This was the situation that transpired in the final round of the Appalachian Athletic Fall Conference Championship on October 3 when Gaylor faced her own teammate, junior Sarah Son, for the individual medalist honor.
“It was awful, honestly. We both wanted each other to win and we are both so competitive,” said Gaylor.
Gaylor eventually defeated Son in the playoff and Milligan won their fourth Fall Championship in five years.
Head coach Tony Wallingford speaks highly of Gaylor and says that she exemplifies where hard work will take you.
“Megan has been a joy to coach and represents success through patience, effort and hard work. It wasn't until the end of her freshman year that she broke into the lineup and has not relinquished a starting spot since,” he said. “Her improvement has been exciting to watch. We lost two outstanding players last year in Cassidy Gibson, our first all-American, and Ann Sullivan, a four year all conference player. Megan and junior, Sarah Son, have stepped up and assumed those leadership positions. Playing in our #1 position, Megan is our anchor. She gives her teammates confidence as they play knowing she will come through with a solid score for us.”
Gaylor hails from Knoxville, where she grew up in a family full of golfers. She discovered her love for the sport in middle school and she has found great success ever since.
“Growing up, we used golf as a way to spend time together as a family,” she said. “My grandpa used to say to me, ‘One of these days you’ll beat me.’ Now I beat him by ten strokes and he just laughs at me.”
Gaylor is not only a standout golfer as she stands out in the classroom as well. She has a rigorous academic schedule as a double major in Business Administration and Graphic Design with a concentration in Marketing. She has twice earned academic all-conference honors and this past year she was an NAIA Daktronics Academic All-American.
The Buffs have qualified for the NAIA National Championship each of the last three years and the women’s team is currently ranked No. 21 and still has the spring season on the horizon. Gaylor has consistently been one of the Buffs’ top performers over her career and she hopes to lead Milligan to another appearance at Nationals.
The NAIA Direct qualifier to the National Championships all three years that the Buffs have gone has been at the Callaway Gardens Golf Club in Pine Mountain, Georgia and Gaylor says that is one of her more memorable places that she has played.
“I love the Callaway Gardens course. You never know what’s going to happen there because it’s a qualifier and I always play well there,” she said.
Even though the qualifier course is one of her favorites, she said that the round to win the AAC Fall Championship is one her most memorable.
Keeping sharp during the winter months is something that Wallingford is crucial with, according to Gaylor.
“Coach Wallingford always tells us that if it isn’t snowing or raining, we can be out there practicing. We also have indoor facilities too, but I like the outside,” she said.
“Megan's teammates have great respect for her. She takes it upon herself to be a servant leader and make sure each new player feels at home and part of our team,” said Wallingford.
The women’s team will conclude their fall season on October 23-24, where they will travel to Rome, Georgia to compete in the Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Invitational, which is hosted by Berry College.