The Gannon University women’s golf team has gotten off to a strong start in its 2019-2020 season, and senior Rebecca Red Horse has done her share to aid in the Knights’ showing.
In Gannon’s first tournament of the season, the Evann Parker Memorial tournament on Sept. 6-7, Red Horse was the highest Knight finisher, coming in second in the two-day event at Lake View Country Club.
Since then, Red Horse has finished tied for third at the Glade Springs Intercollegiate tournament in Daniels, W. Va., on Sept. 15-16 and tied for 37th at the Cumberland Trail Golf Classic, which concluded Sunday at Pataskala, Ohio.
Red Horse hails from Mesa, Ariz., and because her grandpa and father were active in the golf world, she grew up around the sport. But she didn’t actively begin competing until her freshman year of high school at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix.
She excelled there, helping her team to three straight Division I state titles.
That earned her a berth on Gannon’s team, and as a freshman she had one top-five and two top-10 finishes while being named a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete.
In her sophomore year, Red Horse received the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Academic Achievement Award. She also had a top-10 finish and was one of five Knights to compete at the NCAA Division II East Super Regional.
For Red Horse, one of the top moments in her career as a Knight was in 2016 when the team won the PSAC Championship.
“It was such a big accomplishment for the team,” she said. “It was really rewarding to see everyone’s hard work pay off.”
Red Horse credits her dad as being one of her biggest supporters.
“I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and support of my dad,” she said.
“He’s not only my swing coach but also my No. 1 fan, as cheesy as that sounds. He did a lot of work with me this past year during my year off to help me prep for my senior season.
“I’m just glad I’m able to go out there on the course and make him proud.”
During the 2018-2019 season, Red Horse injured her back and was unable to compete.
Red Horse said that for a couple of months she had constant back pain and didn’t know if she would be able to get her body back into a state where she could continue playing as consistently and competitively as she had been.
Fortunately, taking that time off allowed her to go through physical therapy and recover for her senior season.
Red Horse expressed her gratitude for the Gannon athletics program.
“I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunities I have had and to have met the people I have here at Gannon as a member of the golf team,” she said.
“I’ve made some of the best memories with my teammates on and off the course and I know my time here at Gannon wouldn’t have been as great as it has been without all of them.”
Red Horse said the Knights have had a strong start this season, and she is excited to see if that can take them to another PSAC title.
Rewarding is what Red Horse uses to describe her golf career here at Gannon.
She’s enjoyed being able to see how much she has grown since freshman year season to now, and how the entire team has grown and developed over the years.
“I think this season so far has been the most fun I’ve had being a part of the team because there are six of us seniors who want to make the most out of our last year,” she said.
Red Horse said she plans to continue playing golf long after her career at Gannon ends next spring.
“I’m thankful that golf is one of those sports I’ll be able to play casually for many years to come,” said the biomedical engineering major, who had a chance to intern with golf gear manufacturer Ping earlier this year.
“I am planning on continuing to play in local amateur events after I graduate but nothing more than just for the fun of it.”
On campus, Red Horse also participates in the Society of Women Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society and the Honors programs.
The women’s golf team’s most recent outings came over the weekend at the Cumberland Trail Classic and the Allegheny Women’s Invitational, which concluded Monday in Meadville.
The Knights finished third among 16 teams at the Cumberland event and were second among eight teams in Meadville.
Gannon’s top finisher at the Cumberland event was Alyssa Drehs, who wound up third overall at 74-71-145. Leading the way for the Knights at Meadville were Madison Gardner and Roxanne Garceau, who tied for seventh overall at 172.
Gannon will next see action Oct. 7-8 at the William Beall Fall Classic in Findlay, Ohio. The PSAC Championships will be played in Hersey Oct. 18-20.