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Sarah Kellam’s summer got off to a busy start.
Kellam, a 2013 graduate of Grant County High School, is playing golf for the Lady Norse at Northern Kentucky University, but before she hit the links in college play, she played in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships in June in Oklahoma.
Kellam was able to play on a world stage by first playing in a qualifying event in Dayton, Ohio at the Twin Base Golf Course, where she shot 80, tied for second and then won a playoff.
She shot a one-over 73 on the first day and a 79 on the second day. She made the cut and then in match play lost 2 and 1 on June 17 to Krista Puisite who is ranked 46th in the world.
“I am extremely happy with the way I played. I did the best that I could and made the cut, which was my goal. I also feel really lucky to have this opportunity and tried to make the most of it,” she said.
Sarah’s father, Tim, served as her caddy during the tournament.
“I absolutely adored the greens, so my putting was going really well,” she said. “My caddy was also extremely helpful when deciding what shots to hit on different holes.”
Kellam said this experience gave her a better understanding of what it means to play in large events.
“I was somewhat nervous. Everyone was extremely friendly and I met a lot of great girl players that made me feel like I belonged,” Kellam said.
Kellam spent the summer working at Triple Crown Country Club and practicing her golf swing, with her eye on competing in more qualifying events for large tournaments.
Kellam was selected as the 2012 Golfer of the Year by the Enquirer for the second year in a row. Her high school golf career included four trips to the KHSAA State Tournament, two first place Regional wins (in 2009 as a freshman and in 2011 as a junior) and numerous first place finishes in invitational tournaments and regular season play.
She was also named by the Kentucky Enquirer to the Northern Kentucky Girls Golf First Team in 2009 and 2010. She was also selected by the Kentucky Golf Coaches Association as Region 6 Play of the Year in 2012.
Golf is a family affair in the Kellam’s Dry Ridge household. Tim is an avid player, while mom, Jamie, plays golf occasionally.
It’s brother, Cody, a junior at GCHS, that is not just following in his sister’s footsteps, but hopes to best her high school accomplishments.
Cody placed third in the region in 2012 and earned a spot at the State KHSAA Golf Tournament as an individual golfer.
The siblings’ exposure to golf began early. Sarah was 7 when she started to play and Cody was 6.
“I’m not sure why I chose golf,” Sarah said. “Once I picked up the club, it was just hard to put it back down.”
Cody said he and golf just clicked.
“From the beginning, it just felt right. When I’m on the golf course, I don’t feel out of place,” he said.
Both Kellams have trained extensively, attending various golf academies and clinics and working with professionals.
Tim often videotapes their games and matches so they can review them and adjust their game.
They both play a lot of golf, estimating they spend somewhere around 30 hours each a week on the golf course.
“There’s always something to work on,” Sarah said. “If we get bored, then we go out and play each other.”
Cody said since he made the state tournament for the first time last year, he’s been working even harder to improve his showing this year.
Sarah’s goal is to do well at NKU for Coach Daryl Landrum, a family friend and mentor.
Cody’s goal is finish his high school golf career ahead of Zach Wright, a former GCHS teammate, and to move ahead of his sister’s high school golf statistics.
“I really want to go to a Divison-1 school for golf,” Cody said. “After that I don’t know. I’d like to make it on the pro tour.”
Despite the sibling rivalry, the pair enjoy fishing and spending time together and with friends and family, especially their great aunt Louise Wolfe, who has sat through golf matches in sleet, rain and intense heat to watch them play.
They’re also both passionate about golf.
“Perfection is this game is not reachable, but we try to get as close as you can,” Cody said.
“There’s always something about your game that can be tweaked and worked on,” Sarah said.