Minnesota Golfer - Fall 2017 - 40
* BY MARK CRAIG *
Doing the Right Thing
A local prep golfer's integrity costs her a trip to
state-and earns the respect of us all.
hank you, Kaylee Gossen.
At a time when seemingly everyone-from professional
athletes to a president of the United States-
complains vehemently about every single call that doesn't favor
them, a 16-year-old from Marshall, Minn., has shown the
integrity and character to blow the whistle on herself (even
when the cost is a trip to the Class AA state golf tournament).
" And the thing is, no one else would have known what
happened, " says Gretchen Flynn, Kaylee's golf coach. " Even I
wouldn't have known. "
It was late May when some of us who
had never heard of Kaylee Gossen suddenly
felt very proud of this Marshall High
junior-all because she had a triple-bogey
7, inadvertently signed for a double-bogey
6, then discovered her mistake and got herself
disqualified by (not-so-simply) doing
the right thing.
" When I realized what happened, I was
just very uncomfortable with myself inside, "
Gossen says. (It's called a conscience.
Unfortunately, not everyone has one.)
" I just knew I had to go talk to the rules
officials, " she adds. " I needed to do the right
thing. Integrity goes further than state. "
The day before, Gossen shot 86 to open the two-day Class
AA, Section 3 tournament at Oakdale Golf Club in Buffalo
Lake. She started Day 2 strong, but faded and was regrouping
when she reached the 16th hole.
She hit the fairway off the tee, but put her second shot in
the greenside bunker. Her next shot didn't make the green.
" Then I kind of shanked my fourth shot across the green, "
Gossen says. " That's the one that got me. "
After that fourth shot, Gossen chipped on and two-putted
for 7. But she told her playing partners she had a 6. They
agreed, and the one keeping Gossen's score recorded a 6.
Gossen's parents, Amber and Jeremy, were following their
daughter. They wrote down 7.
" After the round, I told my parents I had an 82, " Gossen
says. " They had me for an 83. "
MINNESOTAGOLFER Fall 2017
" Kaylee isn't one to just let a mistake go, " Amber adds. " I
thought I made the mistake because Kaylee is very good about
her score. The minute she discovered her mistake, the look on
her face. I got a pit in my stomach. "
" Even the guy running the tournament was crying, " says
Amber went to her car and had a good cry herself.
" As a parent, you hope and you pray that you're raising
your kids and instilling in them the character and the ideals
that will take them through the rest of
their life, " Amber says. " We're so proud of
her. For Kaylee to do something like this at
such a young age really validates that you
might be doing something right-even
though you think you're doing everything
Gossen would have made the state tournament
for the second straight year even
with the 83 she should have signed for. She
didn't cost her team a trip to state. With
Gossen's 83, Marshall still would have finished
three shots behind Minnewaska.
Now 17 and in her senior year, Gossen
says she's " very motivated " to help lead her
team to a berth in next year's state tournament. She appreciates
the attention she has received as of late, but is a little
uncomfortable that it overshadowed teammate Ana Schwarz,
who did make the state tournament.
Gossen, of course, had no control over how many of us
would react to the news of what she did.
" The reaction has been very overwhelming, " she says. " I
didn't really think it would blow up like it did. I thought it
would only be our local paper that called-but all of a sudden,
all these people were calling me and asking me questions.
It's crazy. I just did what was right. "
And for that, thank you, young Kaylee Gossen.
Mark Craig is the NFL/Vikings columnist and a golf writer for
the Star Tribune.
Minnesota Golfer - Fall 2017
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Minnesota Golfer - Fall 2017
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Minnesota Golfer - Fall 2017 - Contents
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