When I first visited Mizzou, it blew my mind. We don’t really have collegiate sports over in the United Kingdom. The atmosphere at the Mizzou Football game I attended on my official visit was similar to that of a Premier League Soccer match.
Thanks to Mizzou Women’s Golf head coach Stephanie Priesmeyer (also known as “Coach Coop” across Mizzou Athletics) and her history of bringing on international players to the program, Young was pinpointed early as a prospective student-athlete for the University of Missouri.
“I think Coop first saw me playing in the European Girls Team Championship in Germany in 2012,” Young recalled. “I really hadn’t decided that I wanted to come to the U.S. at that time or not. However, when I considered it more a few years down the line, I got talking to Coop and assistant coach Mindy Coyle and the idea of playing at an SEC school with awesome facilities and great academics sounded hard to beat.”
With her mind now leaning towards playing collegiately in the U.S., Young needed an official visit to Columbia and the University of Missouri to help make her final decision. The second she stepped foot on campus, her ultimate choice suddenly became an easy one.
“When I first visited Mizzou, it blew my mind,” Young said. “We don’t really have collegiate sports over in the United Kingdom. The atmosphere at the Mizzou Football game I attended on my official visit was similar to that of a Premier League Soccer match. A big thing I noticed at first was how welcoming the people are in Columbia and in the Midwest. I found that people were always happy to help me.”
In the Fall of 2014, Young made the trek from Scotland to Columbia and officially began her journey as a student-athlete at Mizzou. Whether it was transitioning personally from the culture she was accustomed to in North Berwick or evolving athletically as a golfer in her new surroundings, Young knew it would take time to settle in.
Luckily for her, she was surrounded by an outstanding coaching staff and support staff at Mizzou that included premier academic, athletic training and mental performance personnel. With the drop of a hat, any of these full-time Mizzou Athletics staff members were eager to help Young’s development as a productive student-athlete.
In her 2014-15 freshman campaign, Young was a mainstay in the Tigers’ lineup and appeared in all 10 tournaments. While she made an immediate impact on the golf course, it was her efforts in the classroom that caught people’s attention in her first year. Following the season, Young was named a Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar.
“I think it’s great how academics is so important to everyone in Mizzou Athletics,” Young noted. “Coach Coop and Mindy are fantastic at making sure we keep up with our classes. Again, we have all the resources we need to succeed and the staff in our Mizzou Made Program are just amazing. I think you’d be hard pressed to find another school in the country that cares about their student-athletes as students as much as Mizzou does.”
Headed back to the golf course in her 2015-16 sophomore campaign, Young jumped to the next level with her week-to-week performance. In fact, she recorded a 74.21 stroke average over the season, marking the seventh-lowest all-time individual score in program history.
Young’s season highlight came at the Tigers’ lone home tournament (Johnie Imes Invitational), as she fired a 9-under over the weekend. Her 207 total was tied for the third-lowest 54-hole individual score in Mizzou Women’s Golf history. Aiding Young’s big stretch at Old Hawthorne was a 6-under (66) second round performance, establishing the second-lowest 18-hole individual mark in Tigers history.
Brimming with newfound confidence, Young closed her sophomore season as one of the Tigers’ top competitors and leaders.“I think just being a bit more comfortable on the golf course was the main key my sophomore year,” Young exclaimed. “I had a pretty nice fall season and so did the entire team. I think when you have a great team atmosphere like that you all kind of rub off on each other. It was awesome to see the team break so many records.”
The support from Coach Coop and Mindy has probably had the biggest impact on me throughout my three years so far. They’ve not only helped me to grow as a golfer but as an individual, a teammate and a leader. I love to work hard and that is something that I really value. Starting with the facilities at Mizzou, I have every resource that I need to improve and excel.
This past May, Mizzou Women’s Golf completed the recent 2016-17 season and Young was only one of three golfers to crack the starting lineup in all nine tournaments. As the school year at the University of Missouri concluded, she made her way home to Scotland and excelled individually at premier European Tournaments.
On June 4, Young claimed first place at the competitive 2017 Scottish St. Rule Trophy at historic St. Andrews. A week later she flourished amongst a competitive field yet again, earning a second place finish at the 2017 Scottish Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen.
If there’s a word to describe Young’s development over her three years at Mizzou thus far, “consistency” would certainly come to one’s mind.
“The support from Coach Coop and Mindy has probably had the biggest impact on me throughout my three years so far. They’ve not only helped me to grow as a golfer but as an individual, a teammate and a leader. I love to work hard and that is something that I really value. Starting with the facilities at Mizzou, I have every resource that I need to improve and excel.”
When Young returns to Mid-Missouri in August for the 2017-18 school year and her senior season for Mizzou Women’s Golf, she’ll have lofty goals in sight.
“I will graduate from the University of Missouri in May 2019 with dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Accountancy degrees but the plan is to pursue professional golf after that,” Young said. “I’ve always wanted to play golf professionally and I’m looking forward to the challenge!”
What does it mean to be #MizzouMade? That moniker has been a staple for Mizzou student-athletes for years. It is often associated with athletes who have excelled at the highest levels of their respective sports, but the true meaning runs much deeper.
While there are certainly examples of former Tigers excelling in professional athletics, there is a much larger contingent of Mizzou student-athletes thriving in today’s fast-paced, competitive work environment. What each of those student-athletes learned at Mizzou has prepared them for life beyond sports.
The mission of Mizzou Athletics remains to prepare champions for life through a personal enhancement model that emphasizes academic and athletic excellence, social responsibility, career development and leadership in order to help each student athlete become a prepared professional in any field upon earning their degree.
#MizzouMade Monday aims to tell those stories of student athletes who are bringing those values and ideals of Mizzou into the real world every day.