Ruby Haylock earned a spot in the High School Golf National Invitational by winning the Class B Individual girls state championship last October. Submitted photo

Ruby Haylock’s victory in the Class B individual girls state championship last October came with a perk, an invitation to the High School Golf National Girls Invitational at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina last week. She finished 47th out of 214 golfers.

Haylock, also the reigning Maine Women’s Amateur champion, entered the national tournament with a lot of confidence.

“I didn’t feel as much pressure as I thought I would,” Haylock said. “I thought it would be really intense pressure, but I got an early start to tournament golf this spring which really helped. Already being able to compete in tournaments early in the season and getting ready for the bigger tournaments. I don’t think I have started tournaments this early (in the season).”

Before the High School Golf National Invitational, she competed in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour tournaments in Massachusetts this spring.

The High School Golf National Invitational used the No. 6, No. 8 and No. 9 courses at the Pinehurst Resort for the three-round tournament. Haylock’s tournament started with a bang last Wednesday on the No. 6 course, going 2 under through the first four holes. She finished the final five holes on the front nine going 6 over. She bounced back on the back nine, shooting a 1-over 37.

The big numbers followed her throughout the tournament.

“(The tournament) started out great, but I lost it on the last few holes on the front nine but I felt like I got it back on the back nine,” Haylock said. “I feel like during the tournament, I feel like I have a brief period of bad holes and I was able to get myself back together and keep performing.”

Ruby Haylock in the fairway at the High School Golf National Invitational in Pinehurst, North Carolina. She finished 47th in the 214 player field Submitted photo

The second and third rounds on Thursday and Friday also saw some big numbers including an eight on Thursday and a seven Friday. Haylock shot an 82 Thursday on the No. 9 course and dropped to 48th and bounced back Friday with an 80 on the No. 8 course.

The tournament featured state individual and team champions throughout the nation and Haylock enjoyed going up against the national competition.

“It was really cool to meet girls from different states and talk to them about their states,” Haylock said. “I met girls from Illinois, Nevada, it’s so cool to be able to hear about what they do in their states and what the golf is like. There are so many girls, there’s like (214 girls) I believe and it’s so cool to see everyone there.”

Haylock also enjoyed the facilities at the Pinehurst Resort, which has hosted multiple major championships, including three United States Golf Association men’s US Opens (1999, 2005, 2014), the 1936 PGA Championship, and the USGA’s 2014 women’s US Open on the No. 2 course. The No. 2 course has also hosted the Ryder Cup in 1951 along with two of PGA Tour’s Tour Championships (1991, 1992).

With state champions from across the United States, the High School Golf National Invitational also brought college coaches to the tournament.

“I didn’t meet any, there weren’t many, there were a few, but it was hard because (we) were spread out over three courses all three days.”

Ruby Haylock hits her approach shot at the High School Golf National Invitational in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Submitted photo

Haylock, a senior at Leavitt this upcoming fall, had started the recruiting process prior to the tournament.

When the tournament ended, Haylock was already en route to her next tournament, the New England Women’s Amateur, which started on Monday at the Agawam Hunt Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island. She opened up with an 8-over 79 and tied for 14th.

July and the rest of the summer will bring more tournaments for Haylock, including defending her Maine Women’s Amateur championship at Bangor Municipal Golf Course July 19-21. She also has qualified for a Hurricane Tour event down in Florida.

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