Mary Bryan Owen made her high school golf debut last season and won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship by 12 strokes. Her four-over-par 76 at Fox Hollow Golf Course helped the Reds win their sixth straight team title.
One match into her sophomore year, the 16-year-old remains undefeated in high school golf. She and teammate Lyndsey Miller won their first regular-season match, which is nine holes and uses the four-ball format.
Owen, who is a triplet with brothers Davis and Edward, plays American Junior Golf Association tournaments during the summer. Last summer, she made the Maryland team that combined with Virginia to battle North and South Carolina in the Mid-Atlantic Girls Challenge. An 'A' student who also plays squash, she would like to play golf in college but plans to be a recreational golfer after that.
How did you get started playing golf?
My dad started all of his children. He loves golf and we all decided whether to go forward with it or not.
What's the earliest golf memory you have?
We used to do these golf clinics at BCC (the Baltimore Country Club). It was like hitting on the range with one of the pros there.
What's the strongest part of your game?
I like my mid-irons. I think that's the strongest. The approach shots to the green, I think they're the most consistent. They tend to go the straightest.
What went particularly well for you during the championship last season?
I really wanted to win and nothing was really that off. My short game was good, especially the second day. I had like three birdies, so that keeps the score down a little bit.
What part of your game are you working on?
My sand shots. They could be more consistent distance-wise and fairway bunkers, I could work on that a little bit. Maybe drives, too. All of that could be just a little more consistent.
You won as a freshman, so do you feel any pressure to repeat?
I guess it was easier last year. No one really knew who you were, so you just kind of caught them by surprise. I don't really feel that much pressure. I guess it's a little more pressure, but I put that on myself. I want to do better this year in championships, improve the score and how I play.
Inevitably there are frustrating moments in any golf round. How do you handle those and get through them?
Sometimes I don't handle it all too well (laughs), but I try just to focus on the next shot and take a lot of deep breaths.
Do both of your brothers play golf?
Are you two competitive?
Yes. We are.
Does he push you to be a better golfer?
Yeah. I think it's nice because you always have someone to play with. He is, I guess, a little bit better than me (laughs). He'll be happy to hear that. I think he has more of a range of shots, so I see what he does and take that into account. He also hits it farther.
Do you play much, the two of you?
Yes, we always play together. We play about every weekend. In the summer time, it's every day — not necessarily together but a lot of times.
Do you enjoy those best-ball matches you play with Lyndsey during the regular season?
Yes. Everything's not relying on you. You have a partner, so if you mess up a hole they will hopefully do well on it.
What's something most people don't know about you?
I'm left-handed in golf, but I'm dominantly right-handed. I play lacrosse left-handed and I swing a bat left-handed, too, but everything else I do right-handed. My brother Davis is the same way.
What's the biggest challenge for a left-handed golfer?
Finding golf clubs in a good variety. You have fewer options. (At the driving range) you have to be aware of everyone else. That's why you just go to the end. It depends on how close the spaces are, but you could end up hitting them or banging clubs.
What moment of your golf career would you most like to live over again?
Over spring break, I was playing in a women's tournament where six holes were scramble, six holes were best ball and six holes were stroke play and I was with a partner. I could not miss a ball. I hit the ball perfectly each time and I kept thinking, "Why can't I play like this in a tournament?"
What's the best thing about being a triplet?
You're never alone.
What about being the only girl in a set of triplets?
Actually, it's probably a good thing. You don't have to share anything like clothes (laughs) and you're not compared as much.