all the way from England, Belsham had to deal with learning a culture that she said was so different from the one she’d known. Belsham said the experience she gained from getting through last year prepared her for the predicament she faced this summer.
“It was pretty much the same dynamic as being out at Baylor,” Belsham said. “I think my experience at Baylor last year helped me massively over the summer.”
The experience Belsham gained while competing against world-class talent in England has prepared her for the upcoming golf season. Being on that stage, Belsham said there were a lot of intense moments where she needed to pull through for her team. Belsham said those moments and experiences were invaluable and she will take those into the upcoming season.
“Going out last, in all of the singles games in the afternoon, that felt like a lot of added pressure because you are the final game and it could be the deciding match, which it actually was in the semifinals,” Belsham said. “So, I think I gained a lot of experience from that and being in that pressure situation which I think will help massively coming down the stretch of tournaments this semester, next semester and then hopefully again at nationals.”
Baylor women’s golf head coach Jay Goble said he is not only pleased with Belsham’s performance overseas and from freshman year, but that he also has plans for her to grow as a leader for the team. Belsham spending time to get better in England was beneficial for her golf game, but Goble sees the potential for her to take those experiences over the last year and take charge as a leader.
“What I’m excited to see from her, is a new leadership role,” Goble said. “There is no doubt that we will have at least one freshman in the lineup; we currently have three freshmen right now. She could be a great mentor for them on and off the golf course, and that’s what I expect for her moving forward.”
Goble said that there are some things that Belsham can work on, yet he is not concerned. In terms of her play on the course, Goble said she only needs to polish the skills that are already in place. The issue though, is that she allows her mentality to impact her play at times.
“Rosie is a little bit of a perfectionist,” Goble said. “She just needs to get out of her own way a little bit to get to that next level. I think she’ll do it as we continue to get a little older and a little more mature.”
On the flip side, Goble praised Belsham’s approach to golf through her passion, mentality and work ethic. Goble said her fiery approach will be beneficial for the golf team as they get ready for the season.
“Her leadership and her intensity lies with the fact that she’s motivated to get better,” Goble said. “The rest of her team can see how hard she is going to work and that’s going to help continue to get them better.”
Belsham will get that opportunity soon as Baylor women’s golf starts play Sept. 13 at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, South Carolina. Belsham and the rest of the team will be looking to start off their season on a high note.