BACK TO BASICS: Fulshear's Gabbard Hungry For Redemption On The Course
TRISTAN GABBARD HAS HAD GREAT SUCCESS ON THE GOLF COURSE.
The Fulshear senior was a district champion in 2019 and runner-up in 2021, after the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19. She made it to State in 2019 as a freshman, capping off a remarkable season by earning a silver medal with a two-day score of 150.
Gabbard, who is also second in her 2022 class academically, has been thinking about that ninth place finish at Regionals since last spring, when she finished just four strokes shy of qualifying for the State Tournament.
“It was definitely interesting,” Gabbard said. “I’d been going through a rough patch leading up to Regionals and I hadn’t performed as well as I wanted at district.”
Gabbard hit a slump during the postseason. She had issues with her short game. Her confidence was battered.
Ever since last year’s difficult ending, Gabbard has worked to get her confidence back up to where it was her freshman and sophomore years.
She’s on her way.
“I’m definitely more confident in myself and my game,” Gabbard said. “When I’m on the course, I like competing with the other girls, even if they don’t know. Who’s closest to the hole, that kind of thing.
“It’s about making the game fun again, instead of bogging yourself down with what you have to do to win. After all, this is a game. I just have to go play.”
Gabbard got back to basics. The important thing was working smarter, not harder. Gabbard still puts in a ton of hours on the course. But she’s also making sure to spend more time with family and friends for a healthier life balance.
“[I’m] narrowing practices down to efficiency, instead of being so time-consuming,” Gabbard said.
She has continued to work on her short game; her Achilles’ Heel, per se. She wants to get closer to the hole from 100 yards and in. She wants better up-and down conversions.
Gabbard is good off the tee, a strong long-ball hitter who is consistent on the fairways. Everything within 10 feet is a sure bet for her as well.
As if being one of the best golfers to ever wear a Chargers uniform wasn’t enough inspiration, Gabbard’s parents, Alisha and Devin, were both college athletes. She calls them her “push factor.”
Naturally, she wants to play at the next level, too.
Even more, younger sister Reilly is a freshman on the team.
Gabbard, a Midwestern State University-commit, is motivated to be at her complete best with younger sis looking up to her.
“I’d love to be district champ again,” Gabbard said. “Regional champ would be icing on the cake. I’d like my scoring average to be 74 or 72 in tournaments. And, of course, I want a State appearance, with a State medal hanging around my neck at the end.”