Toast of the Coast | St. James’ Falvey puts it all together on golf course

For The Sun NewsJanuary 20, 2013 

  • The team Girls Golfer of the Year Alexa Falvey School | St. James Class | Senior Highlights | Four-time St. James MVP and three-year team captain was named to the North-South All-Star team as a senior and finished the season with an 18-hole average of 79.0. Led St. James to an 11th-place team finish at the Class AAA state tournament while shooting a two-day total of 165. Madison Elliott School | North Myrtle Beach Class | Eighth Highlights | Nine-hole average of 40.4. Earned Region VII-AAA medalist honors after shooting a 79. Named to All-Region team. Finished 22nd at state golf meet with two-day total of 172. Heather Johnson School | Aynor Class | Junior Highlights | Nine-hole average of 42.3, and 85.0 18-hole average. Medaled four times during the season, including a fourth-place finish at the Horry County Invitational. Jamie Karl School | Carolina Forest Class | Freshman Highlights | Nine-hole average of 42.1. Shot 85 at the 18-hole Black Bear Golf Tournament in September to earn medalist honors. Led Panthers to Class AAAA state finals, where she finished tied for 35th individually. Anna Montgomery School | Waccamaw Class | Sophomore Highlights | Nine-hole average of 43. Finished 25th at state finals with a two-day total of 175. Qualified for state golf tournament as an individual previous two seasons. Kelli Smith School | St. James Class | Freshman Highlights | Nine-hole average of 45.1. Finished 32nd at Class AAA state golf meet (185 two-day total) after moving up to the team’s No. 2 spot as a freshmen.

It wasn’t that Alexa Falvey was simply an average golfer or that she wasn’t putting in her time at practice.

But after two seasons on the St. James golf team, everything just sort of came together. The Toast of the Coast Girls Golfer of the Year then rolled all of it into a renewed focus to the game and led the Sharks to their first Class AAA state golf tournament.

“Alexa got it midway through her junior year and then took it to her full potential,” St. James co-coach David Pons said. “She was never a goof-off. She was never late to practice. She was always pretty focused. It just didn’t click. [After the change], I haven’t seen that in any other golfer when that game face went on whenever she stepped foot on the course.”

Falvey was named the team MVP each of her four seasons with St. James. She was a captain from her sophomore season on, and this year, as a senior, she was largely responsible for being a third coach for a team in which she was the only upperclassmen.

She worked with younger players on their swing and approach. But she also led by example.

Falvey finished the season averaging 79.0 on her 18-hole rounds. She was undefeated in regular-season match play. She led the Sharks to an 11th-place finish in the state meet and was named to the North-South All-Star Golf team.

In the process, she showed college recruiters that she was fit for golf at the next level.

It was all a product of a newfound dedication to the game.

“My freshman and sophomore years, I was a decent golfer,” Falvey said. “I picked up my clubs during golf season and only here and there outside of season. Then I started trying a little harder because I wanted to go to college for golf. Even after golf season, I practiced every single day. It doesn’t just come overnight. It took hard work, putting, chipping every day, going to the range.”

Between her time with the Sharks and her private swing coach, Falvey has opened up opportunities at a handful of smaller colleges. She’s yet to decide her future – or if that future will include college golf at all – but it’s now another option for a student with plenty of other extracurricular activity and a 3.95 grade-point average.

It earned her plenty of respect among area teams. She was nominated for Toast of the Coast by more than half of the Grand Strand golf coaches, all of whom got a chance to see her in action this season.

They saw her production on the links. They saw her ability to work with younger golfers. And they saw a player who developed into the best in the area.

“I think it’s just kind of an honor for someone to speak so highly of me,” Falvey said. “I feel like I had a passion for it. We had a really young and new team all four years. I’ve always been one of the top players, so helping out, it was kind of cool to be a role model.”

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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