AUBURN, Ala. – Kennesaw State head coach Jay Moseley has been waiting four years for Kelby Burton to break through with his golf game.
Burton, a redshirt junior for the Owls, did so on Friday during the second round of the Auburn (Ala.) Regional at the Auburn University Club. He shot a 5-under 67 and is tied for the lead with Alabama’s Cory Whitsett heading into the final round.
Burton’s 67 was a career best and tied the 18-hole scoring record on a par-72 course for Kennesaw State.
“I’m hitting it really good right now,” Burton said. “I got more putts to drop today when they weren’t Thursday.”
Burton was Moseley’s first recruit when he came to Kennesaw State prior to the 2009-10 season. He knew Burton had the talent, but didn’t know when it would be put on display.
Burton has worked on his game tirelessly through out his four years in Kennesaw, Ga. Though he is stubborn with what advice he listens to on his swing, Burton believes all of the effort and time he is putting into his swing is paying off right now.
“He’s a kid that wants to figure things out on his own, and I respect that as a coach and former player,” Moseley said. “We butt heads on things, but we always strive towards what is best and getting better. He understands it’s a process but that’s what it takes to get better.”
“The first few years haven’t been very good, but I’m starting to come into my own now,” Burton said. “I’m not sure what was wrong. I’m kind of realizing what I have to do now to get results.”
But all the while Burton was going low all he had on his mind was his team and how he could help out the overall team score.
“That’s (the team) what kind of kept me to keep going and going into red numbers . . . . I just tried to stay in the moment,” Burton said.
If Burton were to pull off a victory Saturday, it would be his first collegiate victory during his first regional start.
This week, Moseley played a bit of a mind game with Burton. As he set the line up, Moseley said he put Burton in the one-spot when actuality he is the team’s fourth-best player behind junior Jimmy Beck, freshman Teremoana Beaucousin and junior Austin Vick.
“I knew he was due for a breakout week,” Moseley added.
The mind games worked.