By Jon Cole
There have been a number of defining moments in the history of Ohio sports. There was “The Drive,” that John Elway orchestrated against the Cleveland Browns in the 1987 NFL Playoffs, there was “The Fumble” by the Browns Ernest Byner one year later that cost the Browns a chance to exact their revenge on the Broncos and there was that night in early July 2010 that LeBron James made “The Decision” to leave Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach.
Sunday afternoon, Citadel golfer and Dayton, Ohio, product Kellie Anderson, made a preverbal swing against her home state when she placed herself in a three-way tie for first in a dual with the Dayton Flyers. On the strength of the lowest score through nine holes (38), due in large part to an eagle on the ninth hole, Anderson was able to place herself alongside the Flyers’ Mika Suntay and Maggie Prokop atop the leaderboard.
While Elway, Byner and James are certain targets for diehard Ohio sports fans, Anderson saved any potential damage that might be suffered to her 2004 Saturn Ion as the Flyers also got a share of the individual victories at the dual.
Anderson became just the second Bulldog golfer in program history and first since teammate Erica Pellegrini on March 4, 2012, to earn top billing in a tournament. Pellegrini also accomplished the feat in a dual against the Flyers, when she fired a 76 in Hilton Head.
While Anderson’s name will not be as vilified as Elway, Byner and James in Ohio sports lore, it is certainly a moment that she will not forget.
“The coach at Dayton doesn’t typically bring in players that hit short, so it was a way for me to prove myself and say ‘hey, look at what you missed out on,’ said Anderson. It was also nice because one of the other players on the Dayton team and I used to battle it out in high school a lot.
“It was very nice to shake her hand and say ‘have a nice trip home,’ added Anderson. The funniest part is that her parents were also there and I told them to have a nice trip home, because it is snowing, and they said not to rub it in. I said ‘I did my time and I got out’ so that was very nice.”
The first place finish on Sunday marks the fourth top-20 showing of her three-year Citadel career. Her first came when she tied for seventh place at the Hilton Head Invitational in 2012.
“Having been here for the last three years I have always had personal goals that I wanted to fulfill, but it has never resulted in a win,” said Anderson. “So, I really needed this one and it came at the perfect time for me. I really saw that my work is paying off.”
At the South Carolina State Bulldog Invitational on Oct. 2, 2012, Anderson carded rounds of 80, 76 and 81 to place 20th with a three-day total of 237.
Prior to Sunday, her most recent top-20 performance came during the fall slate when she finished 18th at the Savannah College of Art & Design Invitational. Anderson capped off the two-day tournament with a 158 (82-76).
She will certainly look to carry over the momentum into the remaining matches this season. “I am taking 25 credit hours so I was feeling like all of my efforts were coming just short of everything that I was doing, before I got the win, so it was nice to get something to pull through,” said Anderson.