Longhorns sophomore Maier makes history en route to state
Golf is in Melanie Maier’s DNA.
“I’ve been playing ever since I could pick up a club,” the George Ranch sophomore said.
“Um,” Longhorns coach Rick Del Rosario corrected, “probably more like the day she was born, or the day after.”
Maier is the first George Ranch golfer, boy or girl, to make it to the state tournament in Class 6A. She finished third at the Region III-6A meet last month to advance to state, teeing off Monday at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.
“I love making my school proud of me and I’m glad I get to represent George Ranch,” Maier said. “I just want to go out there, play my own golf and see where I stand. State is like any other tournament. I’ve played with a lot of these girls outside of school, so a lot of it is familiar to me.”
As a freshman, Maier finished in the top 20 at regionals, shooting the same two-round score she did this year (154). It took a second-day flourish last year to make top 20. She shot five-over-par 77 on both days this year to medal.
“Last year, I don’t think I really thought I could make it,” Maier said. “This year, I felt I could go out there and qualify for state. Last year, I was so worried about making state as a freshman and trying to wow everyone. This year, I was able to worry about myself and not worry about expectations.”
Maier is continuing a family legacy on the links.
Her older brother Matthew, class of 2018, went to state as a freshman when the Longhorns made it as a team in 2015. Her younger brother, Mitchell, is a freshman who tied for 20th at regionals with a two-day score of 162.
“I believe golf, at a minimum, is 51 percent mental,” Del Rosario said. “As far as physically, knowing her dad and Matthew and Mitchell, they can all play. But Melanie is strong mentally. She’s quiet, never gets too emotional. There’s an internal confidence, but she is cool, calm and collected.”
George Ranch sophomore Melanie Maier.VYPE Media
Maier loves the challenge golf awards her.
“There’s always something better to do; there’s always something to fix,” she said. “It’s constantly changing.”
Maier is adept at focusing on her own game, rather than concerning herself with competitors and their play. She hits a lot of fairways. Her short game is good. She is confident out of the bunker.
Maier has learned from both brothers. From Matthew, she studied what she should and shouldn’t do. Matthew was a long hitter who didn’t hit fairways. He taught her to hit the ball straight rather than far.
In Mitchell, Maier admires his confidence.
“Golf kind of just runs in the family,” Maier said. “When it comes down to it, we all love playing together and spending that time together on the golf course.”
Right now, Maier has the upper hand. Yes, Matthew made it to state, but it is more difficult, Del Rosario said, to qualify for state as an individual than as a member of a team. Mitchell figures to eventually make it to state sooner than later. He’s well on his way.
But for now, it’s Melanie’s time to shine.
“Get out of her way,” Del Rosario said, laughing, when asked what his message will be for his star player leading up to state. “I really mean that. Obviously, I’m there if she needs me. But what she needs sometimes is for me to get out of the way, and then if she needs me she’ll let me know. Once we step onto the course, I know she’ll do her thing.”