Cougars Sophomore Mary Chandler Bryan has continually improved her play on the golf course this year. Something she's actually been doing for a long time. Because golf, runs in her family.
"I don't remember not playing golf" Bryan said from Johns Island this week where she took part in the Briars Creek Invitational. "I always just followed by brothers around and did what they did."
Her brothers are Wesley and George IV. Both played at South Carolina and now both play professionally. They all follow in the footsteps of their father who also played for the Gamecocks and now runs a golf academy in Chapin. Mary says keeping up with them was a big motivator.
"Being the youngest sibling, I always just wanted to do what they did. I tried to always be with them cause I thought they were the coolest. And being "Daddy's little girl" I always liked playing. So they were a huge influence."
Motivation is something she's never been short on and she needed it her freshman year as she had to walk on the team at the College of Charleston.
"I had a lot of confidence in myself and I know my game at that point last year didn't match it" Bryan said. "But I guess that confidence helped me practice harder and get better. I knew I could play in the lineup and play well. Every tournament I didn't make just made me want to practice even harder."
"She's kinda the kid that if you tell her she can't do something she's gonna figure out a way to do it" said Jamie Futrell the Head Coach for the Women's Golf team at CofC. "We didn't know if she'd be in the lineup. Then we didn't know how good she'd end up being. She's always proven us wrong."
She continued to get better throughout her freshman year. So much so that she forced a playoff for the title at the SoCon championships which showed everyone she'd arrived.
"When I came in runner up in conference, I knew that I had made a place for myself. Even after being a walk-on."
No matter what the outcome each week, Bryan gets in touch with her brothers to talk about their play on the course.
"One brother's married (Wesley) so we talk a good bit but the other one (George IV) we're best friends. We talk every day, we're the first people we call after a round. We talk about the good shots, kinda complain about the bad ones. We're each other's best friends for sure."
And in the offseason when they're playing with each other, that's when the real competitive sides come out.
"When we're out there together we get pretty competitive" Mary says. "Especially when I start winning and I start talking trash, then they really start talking trash making sure I know this putt is for the win, so they try to get in my head.
And while her brothers may try, few have had success getting in her head this season as she continues to put up top 10 finishes.