MARSHALL, Minn. – In the game of golf, as in the game of life, it often times comes down to your word.
And if anyone questioned the quality of 16-year-old Kaylee Gossen’s word before this week, they aren’t any more.
“She was playing phenomenally,” said her mom, Amber Gossen. “She was going to have to make a really difficult decision.”
Her mom and dad were walking with this Marshall High School junior Tuesday as she tried to qualify for the girl’s state high school golf tournament.
And after her round, it looked like she did make the tournament for the second straight year.
“She said I’m happy with an 82 and I felt the pit in my stomach,” said her mom, Amber.
That’s because her mom and dad had her score at 83. So Kaylee went over her score card again and discovered the discrepancy was on Hole 16. She thought she got a double-bogey. Her parents had her scoring a triple-bogey.
“She looked at us and said, ‘Oh shoot’,” said her mom.
She knew she made a mistake.
“I was tearing up,” remembered Gossen.
Gossen was emotional because even though an 83 would have easily got her into the state tournament, she had already signed her card, and by doing so signed an inaccurate score, which is against the rules.
“It was heartbreaking to watch her go through those emotions,” said her mom.
Gossen had a tough choice, tell officials or keep quiet.
“I disqualified myself,” she said. “It was a sinking feeling.”
She told her coach and together they told tournament officials.
“For a sixteen year old girl to step up and lose that chance of going to state, we’re just unbelievable proud of her,” said Coach Gretchen Flynn.
They say it was proof her word is just as solid as her swing.
“Not just a golf lesson, a great life lesson for her because she’s going to take this with her wherever she goes,” her mom said.
“I’m going to remember this moment for a while,” added Gossen.