Mizzou Golf's Hayden Buckley having a breakout year

3 months 3 days 22 hours ago Wednesday, March 14 2018 Mar 14, 2018 Wednesday, March 14, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT March 14, 2018 in Sports
By: Cameron La Fontaine, KOMU 8 Sports
loading

COLUMBIA - Hayden Buckley had two Division I offers out of high school to play collegiate golf. The first came from Rice University in Houston. Then, he received an offer from Missouri and knew he had to take it.

The Tupelo, Mississippi native, now a senior on the Missouri men’s golf team, admits that his play wasn’t where he’s wanted it to be. In his first couple years, he wasn’t getting many opportunities to play in tournaments. He also did not have a win in his first three years. 

That all changed during the fall 2017 half of this season, when Buckley won his first individual championship as he went 7-under par at the Turning Stone Invitational in New York. A month later, Buckley nabbed his second championship at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, where he shot 17-under par.

At the end of October, Buckley shined in Hawaii at the Warrior Invitational where his second-round score of 61 broke a school record, as well as his 54-hole score of 197 for the tournament.

During the break between fall and spring sessions, Buckley won the New Year’s Invitational Amateur for the second-straight year.

He came into the spring season with the same strong play and won the SunTrust Gator Invitational in Florida, shooting 8-under par and winning over opponents on Vanderbilt and Florida, ranked fourth and eighth in the country respectively.

“Looking back from my freshman year to know, it’s kind of a 360 from not really playing on the team at all to playing some of the best golf of my career, it’s definitely been life changing,” Buckley said.

Buckley is off to the best start, and on pace to have the best individual season in Mizzou Golf history. But, he hasn’t let that get in his head too much.

“You look on the walls here and you see All-Americans, you see PGA Tour players,” he said. “Those are some of the reasons I wanted to come here and to be playing this well, as well as those guys before me is an amazing feeling.

At the same time, I’m not getting ahead of myself. I know that the goal for me and the goal for our team is a national championship. I’m trying to keep my head on that and not on the possible records or awards in the future. You can’t win a national championship with a hot start in the season but you can lose it.”

While Buckley is focusing on the rest of the season ahead, he still has future goals in golf. The senior is in his last season and he’s set to graduate at the end of the fall 2018 semester, something he promised his parents he would do no matter what.

After graduation, Buckley wants to make it to the PGA, something he always dreamt of, but didn’t think was a possibility over the last few years.

“A lot of those dreams were kind of stagnant for a little bit, for my first few years here because I wasn’t playing as well as I thought I should have,” he said.

Buckley’s coach, Mark Leroux, said Hayden has the talent and ability to get there.

“There are a lot of times that guys get to college golf team and they plateau, and that’s what you get out of them for the next four years, but that’s certainly not Hayden given the fact that he is still getting better,” Leroux said. “If you want to go play professionally, you’re probably going to have to be better than you were in college. He’s got that potential, his future’s pretty bright.”

Along with improved short game and a better mental game on the course this season along with the positive results, Buckley has more confidence in himself to rise to the professional level.

“I know that I have that talent, it’s been there, it’s been a whole culmination over the last three and a half years,” Buckley said. “It’s a dream come true if it does happen.”

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ROCHEPORT - The Sunny Oaks Charity Horse Show brought about 20 riders out Sunday afternoon to compete for ribbons and... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - A Hickman High School graduate has surrounded herself with Kewpies. The dolls' trademark round eyes watch happily from... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people impacted by cancer gathered together on a track Saturday in support of cancer fighters and... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 10:11:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A podiatrist with the Jefferson City Medical Group is the first doctor in Missouri to use a... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - At "Shred Fest," a local skateboarding competition, keeping participants safe was a top concern. An organization provided free... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) - President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 3:14:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A second sheriff's deputy died early Saturday from injuries suffered when an inmate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:45:00 AM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Juneteenth Heritage Festival is keeping the history of Juneteenth alive in mid-Missouri. Juneteenth is a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 4:29:00 AM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A death, a huge cache of weapons and a suspect who's gun jammed as he was aiming... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 8:06:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's Republican clerk and the Democrat running against him have differing opinions over voter fraud. Challenger... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:59:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s City Channel was recently recognized for creative excellence in production by The Telly Awards Judging Council. Producers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:43:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — One Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy is dead and one is in critical condition after... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 6:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY- Investigators say the human remains they found in Miller County on Monday are from a male from the... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 4:48:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - The two caregivers responsible for Carl DeBrodie will remain in jail after Judge Kevin Crane denied their bond... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - If a few more details with the Federal Highway Administration are worked out, MoDOT plans to close the... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:33:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced on Friday five companies are expanding in Missouri with plans... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - APLEX, Inc., the contractor of the city’s Bike Boulevard Project, plans to close the entrance to Alexander... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - While many people cringed when the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for this... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 15 2018 Jun 15, 2018 Friday, June 15, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 94°
5pm 94°
6pm 93°
7pm 92°
8pm 89°