Nov. 29, 2011
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina head women's golf coach Mallory Hetzel today announced the signing of a pair of golfers to join her squad for the 2012-13 season. Taylor Allison (Elizabeth City, N.C. / Northeastern HS) and Mariah Hopkins (Greensboro, N.C. / Home Schooled) have both signed National Letters of Intent with WCU.
"Western Carolina is lucky to have Taylor Allison and Mariah Hopkins joining our women's golf program," said Hetzel who is amidst her second season leading the Catamounts. "They are both very excited about the opportunity to represent WCU. We expect Taylor and Mariah to come in and contribute right away. They have the ability to add a lot to our team in terms of both leadership and enthusiasm."
Allison competed in four American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events last summer, posting three top-eight finishes. Among her top amateur finishes are a fourth-place tie in the 2011 Roy Jones/BB&T Junior Golf Classic and an eight-place the 2011 Twin States Junior Girls Championship. Allison also finished tied for 10th at the prestigious 2011 Joe Cheves Invitational played at Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club in Morganton, N.C.
Currently, Allison - who competes on Northeastern High's boy team each spring - ranks eighth among the North Carolina junior girls and is ranked third overall in the Class of 2012 in the state of North Carolina.
"Taylor is a very unique talent. She plays with tremendous poise and consistency and is an excellent putter. I watched her play 10-to-12 rounds this past summer and never once saw her miss a putt inside of six feet," said Hetzel.
Hopkins has recorded a trio of top-10 finishes during her junior campaign including a sixth-place showing at the 2011 Peggy Kirk Bell (PKB) Precision Junior Girls Championship. She also posted an eighth-place finish at the 2011 Peggy Kirk Bell Open Championship at Salisbury and was 10th at the Dogwood State Junior Championship.
A native of Greensboro, N.C., who plays left-handed, Hopkins ranks 11th overall among junior girls in North Carolina and is ranked fourth in the North Carolina class of 2012. She fired a 73 at the Forest Creek Country Club in Pinehurst in June of 2011 to qualify for the United States Golf Association (USGA) Girls' Junior Golf Championship - the most prestigious junior golf tournament in the country. Hopkins was the only player from North Carolina to qualify.
"Mariah comes from a very athletic family. She possesses the rare combination of strength and touch. I have seen Mariah hit wedge shots that would make most people jealous. I really admire the way she always seems to play with a cool and confident attitude."
Western Carolina opens the spring portion of its 2011-12 schedule on February 26-28 at the Kiawah Island Classic - a 36-hole event at the Oak Point Golf Club in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.