Senior Spotlight: Katy Harris
April 16, 2018

April is a scary time for most college seniors. In just a month, they’ll be out in the real world, diploma in hand, starting the next chapter in their lives.

And like many of her fellow graduates-to-be, Katy Harris is looking to make the most of her last month at Ole Miss.

“It’s sneakily coming up on me that I’m graduating,” Harris said. “Knowing that has made me work even harder this last semester because I am turning pro when I graduate, so it’s very close that I’ll start doing this as my career. It’s not just school anymore. It has made me practice harder, work harder in the gym than anything else.”

That hard work has led Harris to her best spring season as a Rebel. She closed the fall with one of the best tournament scores of her collegiate career, going even par or under in all three rounds at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational at 72-71-69--212 (-4). A second-place finish in paradise sent her into the offseason with momentum.

Harris went home to St. Simons Island, Georgia, and worked hard on her game throughout winter break.

“I worked with my swing coach Jack Lumpkin a lot. I took maybe six lessons total and worked with him a lot. I didn’t really change very much, just more reassurance,” Harris said. “In the first semester, I was really close to playing well but was just a few holes off from carding a decent score. The extra practice and the six weeks off of just practicing and playing at home and just working on my swing really gave me the time that I needed to be able to really put rounds together and just compete.”


 

 

The lone senior Rebel supplemented swing work with diet and exercise. The Ole Miss spring schedule features a number of challenging events, including this week’s SEC Championship, which will last five days for the top two finishers in match play. With that looming, as well as the demands of a career on tour, Harris changed up her diet and workout routines to return to Oxford in great shape.

“I did Whole 30 over winter break. I cut out any processed sugars, any processed foods. No sodas, no cheese, no dairy. It’s just basically eating completely whole foods—meat, veggies, fruits and drinking only water,” Harris said. “That combined with all the different types of workouts I like to do. I like to change it up a lot and try new things. I think that helped my body get in the shape I needed to play well and not get tired when I’m out there. Because you’re out there for 10 hours sometimes.”

In her first round of the spring, Harris came out with a 3-under 69 to tie for second at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Individual Collegiate Championship. She followed that up with a top-25 finish at the Rebel Beach Invitational before arguably her best overall outing thus far in the spring, a T5 finish at a stacked SunTrust Gator Invitational behind a 68 in Round 3, her lowest round as a Rebel at the time.

That mark didn’t last, though, as Harris broke through with the best round of her career, a 5-under (67) through cold, windy conditions in Round 3 at the Henssler Intercollegiate. She stacked up 15 birdies in that tournament, including seven in the final round—both career-highs. Her 67 in Round 3 tied her for the most rounds in the 60s in a season (5) and a career (7) in program history.

Unfortunately, it didn’t come with her fourth collegiate win, instead it came with her third runner-up finish this season. While coming up just short of the top spot can be frustrating, Harris knows that second place in fields upward of 70 players isn’t such a bad result.

“It’s nice because I am playing well, but at the same time, I’m only one or two shots away from winning,” Harris said. “You can always think of those shots that you gave away out there like, ‘If I would’ve made that, I would’ve won.’ But I’m just going to use it as momentum to finish out and play the remainder of the tournaments and hopefully do as well or better. It is frustrating, but at the same time, second isn’t the worst thing in the world. I’ll just use it as motivation to keep playing well.”

Thanks to a winter of work and dedication, Harris has played as well this spring as she ever has, including the best round of her career. Now she is set for her final run at the SEC Championships beginning on Wednesday.

For all Ole Miss women’s golf news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWGolf and Facebook at Ole Miss Women’s Golf.

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